U.S. government spending has been moved so heavily to militarism, and away from everything else, that groups and individuals who haven't objected to it before are finally doing so.
A huge coalition is demanding that at least $200 billion be moved out of the Pentagon's budget and into human and environmental needs. We're taking this demand to Congress and to presidential candidates. While we've successfully brought similar demands to city councils and to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, this is a new and bigger opportunity to move it toward reality, with a larger multi-issue coalition advancing this demand.
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U.S. military spending across numerous agencies is now at $1.25 trillion per year1, or roughly as much as the rest of the world combined, with much of that rest of the world being U.S. allies and weapons customers.2
Trump's proposed 2020 budget makes militarism 57% of discretionary spending, leaving 43% for everything else.3
Military spending endangers us and generates terrorism.4 Reducing it makes us safer.5
Military spending is immoral6, threatens our environment7, erodes our liberties8, and fuels bigotry9.
Fractions of the $200 billion we are proposing to move could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college10, end hunger and starvation on earth11, provide clean drinking water everywhere it’s needed on the planet12, build fast trains between major U.S. cities13, and double non-military U.S. foreign aid.
Defending the immoral funding of the criminal (can you name a recent war that didn't violate the UN Charter?), counterproductive, catastrophic war enterprise as a "jobs program" is obscene, but it's also false. Economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain.14
The fact is that the United States dominates world military spending, pushes allies to spend more, and drives an arms race that it could easily choose to reverse.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.
1. TomDispatch: Making Sense of the $1.25 Trillion National Security State Budget
2. World BEYOND War: Militarism Mapped
3. National Priorities Project: Trump's FY2020 Budget Request Bloats Militarized Spending—and Slashes Actual Human Needs
4. Consortium News: How the West’s War in Libya Spurred Terrorism in 14 Countries
5. World BEYOND War: War Endangers Us
6. World BEYOND War: War Is Immoral
7. World BEYOND War: War Threatens Our Environment
8. World BEYOND War: War Erodes Our Liberties
9. World BEYOND War: War Promotes Bigotry
10. The Washington Post: Free College: We Can Afford It
11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: The World Only Needs 30 Billion Dollars a Year to Eradicate the Scourge of Hunger
12. UN Environment Program: Clean Water for a Healthy World
13. The World Bank: Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries
14. Political Economy Research Institute: The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update