National Priorities Project

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The United States federal budget is a powerful resource: at $4 trillion, it’s about a fifth of the U.S. economy. What’s more, those resources come from us: a government for and by the people.

There is enormous power in these shared resources. We can harness that power to make our lives better, to create a more just and humane society. On the other hand, that power can be used to perpetuate destructive cycles of war, militarism, violence and oppression that go back to our nation’s founding and before.

Budgets are moral documents. It’s our responsibility as Americans to create a federal budget that upholds our most cherished values.

The National Priorities Project works to inspire and inform movements and individuals so that our federal resources prioritize peace, shared prosperity, and economic prosperity for all. We are the only nonprofit, non-partisan federal budget research organization in the nation with the mission to make the federal budget accessible to the American public.

We empower people to affect change through the creation of understandable, down to earth trainings, analysis, graphics and reports to illustrate how the federal budget affects us all, from the local level to the international.

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Latest Work

Congress Approved $778 Billion for the Pentagon. That Means We Can Afford Build Back Better.

Some senators say Biden’s social and climate bill costs too much, but comparing it to the military spending plan they just passed suggests otherwise.

A $778 Billion Pentagon Budget is Our Lump of Coal

Congress just passed a $778 billion military budget, and failed to pass the Build Back Better plan that costs less than a quarter of that annually.

‘An Endlessly Increasing Pentagon Budget’

The end of the war in Afghanistan resulted not in a budget decrease, but more increases. Then Congress cut Build Back Better in half.

Fact Sheet: A Moral Budget Versus a War Budget

Build Back Better and the National Defense Authorization Act represent diametrically opposed views of how to address the challenges of our time: a moral budget vs a war budget. Congress: Which side are you on?

National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies Condemns Passage of a $778 Billion Pentagon bill, Celebrates Lawmakers Who Opposed

“Stop lavishing money on the Pentagon while skimping on everything else,” said National Priorities Project director Lindsay Koshgarian.

U.S. Military Contracts Totaled $3.4 Trillion Over 10 Years

Democrats are slashing the Build Back Better bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion over ten years. Meanwhile, Pentagon contractors have received $3.4 trillion over the past decade.

Don’t Cut the Build Back Better Plan — Cut the Pentagon’s Budget

The president’s $3.5 trillion human-needs plan is facing severe cuts from key members of Congress. So why does the military get $7.5 trillion, no questions asked?

9/11 at 20: Two Decades of Missed Opportunities

For just a fraction of what we’ve spent on militarization these last 20 years, we could start to make life much better.

State of Insecurity

The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11

It’s Time to Reassess Our Relationship With Israel

Biden can’t say he’s putting human rights first and then welcome a prime minister who boasts about war crimes to the White House.

We’ve Spent Billions on War. Now, Let’s Spend to Bring Afghans to Safety.

The U.S. needs to focus on bringing as many Afghans as possible to safety as refugees.

National Priorities Project Commends Senate Rejection of $50 Billion Pentagon Grab

The increase would have come on top of the more than $750 billion the budget resolution already reserved for the Pentagon.

To Save the Planet, We Need to Demilitarize the Police

Even with climate disasters all around us, nonviolent environmental demonstrations face fierce police repression. Why?

Biden’s Climate Pledges Are Incompatible With His Belligerence Toward China

Bipartisan belligerence and spiraling Pentagon budgets threaten to undermine global climate action just when we need it most.

Biden’s Unconscionable Military Budget

With the Afghanistan War finally ending, we shouldn’t squander our “peace dividend” on costly weapons or military bloat.

The Pentagon Increase Is the Size of the Entire CDC Budget

One of the most confounding decisions in the president’s budget request was the decision to increase the Pentagon and war budgets.

Does Biden Put His Money Where His Mouth Is On Climate?

Biden’s new climate commitment is the most ambitious in U.S. history, but still short of what science requires and movements demand.

COVID Shrank the Global Economy, but U.S. Military Spending is Still More Than the Next 11 Countries Combined

The U.S. accounts for 39 percent of global military spending. That’s more than the next eleven countries combined.

Biden Is Thinking Big on Jobs. On the Pentagon, He Should Think Smaller.

An increase in the military budget won’t make us safer or more prosperous.

Biden’s Pentagon is Still Trump’s Pentagon

Biden’s recent Pentagon budget proposal would increase Pentagon and war spending from $740 billion in FY2021 to $753 billion in FY2022.