With NPP Intern Elizabeth Casey-Rutland
Photo by Doug Hall, National Priorities Project
For years there has been a striking mismatch between federal spending and popular priorities. And while this issue is not new, the budget recently passed by Congress would drastically cut spending on domestic priorities while shoveling billions into a Pentagon slush fund called the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund.
Someone must hold Congress accountable. From May through July, National Priorities Project staff together with partners from the Peace Action Education Fund will visit four states as part of our Move the Money training series, encouraging local communities to engage in the federal budget process, learn about current spending priorities, and develop strategies for how to change them. On Saturday we made our first stop in Canterbury, New Hampshire.
For the many New Hampshirites who, directly or indirectly, draw their livelihood from Pentagon spending, the idea of cutting that spending no doubt feels threatening. If lawmakers cut Pentagon spending, would thousands of workers suddenly be out of a job?
While these concerns are legitimate, it’s worth taking a look at what could happen if that money were diverted to address some of New Hampshire’s needs in other areas. If money were diverted from Pentagon contractors to other important projects, New Hampshire could actually end up with more, not fewer, jobs. For example:
Moving the money from the Pentagon to local investment makes sense for New Hampshire’s people and economy. Participants in NPP and Peace Action’s training will work locally to make the case that not only can the U.S. and New Hampshire afford to move the money – but we can’t afford not to.
The Move the Money training series has been generously supported by the Colombe Foundation.