Comments from Experts on a New Poll Showing That a Majority of Voters Support Reallocating Money Away from the Pentagon and to Domestic Needs

Voters Want Leaders to Put People Over the Pentagon, Poll Shows

 

William Hartung, Director of the Arms & Security Project at the Center for International Policy: “Numerous recent studies – including the Center for International Policy’s Sustainable Defense Task Force – have shown that America can be made more secure while spending far less than the $700 billion-plus we now spending annually. This new poll shows that a majority of the American public agrees. If the U.S. gets out of the business of fighting wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, cuts rampant Pentagon waste, and reduces our excessive and dangerous nuclear arsenal, we can free up hundreds of billions of dollars that can be invested in addressing other urgent needs.”

Garett Reppenagen, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace: “I didn’t serve as a U.S. Army sniper to see our hard earned tax dollars frivolously wasted on more military spending. My fellow warriors and I sacrificed for Americans to achieve our greatest potential. Veterans For Peace agrees with popular opinion polls that we should start reinvesting our overinflated defense budget on domestic needs, infrastructure repairs, social safety net programs and an emphasis on diplomatic action that might keep us out of avoidable military conflict.”

Gaurav Madan, Senior Forests and Lands Campaigner at Friends of the Earth US: “Rejecting endless war and rampant fossil fuel consumption by dramatically cutting military spending is an important and necessary step toward building a more just society. Decreasing Pentagon funds would allow for greater investments in shifting toward renewable energy, ensuring a just transition for workers and supporting marginalized communities, including those on the frontlines of climate disaster.”

Maya Rommwatt, Divestment Campaign Manager at CODEPINK: “It comes as no surprise that a majority of voters on both sides of the aisle support a significant reallocation of spending from the Pentagon to the immediate needs of our communities. For too long the Pentagon has enriched weapons corporations, robbing dollars desperately needed to deal with the climate crisis, and by our schools, health care and infrastructure.”

Heidi Hess, Co-Director of CREDO Action: “Americans are done with federal budgets that prioritize the Pentagon over the people. They are demanding that Congress use its power of the purse to help people, families and communities thrive, and stop blindly passing budgets that line the pockets of defense contractors and retired generals and push us into conflicts across the globe.”

Stephen Miles, Executive Director of Win Without War: “Once again we see that the American people favor a dramatically different federal budget than the one Washington is giving them. Whether it’s climate change, rising authoritarianism, or mass income inequality, people get that the true security challenges we face simply do not have military solutions. Yet year after year, all they see from Washington is hundreds upon hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at the Pentagon, only to find its way into the pockets of arms makers and special interests. The public is clear, something has to change. It’s time Washington starts listening.”

Caroline Dorminey, Policy Director at Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND): “It’s clear that the American people don’t want more of their tax dollars going to the Pentagon. Washington needs forward-thinking policy solutions that meet human security requirements and free up funding for domestic programs. Threading this needle will require significant compromises that will ultimately pave the way for a more sustainable military.”

Lindsay Koshgarian, Program Director of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies: “Experts have long argued that cutting Pentagon spending could provide billions of dollars for clean energy, health care or other priorities, while actually making us safer. Now we see that a majority of Americans share the common-sense view that much of our Pentagon spending could be better used elsewhere. It’s time to stop the runaway spending that only benefits Pentagon contractors and their wealthy shareholders and use those dollars to benefit the majority of Americans.”

Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director of Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action: “Year after year Americans express their preference to stop spending many times more than any other country on the Pentagon.  For far less, we can invest in diplomatic and other tools that will prevent wars and make the U.S. safer and use the leftover taxpayer dollars for voter priorities like health care, jobs and education.”

Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen: “Despite millions and millions spent by the war industries to push the line that America always needs to spend more on the Pentagon, the American people get it: We spend hundreds of billions on the Pentagon that should be reallocated to human needs and protecting our planet — investments that would truly make our country stronger.”