FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Massachusetts Research Organization Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for Pioneering Analysis of U.S. Military Budget
National Priorities Project tracks $1.48 trillion spent on U.S. wars since 2001, indicates equivalent federal and local spending for social programs
Northampton, MA-- National Priorities Project (NPP), a research organization that tracks U.S. federal budget expenditures, has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau (IPB). NPP was recognized for its unparalleled, innovative, and essential analysis of U.S. federal spending on the military, as well as its promotion of a national budget that represents Americans' priorities.
“The federal budget is an incredibly powerful vehicle for implementing our values as a society," noted Comerford. "NPP believes that a federal budget that truly represents the values of the American people will allocate less money to war and more money to the complex challenges of our time, such as hunger, inequality, climate change, and job creation. The Nobel Peace Prize nomination clearly reflects the impact of NPP’s data and tools."
In its nominating statement, IPB – a Switzerland-based organization and the 1910 Nobel Peace Prize recipient – underscored the importance of NPP's work for people in the United States and abroad:
Within the world's largest-spending state in terms of military budgets, i.e. the USA, few have devoted as much energy to studying the budget process as National Priorities Project. And few have brought to the task such a clear and steadfast commitment to re-allocating the enormous sums devoted to the military, in order to instead address vital issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy.
Since its founding in 1983, NPP has tracked and analyzed federal spending on the military. NPP research shows that U.S. taxpayers have spent $1.48 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, plus more than $800 billion on "homeland security" in the same time period. However, according to polls, a majority of Americans favor cutting military spending by as much as 18 percent and most Americans want to see increased federal funding for health care, Social Security, education, the environment, transportation, and infrastructure.
NPP's unique research and interactive tools strongly influenced IPB's Nobel Peace Prize nomination. NPP’s "trade-offs" tool illustrates what could be "bought" if tax dollars were reallocated to social programs, such as education, housing, environment, food and agriculture, transportation, and health care. For example, in FY2014 U.S. taxpayers will pay $8.45 billion towards the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an aircraft that is considered to be the most expensive weapons system in history. If allocated to other federal programs, those taxpayers’ dollars could fund all of the following for one year (with $2.3 billion left over):
• 50,000 elementary school teachers
• Healthcare for 500,000 low-income children
• Medical care for 20,000 military veterans
• Solar Photovoltaic electricity for 1,000,000 households
“NPP's unique research shines a light on the cost of war to our society in real dollars, and engages Americans in the debate about the impact of budget choices,” said NPP Executive Director Jo Comerford. “Our mission is to crack open the complex federal budget and budget process for people in grassroots communities across the United States who are working to change U.S. budget priorities.”
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates will be announced in October, with the awards ceremony in December.
National Priorities Project (NPP) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that makes our complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to shape our nation's budget. We are the people's guide to the federal budget. In 2014, NPP was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of our pioneering work to track federal spending on the military and promote a U.S. federal budget that represents Americans' priorities, including funding for people's issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy. Learn more at nationalpriorities.org.