Coalition Calls for Dramatic Pentagon Spending Cuts, Funding of Human Needs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The next president of the United States should embrace dramatic cuts in Pentagon spending – at least $200 billion annually from the current $716 billion – and reallocation of the money to human needs, a broad coalition of progressive organizations urged today in a letter sent to all announced presidential candidates.

The letter launches a new coalition initiative to shift fundamentally the debate over Pentagon spending and infuse the issue into the presidential campaign.

Under the banner of “Put People Over the Pentagon,” the 22 groups say that “it’s time to stop misdirecting hundreds of billions of dollars away from domestic and human needs to pad unnecessary budget lines for endless wars, failed weapons and the Pentagon’s corporate handouts. Doing so will make our country stronger and more just.”

The groups say that “Military spending should be reduced by at least $200 billion annually, freeing up $2 trillion or more over the next decade for domestic and human needs priorities. With those spending cuts, the Pentagon’s budget would remain more than enough to keep America safe at a level well above our nation’s post-World War II historical average.”

The groups’ agenda also urges that “the United States should never again go to war without congressional authorization, and Congress should not authorize military action without identifying revenue to pay for current and future costs, including taking care of injured veterans.”

The groups state that “by adhering to our values and promoting international cooperation, we can prevent war, address the underlying causes of conflict and meet humanitarian imperatives.”

Organizational signers of the call to “Put People over the Pentagon” include: 350.org, Center for Popular Democracy, Code Pink, Credo Action, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Democracy for America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Indivisible, Just Foreign Policy, MoveOn.org, National Priorities Project, Peace Action, Public Citizen, RootsAction, Social Security Works, United We Dream, Win Without War, Women’s Action for New Directions and World Beyond War.

Coalition members’ statements are available here.

The groups’ statement is available at PeopleOverPentagon.org.