Contact: Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517, [email protected]
March 16, 2017:
Faith-based communities have called budgets “moral documents” that reflect a nation’s priorities. They way we allocate our resources shows the strength of our national commitment to protect the poor and most vulnerable, to preserve our natural resources, and to promote peace and diplomacy. Based on these criteria, President Trump’s proposed budget, unveiled on Thursday, March 16, is a profoundly immoral document. His call for a whopping $54 billion increase in military spending comes at the expense of programs that are key to the health and welfare of people and the planet.
The United States already spends more money on the military than the next seven highest spending countries combined. The $54 billion increase would place the annual military expenditure over $600 billion, and would, for the first time since World War II, dedicate over 60 percent of our discretionary funds to the Pentagon.
Our nation does not need an additional 125 ships for the Navy, 100 combat aircraft for the Air Force, an Army personnel expansion of 60,000 soldiers and an increase to 36 Marine battalions. In fact, an expanded military risks dragging our nation into more wars, claiming more lives of innocents worldwide and making the United States an even larger target for international resentment. And expanding the military by cutting funds from housing programs, research institutions, and agencies that protect the environment will harm the lives of millions of people the president is charged with protecting.
Trump’s proposed slashing of support to the United Nations, the State Department and other forms of socio-cultural diplomacy displays Trump’s intent to follow a path of war. Congress must reject this budget and pass a real national security budget that reflects our commitment to peace, helping the most vulnerable and preserving our environment for future generations.