Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity
There is an entity whose job it is to prevent this sort of abuse: Congress. With each failure at the Pentagon, Congress is failing, too.
An extra $105 billion in mostly military spending is no small matter, especially on top of the $886 billion military budget that has been working its way through Congress this year. So, how did this thing get so big?
The budget deal struck by the White House and House Republicans begins what could be a long-term shift in federal spending from domestic programs toward the Pentagon.
Our tax dollars should make life better, not go to waste. But the average taxpayer had to shell out over $1,000 for military contractors alone last year.
The president’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, released March 9, was heralded by human needs groups for preserving and in some cases expanding critical human needs programs to address poverty, hunger, health care, and protect children and seniors in particular.
But as our chart shows, the Biden budget continues to fund the Pentagon and war at levels that far outpace all federal programs for housing, education, public health, and more.
Current military spending is higher than the height of military spending during the Reagan years at the height of the Cold War. Looking further back, the Biden request is higher than the height of the Vietnam or Korean wars, too.
While more than half of the federal discretionary budget under the president’s proposal would go to the military, fully two-thirds would go to a combination of the military, veterans’ programs, and heavily militarized homeland security programs.
What would be possible if we had an extra $100 billion to spend on urgent human needs?
Can you imagine the audacity to fail a multi-trillion dollar audit of public funds, and then ask for even more of those taxpayer dollars?
This country’s spending on the Pentagon and nuclear weapons is done in the name of “national security.” Not to mention the billions more for “homeland security,” largely in the form of immigration enforcement, deportations, and border militarization.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Florida and Puerto Rico are without basic security after Hurricane Ian, having lost power, homes and loved ones to the latest in the string of extreme weather events that have grown more frequent and more devastating due to climate change.