The U.S. spends disproportionately too much on it’s military budget which has contributed to our debt and means less is available for domestic needs (e.g., education, healthcare, infrastructure). Most Americans are not aware of how much is being spent and the Pentagon, unlike domestic Federal Agencies, has not been required to be transparent acits expenditures.
Dollar and Sense Examples of Excessive Military Spending
Marching Bands — Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once remarked that the US spends more on military marching bands than we do on diplomacy.
Budget Deficits — More than a third of our annual budget deficits (a total of $673 billion) during the Bush Administration was attributable to war and other military expenditure increases. Under the Obama Administration, $1,499 billion of our annual total deficits were attributable to war and military expenditures.
Lockheed Martin Sales — In 2019, Lockheed Martin’s net sales were nearly $60 billion. In contrast, Washington DC’s total annual budget for 2019 was $14.4 billion.
Trade-Offs — Montgomery County taxpayers contributed $4.86 billion for military spending in 2018. For that same cost, we could have provided 133,762 4-year college scholarships for our students. We spent $86.8 billion for the F-35 fighter jets. Instead, we could have used that money for the salaries of 972 teachers. For more trade-off comparisons, click here.
Below are some of our campaigns to increase awareness and support legislation related to excessive military spending.
Fund our Communities, Not the Pentagon — Peace Action Montgomery partnered with nearly 60 other community groups and unions in Maryland to forge a change in our nation’s priorities away from war and militarism and towards domestic and social needs. We organized a bus tour throughout the State and countless presentations to make grassroot citizens more aware of how much is spent on military spending.
Pull the Pork — With our partner, Progressive Maryland, Peace Action Montgomery delivered pulled pork sandwiches to every MD state legislator and asked them to support cutting Pentagon pork by signing onto a letter addressed to their Congressional counterparts. We then delivered the letter and sandwiches to the Maryland Congressional delegation (Senate and House Members)
Lockheed County Tax Break — Peace Action Montgomery worked with other allies for three years to challenge Lockheed Martin’s request for a corporate welfare tax break from the county. In fact, we were so successful in this effort that the Lockheed lobbyists took their request instead to the State General Assembly instead.
Economic Conversion Legislation — Peace Action Montgomery supported legislation which would establish a committion in Maryland to apply for a Pentagon economic adjustment grant. The grant would be used for planning how to transition defense industry (companies and staff) into non-defense industries (like environmental and infrastructure work.