Global Day of Action on Military Spending
Today people around the world are participating in a global day of action to speak out against excessive military spending. This comes on the heels of a new report showing that global military spending reached a record high of $1.6 trillion in 2010.
Those of us in the United States should be the first to jump out of our seats and express outrage since our government accounted for $700 billion, or more than 40%, of that worldwide total. Our government is spending more than six times as much as China, the second biggest spender. And yet members of Congress and the administration continue to make the dubious argument that our national security demands this exorbitant spending.
This is happening as the White House and Congress have just agreed to cut $38 billion in spending over the next 6 months. More than half of those cuts would come from education, labor and health programs. Meanwhile the Pentagon budget, which accounts for more than half of discretionary spending, is barely touched.
Thankfully, there are some members of Congress who recognize that this kind of budget is completely out of step with what the American people want. Reps. Raul Grijalva and Michael Honda took to the Huffington Post to explain the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ alternative budget proposal:
Our Budget Brings Our Troops Home: The CPC budget responsibly ends our wars, currently paid for by American taxpayer dollars we do not have. We end these wars, not simply to save massive amounts of money or because this is what the majority of America is polling in favor of, but because these wars are making America less safe, are reducing America’s standing in the world, and are doing nothing to reduce America’s burgeoning energy security crisis. The CPC budget offers a real solution to these fiscal, diplomatic and energy crises – leaving America more secure, both here and abroad. The CPC budget also ensures that our country’s defense spending does not continue to contribute significantly to our current fiscal burden – a trend we reverse by ending the wars and realigning conventional and strategic forces, resulting in $2.3 trillion worth of savings. This is what security looks like.