Put People Over the Pentagon

“As an organization that is building a global climate movement it is critical to our mission to take actions that highlight the need to end the age of fossil fuels. Climate change is in no small part driven by a destructive impulse towards endless war and extractive economics that destroys communities and our natural resources. We support the call to action to cut spending that could instead support the urgent need for a just transition to millions of jobs in the renewable energy sector and ensure a healthy, sustainable future for our communities in a Green New Deal.”

– Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America director, 350.org

“For too long the Pentagon has drained public coffers while communities across the U.S. struggle to meet the basic needs of their residents. With this plan, federal spending will again be available for programs that nurture human lives rather than take them away.”

– Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK

“I’ve always found it remarkable that when it comes to war, fighter jets and bombs, most politicians never ask how we’ll pay for it, but when it comes to progressive policies like Medicare for All, some members of Congress pretend we can’t afford to foot the bill. At a time when tens of millions of Americans don’t have health insurance, we should be investing in our communities, not more bombs. That’s why we’re demanding that every single Democratic candidate for president acknowledge the wasteful absurdity of today’s Pentagon budget and have the courage to go up against the military-industrial complex by pledging to push for drastic cuts to this country’s war machine.”

– Heidi Hess, co-director, CREDO Action

“Progressive leaders must reject Donald Trump’s continued march toward militarism and the decades of unnecessary wars that precede and continue under him. The progressive policy on wars of choice is clear: the left is done paying for warmongers to squander human life and resources, and we will not support candidates who fail to pledge to reverse this horrific course.”

– Sean Vitka, counsel, Demand Progress

“The bloated billions in the Pentagon budget fuel the military industrial war machine. Instead of funding endless wars, Congress should use that money to address climate change and other humanitarian crises.”

– Erich Pica, president, Friends of the Earth

“The Pentagon itself has already recognized the climate crisis as the most urgent global security challenge we face today. It’s essential that we rapidly shift federal spending to clean, renewable energy infrastructure and the kinds of ambitious, job-creating programs envisioned by the Green New Deal. That’s how we’re going to protect people and communities on the front lines.”

– Annie Leonard, executive director, Greenpeace USA

“The Pentagon budget is dangerously out of balance. We have prioritized Pentagon contractors, which now account for fully a quarter of the federal discretionary budget, above public education, affordable housing, clean air and safe drinking water, research into new medical cures and treatments and even veterans’ benefits. This isn’t security, it’s a racket. It’s time to take back our budget from the contractors, end our forever wars and begin to invest again at home.”

– Lindsay Koshgarian, program director, Institute for Policy Studies and National Priorities Project

“For far too long, the basic needs of real people have been ignored or swept under the rug thanks to the prioritization of exorbitant Pentagon spending. The Pentagon’s budget has reached a staggering $718 billion, with nearly $6 trillion spent on wars in the last 17 years. Meanwhile, everyday people in the U.S. lack access to basic things like Medicare, people are drowning in student debt and more than 500,000 people are homeless. This information is maddening and a clear sign that we must reconsider our monetary priorities as a nation. If we don’t start investing in domestic and international programs that care for people’s human rights, curb climate change and work toward a more equitable world, the injustices we fight on a daily basis will only continue to grow and fester. In terms of governmental spending, the first step toward progress would be for 2020 candidates and elected officials to commit to reallocating the bloated Pentagon budget by at least $200 billion to start.”

– Iram Ali, campaign director, MoveOn

“Spending more than half of discretionary taxpayer dollars on the Pentagon fails to make America safer at the cost of other vital needs like job creation, health care and solving climate chaos. At the same time, the U.S. short shrifts funding for diplomacy, development and other tools that prevent wars in the first place. We need bold leadership to break the hold of what President Eisenhower deemed ‘the military-industrial complex.’”

– Paul Kawika Martin, senior director, Policy and Political Affairs, Peace Action

“Thanks in large part to military contractor lobbying, Pentagon spending is horribly out of control. Hundreds of billions of dollars annually should be shifted away from the Pentagon and to pressing needs from education to averting catastrophic climate change. America needs leaders who will speak plain truths about Pentagon excesses and waste.”

– Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen

“We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world, but people don’t believe it because they don’t feel it. The real question is where that wealth is going. We must stop padding the pockets of defense contractors and corporations by giving them even more money to spend on never ending wars. Instead, it is long past time to use our nation’s wealth to guarantee health care for everyone in America, create jobs with living wages and ensure that everyone can retire with dignity.”

– Alex Lawson, executive director, Social Security Works

“At a time when the Trump administration is wasting billions on an ineffective, harmful border wall, and building up the Pentagon’s budget to potentially lead us into unnecessary conflicts, we call for cuts to Pentagon’s ever increasing budget. Just in the last year, the White House diverted funds from the Pentagon’s defense budget to not only build more of Trump’s wall, but to also build more detention camps that separate families and keep children in cages. This is a clear sign of fiscal mismanagement and of cruel priorities that harm all of our communities. Instead, we need leaders who will re-imagine the challenges we could solve with that money, from education to healthcare, to the environment.”

– Adrian Reyna, director of strategy, United We Dream

“The American people are sick and tired of watching Donald Trump and Congress spend hundreds of billions of dollars on endless war, corporate greed and wasteful boondoggles that don’t make us or the world safer. It’s time to put the world’s largest bureaucracy on a budget and free up the resources we need to actually keep us safe from 21st century security challenges and invest in building a better tomorrow.”

– Stephen Miles, executive director, Win Without War

“As our state legislators and activists have said before, the wealth of the U.S. economy and the health of the American people are the bedrock on which national security stands – those in power must realign our nation’s spending priorities to reinforce this truth. It is unacceptable that policymakers continue to increase the Pentagon’s budget without serious debate over the feasibility, sustainability and dividends from this investment of taxpayer dollars.”

– Caroline Dorminey, policy director, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)