Budget for All – Military Spending

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While the recommendations of the Sustainable Defense Task would cut over one trillion dollars from the Pentagon budget over the next 10 years, this would still leave the Pentagon a ten year budget of over six trillion dollars.

Today, military spending accounts for more than half of the federal government's entire discretionary budget. Nuclear weapons spending alone accounts for over $40 billion annually, and is scheduled to increase. There is an obvious connection between the bloated Pentagon budget and the critical budget shortfalls facing virtually every community in the country.

Massachusetts Peace Action is an active member of a coalition of community, labor, and peace groups, whose constituencies have been devastated by the economic crisis, called Budget for All. The coalition put the Budget for All Referendum, a public policy question, on the November 6, 2012 ballot in 91 cities and towns across Massachusetts. One million Massachusetts voters had a chance to support this agenda.

The Budget For All platform:

  1. Prevent cuts to vital programs that help all of our families: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits and housing, food and unemployment assistance.

  2. Create and protect jobs in fields like manufacturing, education, transportation, and other public services.

  3. End corporate tax breaks, loopholes and offshore tax havens, so that wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share!

  4. Redirect Pentagon spending to meet human needs. The US war budget is greater than the military spending of the next 10 largest military powers combined. While over half of the country’s discretionary budget is being spent to prepare for war, millions of veterans and civilians are unable to get their basic needs met.

The Budget For All Coalition made the case for its budget resolution at a State Legislature Hearing in Boston's State House on July 10, 2013. Some 32 advocates and 8 legislators testified at the hearing on the Budget for All resolution before the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

 Massachusetts Peace Action supports the national Move the Money Campaign managed by Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund on its Move the Money. The effort serves as a platform for average people to voice their opinions and demands regarding military spending. Communities utilize public forums, education, public demonstrations, local resolutions and petitions as tools to influence decisions made by our elected officials.

Massachusetts Peace Action also supports the work of New Priorities, a national network of groups that seek to fund urgently needed jobs and restore vital public services by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and substantially cutting the core Pentagon budget. Cross-constituency coalitions around the country have already formed to "move the money" from military to local programs and to help our struggling states, cities and communities. Many are led by the people hardest hit in communities of color and low-income communities. The network will help new groups and coalitions become part of this effort.