If the majority in Congress has its way, spending on the Pentagon and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy will hit $850 billion next year. This is half of the U.S. government’s discretionary budget … think of the other plagues we could address with this money: poverty, disease, environmental devastation, housing, potholes, public health?
The troubled F-35 combat aircraft budget that the Pentagon and the Project on Government Oversight say “may NEVER be ready for combat” is comparable to the entire discretionary budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One-third of the cost of a new aircraft carrier ($4.5 billion) would “ensure equitable and sustained foundational public health services for all,” according to the Center for American Progress.
The top five contractors — Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman — racked up over $200 billion in defense-related revenue last year. I do not hear of any news of these corporations’ efforts to assist in investments in health care, education, anti-poverty programs or environmental destruction assistance, yet their talented staff could be challenged.
It is a shot in the dark: Write your political leaders and demand them to shave the military budget. Let these corporations utilize their staff brainpower and initiatives for human services projects. We will always be taxed. I for one would prefer my tax money to be used for immunization programs, salmon recovery, garden projects in schools to learn about food for the future, watershed safety, new housing materials, prenatal care, etc.
Join me: Send them a note.