FINALLY, there may be some action on repositioning the military budget!
The priorities of the U.S. government have been wildly out of touch with both morality and public opinion for decades, and have been moving in the wrong direction even as awareness of the crises facing us has inched upward. The U.S. government is expected to spend, in its discretionary budget in 2021, $740 billion on the military and $660 billion on everything else: environmental protections, energy, education, transportation, diplomacy, housing, agriculture, science, disease pandemics, parks, foreign (non-weapons) aid, etc., etc.
Both Houses Working to Move Money Out of Military
We haven’t seen this sort of thing in Washington, D.C., since the days of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, with support from Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has introduced a resolution to move $350 billion per year out of militarism and into useful things. >> Full Text of Resolution and List of Cosponsors
On a smaller scale, but with the potential for a more immediate result, Senator Bernie Sanders has said he will introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to move $74 billion a year from militarism to human needs.
Where would the money come from? According to Rep. Lee’s resolution:
- eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations account and saving $68,800,000,000;
- closing 60 percent of foreign bases and saving $90,000,000,000;
- ending wars and war funding and saving $66,000,000,000;
- cutting unnecessary weapons that are obsolete, excessive, and dangerous and saving $57,900,000,000;
- cutting military overhead by 15 percent and saving $38,000,000,000;
- cutting private service contracting by 15 percent and saving $26,000,000,000;
- eliminating the proposal for the Space Force and saving $2,600,000,000;
- ending use-it-or-lose-it contract spending and saving $18,000,000,000;
- freezing operations and maintenance budget levels and saving $6,000,000,000; and
- reducing United States presence in Afghanistan by half and saving $23,150,000,000.
Whatever funding is needed to aid anyone in the transition from military to non-military employment will be a small fraction of the whole.
Moving $74 billion would result in $666 billion on militarism and $734 billion on everything else.
Moving $350 billion would result in $390 billion on militarism and $1,010 billion on everything else.
Where would the money go?
It would cost about $30 billion per year, according to UN figures, to end starvation on earth, and about $11 billion to provide the world with clean drinking water. Less than $70 billion per year would wipe out poverty in the United States. Spent wisely, $350 billion could transform the United States and the world, and certainly save even more lives than are spared by taking it away from the military.
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