Bring Pentagon Spending to the Campaign Trail
Members of Congress have just cast what is likely to be their last vote before the election. Today, the Senate passed legislation to keep the government running through next March, matching what the House approved last week.
With that critical piece of business taken care of, members of Congress are headed home to campaign--and to talk with likely voters about what matters to them.
Members will be back in Washington on November 13, facing looming across-the-board spending cuts required by the Budget Control Act unless they can come up with another way to cut the deficit. Pentagon contractors are lobbying hard to take Pentagon spending off the table, which would shift the brunt of the cuts to domestic programs whose budgets have already been pared to the bone.
Do your members of Congress and candidates know what you think about Pentagon spending cuts? What they hear from you now could influence their decisions this December and into next year. Urge them to support Pentagon cuts of $1 trillion over the next 10 years, as recommended by experts from across the political spectrum.1
39 cents out of every one of your federal income tax dollars is going to feed the Pentagon and its contractors, and the Pentagon budget has nearly doubled in the past decade. This is a bad investment for our country, no matter what angle you look at it from.
- Are you concerned about job creation? The Pentagon is one of the worst investments the government can make. According to data from the University of Massachusetts, investing more money in the Pentagon creates fewer jobs than investing that money anywhere else. Even giving the money back to taxpayers through tax cuts creates more jobs than spending it in the Pentagon -- but education, health care, and clean energy are better investments for job creation than either reduced taxes or Pentagon spending.2
- Are you concerned about funding for education, health care, roads, or diplomacy? The decisions Congress makes about whether even to reduce the level of growth in Pentagon spending will affect funding for all of these other programs. Ask your members of Congress: if they don’t cut the Pentagon budget by $1 trillion over the next 10 years, what will they cut instead?
- Are you concerned about peace? As a community, FCNL starts from a place of faith that war is not the answer and that peace is possible through peaceful means. Two major U.S. military interventions have left a trail of devastation, destruction and death. We can and should support the individuals who have been put in harm’s way by our military leaders—and the best way to do that is to open a path for a different way for the U.S. to relate to the world, one that doesn’t rely on force and military might.
The people who are or want to represent you in Washington are on their way home to ask for your vote in November. Their ears are open to your concerns. Make sure that they hear loud and clear that you want them to support cuts in Pentagon spending of at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Thank you for all you do to work for peace.
P.S. Please also consider joining us in Washington November 15 and 16 at the Quaker Public Policy Institute to lobby your members of Congress in person as they begin to debate these critical issues. Be at the right place at the right time to make a big difference.
1. For quotes from some of the people and groups who advocate this position, see "Who Says It's Time to Cut Pentagon Spending?" (FCNL Washington Newsletter, March/April 2011)
2. For more on the effects of Pentagon investments on job creation, see "What About Jobs?" (FCNL Washington Newsletter, March/April 2012)