WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration must stop proposing to super-size the Pentagon budget and instead divert funds to better meet the needs of the American people, 59 groups led by Public Citizen said in a letter sent today. The letter follows in the wake of press reports that Biden may propose the largest military budget in history for FY 24, fast approaching $1 trillion.
“We reject pouring our dollars into outdated ships, malfunctioning planes, or record-breaking contractor CEO salaries while everyday people remain hungry, unhoused, in need of adequate healthcare, or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,” the letter reads. “Please kick off this year’s budget process by putting forward a proposal that addresses our most urgent funding priorities by giving the Pentagon a direly-needed trim.”
This year’s military budget – at $858 billion – is the second highest since World War II. It is ten times Russia’s military budget, more than 2.5 times that of China, and greater than the next nine countries combined. More than half of that money will go straight into the pockets of big corporate weapons contractors. Astonishingly, Congress added $45 billion on top of what the administration initially proposed for the Pentagon in FY 23 – an amount greater than the entire climate portion of the Inflation Reduction Act.
The Pentagon has never been able to pass an audit or properly account for the hundreds of billions it already receives.