Cut Military Spending

The best way to reign in wasteful federal spending is to slash the dangerously bloated military budget by at least 50%. Instead of needless and destructive wars that make us less safe, it’s time to bring our tax dollars home to rebuild America.

Stand with Jill Stein: cut military spending at least 50% and bring our tax dollars home!

This tax day, let’s talk about the number one way the US government wastes our money.

The best way to reign in wasteful federal spending is to slash the dangerously bloated military budget by at least 50%.

In addition to bankrupting us financially and morally, the inflated military budget has created a trigger-happy foreign policy, leading to disastrous military interventions and regime change. In the Middle East, this has produced failed states, mass refugee migrations, and ever-worsening terrorist threats.

Instead of needless and destructive wars that make us less safe, not more safe, it’s time to bring our tax dollars home to rebuild America. We can build real security by funding schools, creating jobs, providing universal healthcare, repairing our infrastructure and funding the transition to 100% clean renewable energy.

Over half of federal discretionary spending, the portion of the federal budget decided by Congress each year, goes to military spending. President Obama has requested roughly $600 billion for this year’s Pentagon budget. If we include spending on nuclear weapons, Veterans Administration costs, and the military’s portion of the national debt, we are spending over $1 trillion on the military each year.

In comparison, federal spending in other areas like education, agriculture, transportation, housing, science, energy and the environment is miniscule. For example, military spending is 25 times greater than the budget for energy and the environment, at a time when even the Pentagon admits that climate change is a dire and growing threat to our security.

President Eisenhower’s dire warnings about the military industrial complex acquiring undue power over our government and stifling democracy have come true.

Far too much of the military budget has become wasteful corporate welfare, and war profiteers drive our foreign policy. In 2014, military contractors gave $8.9 million to Democrats and and $13.5 million to Republicans in Congress.

Profit-driven military adventurism is not making us more secure, it’s making the world more dangerous for Americans and everyone else. We need to refocus our military on defending our country, not dominating the globe.

As President, I would remove American troops from unnecessary bases around the world. The US spends a hundred billion dollars per year maintaining over 1,000 military facilities in more than 130 countries.

Much of what we spend our military budget on is morally wrong. We have killed and destroyed the lives of millions of civilians in wars for oil. We routinely invest American tax dollars in propping up governments and dictators that systematically violate the human rights of their own citizens. The escalation of the use of drones under the Obama administration has killed an untold number of civilians.

I would also root out the massive corruption in military spending. A failed attempt to audit the Department of Defense during the Clinton administration found that $2.3 trillion of $7 trillion in transactions could not be justified, suggesting that up to a third of DOD expenses may be due to waste or fraud.

War profiteering by military contractors - which has been rampant in Iraq and Afghanistan - should be eliminated and prosecuted. The revolving door between government and military contractors must be shut.

We would save up to a trillion dollars in coming years by canceling obsolete or unnecessary projects like the F-35, the new strategic bomber, and the Littoral Combat Ship. We would save an additional trillion dollars over a decade by canceling the development of new nuclear weapons, which threatens to start a dangerous new nuclear arms race.

Today we must take seriously Dr. Martin Luther King’s warning that “a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

By cutting dangerous military spending and making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, we can lower taxes for the vast majority of Americans, and ensure that our tax dollars go towards the things that actually improve our lives: jobs, education, healthcare, and preventing climate catastrophe.

At the same time, we can improve national and global security, with a foreign policy founded on international law and human rights, not on maximizing profits for the weapons industry.

Help me build a movement to make it happen: sign and share my call to cut military spending by at least 50% and bring our tax dollars home to rebuild America!

-Jill Stein, April 18th, 2016

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