Call for Military Budget Cuts

Editor's note: The following call for action comes from Voters for Peace.

The United States is facing an economic crisis unlike any it has seen 80 years. Already trillions have been spent on the bailout by the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Now the Congress is about to approve an economic stimulus that will cost more than $800 billion. The national debt is over $10 trillion and the annual deficit is over $1 trillion. How is the United States going to pay for it? How is it going to fund the new energy economy, schools, education, health care and other urgent needs? One solution: Cut the wasteful and bloated military budget.

Click here to send a letter to your congressman, senators and the president urging a 25 percent cut in military spending as a first step to reigning in military spending.

The Obama administration is working on the budget right now and will complete it within the month. Neocons and Hawks are urging an increase in military spending, despite a 60 percent increase since 2001.

When you include the two wars, the war on terror, the Pentagon and military spending in other federal agencies the war budget totals more than $1 trillion annually. But, in Washington, DC for the first time in more than a decade, there is serious discussion about cutting the military budget - not just the wars but the DoD budget:

*In November, the Defense Business Board, an internal management oversight body in DoD told Obama that major systemic cuts were absolutely necessary because the current budget was not sustainable. *Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, said on Meet the Press in January that 'in the defense area ... On an annual basis we have about $300 billion in cost overruns. That must be addressed, and we will be addressing it.' *The Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, has called for a 25% cut in military spending (10 percent from ending the Iraq War) and describes the Iraq war as the biggest spending bill in history. He said 'If we are going to get the deficit under control without slashing every domestic program, this is a necessity.'

A March 2005 poll of Americans, 'The Federal Budget: the Public's Priorities' conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes found that Americans from across the political spectrum, on average, said they would cut the military budget by 31 percent. Two-thirds of Americans want to see the military budget cut.

The cost of weapons has gotten out of control. The cost of F-35 Fighter Program will equal the combined outlays for fighting the Korean and Vietnam Wars – $1 trillion. And, one Nimitz-class aircraft carrier costs $6.2 billion, our tenth such ship, the USS George H. W. Bush, was launched in January 2009. A simple navy combat ship costs $1.4 billion each. And, of course, ending the two wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan would save at least $162 billion this year alone. Further, if the US were to close military bases around the world, $130 billion could be saved.

Finally, investing in weapons is not a good way to create jobs. A report, 'The US Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities,' found that investing public dollars in military jobs at home in the United States produces fewer and lower-paying jobs for the US economy than does public investment in healthcare, education, mass transit, or home construction. And, wouldn't building subways or high speed rail be more useful to most Americans?

So, take action today – join us in urging a 25% cut in military spending. Click here to write the Congress, Senate and President Obama. And, we urge you to meet with your representatives when they return home.