Gaining a firm grasp of certain policy issues on Capitol Hill can be a tricky task. Perplexing acronyms, antiquated legislative processes, and general wonkiness can make even the most dedicated advocate’s head spin.
With some issues, the right and wrong paths are so abundantly clear that it makes one wonder why there’s even a debate at all.
But with some issues, the bar for comprehension is far lower. With some issues, the right and wrong paths are so abundantly clear that it makes one wonder why there’s even a debate at all.
Pentagon spending is one of those issues. The United States spends far too much money on weapons and war, and it’s coming at the cost of other critical priorities.
Consider these facts and figures:
This year’s military budget ($858 billion) is ten times higher than Russia’s and 2.5 times higher than China’s. In fact, it’s higher than the next nine countries combined.
The United States allocates only $1 towards peacebuilding for every $200 that it spends on the military.
The Pentagon has never passed an audit on its spending. Not once.
The military budget isn’t just wasteful. It’s disgraceful. The biggest threats to domestic security—the climate crisis, rising inequality, systemic racism, white nationalism—can’t be addressed through the Pentagon. Yet year after year, the president requests a record-breaking Pentagon budget, and Congress approves it with very little discussion.
It’s a cycle of madness, and this week, we called on the president to put a stop to it. Along with 58 other groups, we signed a letter requesting that President Biden divert a portion of Pentagon funding towards real human needs as he prepares his annual budget request to Congress.
Our rationale was simple: “We reject pouring our dollars into outdated ships, malfunctioning planes, or record-breaking contractor CEO salaries while everyday people remain hungry, unhoused, in need of adequate healthcare, or seeking a living wage.”
It’s a simple message and one that we’ll keep repeating until the Pentagon budget finally goes down.