CREDO Action

Tell Democrats: Cut military spending

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Petition to House and Senate Democrats:

"Do not put war profiteers ahead of our local communities. Reduce the budget for the military and oppose any further cuts in spending on domestic priorities."

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    Tell Democrats: Cut military spending

    More than half of the federal budget goes to military spending, much of which is wasteful and unnecessary. But corporate Democrats in the House of Representatives want to spend even more.1

    House Democrats recently abandoned plans to release a budget proposal after the caucus could not reach an agreement. Corporate Democrats wanted to increase military spending and cut domestic priorities in the process. But progressives held strong and demanded no more damaging cuts.

    Some in the Democratic party think we need to act like Donald Trump – increasing military spending despite urgent needs in our local communities. We need to stand with progressives and demand that Democrats reduce America's out-of-control military spending.

    Tell Democrats: Cut military spending.

    To offer a true alternative to Trump, Democrats must get out from under the thumb of war profiteers and cut at least $200 billion from wasteful military spending. House Democrats are seeking to end years of right-wing austerity. But the corporate wing of the party only wants to end austerity for the military – making even worse cuts to education, transportation, health care, safety and more in the process. That is unacceptable.

    Democrats who want to increase military spending are siding with Donald Trump, who proposed wasting billions more. Here’s why this is a horrible idea:

    • We will be less safe. More than 120 generals wrote a letter opposing Trump's cuts to the State Department and international aid that would make future wars and conflict more likely. As Trump’s former Secretary of Defense James Mattis once argued, “if you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.”2
    • Americans disapprove. A recent poll found that 58% of Americans oppose the Trump plan to increase wasteful military spending. Democrats afraid of their own shadows must realize that redirecting some military spending to higher priorities is a political winner.3
    • Helps war profiteers, not everyday Americans. Some military families need food stamps to survive. American children face crowded, crumbling schools. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Flint still does not have safe water, and Puerto Rico is still struggling to rebuild. Meanwhile, under the influence of war profiteer lobbyists, Congress repeatedly funds weapon systems that even the military says it does not want.4,5

    Some Democrats face the temptation to increase military spending and slash domestic funding in order to show their friends at Washington cocktail parties that they are “serious.” Doing so would leave Democrats complicit in making America sicker, poorer, less prosperous and less educated. We need to declare in no uncertain terms that Democrats must reduce military spending, not increase it.

    Tell Democrats: Cut military spending.

    We do not have a spending problem. We have a wasteful military spending problem. The United States spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined, while priorities that make America safer and more prosperous – like education, health, transportation, housing, veterans’ benefits, diplomacy and dozens of others – must compete for the remaining scraps. Safety net programs like Social Security have their own sources of funding and can be shored up for decades with small fixes and no benefit cuts. The majority of the rest of the budget, so called "discretionary spending," goes to the military.

    Redirecting war-profiteer handouts to investments that make us safer and more prosperous long term is both common sense and has popular support. Democrats cannot offer a true alternative to Trump if they endorse more wasteful military spending. It’s up to us to drive that point home before it is too late.

    Tell Democrats: Cut military spending.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan, "House Dems cancel vote on budget plan amid internal revolt," POLITICO, April 9, 2019.
    2. Alex Morash and Craig Harrington, “Economists And Experts Hammer Trump's Plan To Increase Military Spending At Expense Of Nearly Everything Else,” Media Matters, Feb. 28, 2017.
    3. Curt Mills, “Poll: Americans Oppose Defense Budget Increases,” U.S. News & World Report, March 8, 2017.
    4. Krissy Clark, “Military families turn to food stamps,” Marketplace, May 25, 2015.
    5. William Hartung, “Why Can't We Rein In This Ridiculous Military Spending?” Mother Jones, Oct. 30, 2016.