The People's Budget Achieves Sustainable Defense by Promoting Peace and Security

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Not one penny more for the billionaires and wealthy corporations that keep pushing endless war rather than peace.

Pentagon spending has doubled over the last decade at the expense of investments in working families. As President Trump expands the endless, unauthorized war against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the broader Middle East and advocates for an irresponsible $54 billion boost in spending to an already bloated Pentagon budget, the The People’s Budget continues to stand in stark contrast to these misguided efforts.

The People’s Budget prohibits any expansion of U.S. combat troops in Syria, prohibits an increase in defense spending and slashes wasteful Pentagon spending. We focus Pentagon spending on modern security threats instead of Cold War-era weapons systems. We also propose investments in a massive job-creation program that will help workers transition into peace economy jobs.

End Emergency War Funding Beginning in FY2018 — Ends the Overseas Contingency Operations(OCO) altogether and saves $852 billion compared to current law. We must end the policy of funding endless wars, especially as the Trump administration proposes to boost OCO spending by $30 billion. The use of emergency funding via the OCO account is a budget gimmick that masks the true impact of war spending and should be discontinued immediately.

Adjusting to Pentagon Downsizing and Investing in Non-Defense Manufacturing — Our budget increases investments in DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to assist state and local governments to respond to major defense program shifts by helping communities adjust to defense contract cuts. Fully funding initiatives like the DOT’s Federal Ship Financing Program and significantly increasing federal agency procurement of sustainable technology from communities impacted by Pentagon cuts will help provide a just transition for defense manufacturing workers and ensure that the U.S. manufacturing base remains vibrant.

Audit the Pentagon — The People’s Budget would reign in the ongoing waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon as outlined by the Audit the Pentagon Act. The Pentagon loses tens of billions of dollars annually as highlighted by several GAO reports and a 2015 study from the advisory Defense Business Board (DBB), which identified $125 billion worth of administrative waste. Auditing the Pentagon and encouraging the Department to implement remaining GAO recommendations would lead to billions in cost savings by bringing a culture of financial accountability to the Pentagon. It is past time to end the wasteful practices that divert resources from our service members and ultimately, weaken our national security.

Diplomacy and Development — The People’s Budget increases investment in diplomacy and development to stabilize key regions of the world through supporting United States leadership in the United Nations, smart security, providing vital governance, development and humanitarian assistance, and increasing the tools to combat the devastating effects of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria, drug and human trafficking and nuclear proliferation.

There is a critical need these days for peace forces to collaborate with other social movements for climate protection and for social and racial justice. The People's’ Budget can serve as an important vehicle for such a convergence because of its bold and substantial budget increases in so many important areas: poverty reduction, climate protection, affordable housing, job creation, debt-free college, major criminal just reforms, quality public education, upgrading mass transit, $765 million for health amelioration and new water pipelines just for Flint itself, comprehensive immigration reform, scientific research, strengthening social security, and establishing a Civilian Conservation Corps.

Modernizing our Defense Posture — The CPC Budget achieves a smaller force structure through gradual attrition. A modern defense strategy must focus our armed forces on their strengths of crisis response, smart security, and deterrence. Our military needs to adapt to current threats and challenges, particularly cyberwarfare, nuclear proliferation, and unpredictable non-state actors. No savings are obtained by reducing military personnel wages or benefits, including TRICARE and pensions. The People’s Budget reins in excessive CEO pay for defense contractors, reduces the proportion of private contractor personnel by transitioning their work to civilian personnel, and curbs needless “outsourcing” that creates excessive cost overruns.

Additional reforms include the decommissioning of our Cold War-era nuclear weapons infrastructure, as outlined by the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, and reducing procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) spending by making smarter procurement choices.