23/04/2021 |

Building Back Better Means a Lower Pentagon Budget

Presentation at the Put People and Planet before Profits Teach-in, by Lindsay Koshgarian, Program Director, National Priorities Project

Pentagon’s budget represents American wars or use of violence and for people around the world it represents suffering but more simply it represents for everyone a failure to deal with most important issues and to recognise real solutions to our most serious problems. Building Back Better wants to spend less on the Pentagon and the army and more on human needs. If this is true that we are spending more on human need, the last Biden ’budget is demonstrating another increase for the Pentagon.  By showing the budget figures of recent years, we see that two-thirds of the American budget is militarization (homeland security, borders control and patrol).

With Biden’ budget proposal we can noticed a slight change since militarization represents just a little less than 50%. Areas like Education or Health & Human services have seen budget improvements. The American job plan is 2.65 trillion dollars over the next eight years. It looks like a massive plan. It means 280 billion $ each year. On this scale, we notice that it is still 2.5 times smaller than the budget requested by the Pentagon this year (753 billion).

It is also true that the Pentagon is asking for a budget increase of 12.3 billion dollars. More than the entire CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) budget (8.7 billion). Looking at it from this angle, it seems that we are far from “Building Back Better” and reaching human needs.

Why so much money? Well to finance the numerous military bases around the world (800 in total). There is not a single country that can count more than 20. Reducing the number of military bases, this is maybe a way to reduce military spending. The graph above shows us that the 10 countries with the largest military budget in the world (not counting USA) cannot even match the US budget.

How to cut this budget?
Lindsay Koshgarian presents several options:
First it could be good to stop funding war, Chinese threat is used as a justification to ask more money. America could as well do a step back with nuclear weapon like the 50 countries who signed the UN treaty earlier this year. Finally, the army often brags about job creations, the truth is that with the same amount of money you will create more job in sectors such as clean energy, infrastructure, health and education. The conclusion of this video presents other investment opportunities as well as means of opposition to this budget proposal.

You can see the full video here: