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

Peace Groups Urge Support for the PRO Act

The PRO Act would help the U.S. serve as a global model for labor rights, reducing conflict, and promoting peace.

To Win a Green New Deal, Pass the PRO Act

The PRO Act would establish a baseline for ensuring that working people can fight for and win transformative climate policies that benefit everyone.

The Pitfalls of a ‘National Security’ Approach to Climate

As we saw in Texas, climate change is a major security risk. But it’s not the kind the military is well equipped to handle.

The National Security State Doesn’t Protect Us. Let’s Redefine Security for All.

Militarism isn’t security. Real security encompasses justice, health, housing, food, education, and civil rights.

Returning to the Paris Agreement Is Just the Beginning

The U.S. is officially back in the Paris Climate Agreement. But Biden must do much, much more than restore the status quo under Obama.

Could Biden’s Climate Policy Invite More Militarism?

Climate change poses an existential threat. That doesn’t mean we should further empower an already bloated Pentagon.

Will the Space Force Take the Pentagon Budget to Infinity and Beyond?

Biden has reversed some high profile Trump policies. One he hasn’t signaled much change on, though, is the vast overreach of the Pentagon.

How Militarized Police and Fossil Fuel Corporations Are Criminalizing Protest

This new wave of anti-protest laws has emerged in the context of broader social justice mobilizations and demonstrations.

Looming Failure of Stimulus Exposes GOP’s Double Standards on the Deficit

Millions of people are still unemployed, facing eviction or foreclosure, and scrambling to get enough to eat.

Indigenous Peoples Day and the Years of Repair

This Indigenous Peoples Day, the Indigenous-led organization NDN Collective launched the ‘LANDBACK’ campaign.

Reimagining School Safety

A look at the dangers posed to students by law enforcement and how to invest in real school safety for our nation’s children.

15 Years After Hurricane Katrina, It’s Time to Demilitarize Disaster Relief

Instead of funneling hundreds of billions of dollars each year into militarism, we can invest in the infrastructure of care we need to keep each other safe.

Austerity Politics Aren’t Going to Cut Out of Control Pentagon Spending

The call to cut military spending should be paired with a demand for the investments that are worth making — and a critique of the wars that aren’t.

Spending More on the Military Means Lining the Pockets of Top Defense Industry Executives

Until we address the Pentagon’s revolving door, private corporate interests are always going to be put ahead of public well-being and care.

Military Recruiters Don’t Belong in High Schools

Military recruiters deliberately exploit the financial and social insecurities of teenagers to enlist more soldiers.

At a Time of a Global Crises, the United States Is Weaponizing Its Humanitarian Aid

The US should prioritize humanitarian aid over military aid. The former makes for a safer future for all, while the latter makes the world more volatile.

Would the U.S. Have COVID Under Control If We Hadn’t Overinvested in the Pentagon?

The pandemic has exposed the inadequacies of America’s healthcare system. For proof, look no further than its failure to protect its citizens from COVID-19.

Americans Want to Reinvest Ten Percent of the Military Budget Against Coronavirus

The major challenges flaring up today demand strong public investment in community well-being and resilient infrastructure, not more militarization.

Americans Overwhelmingly Support Cutting the Pentagon to Support Our Real Needs

To cut 10 percent of the Pentagon budget, let’s end our Middle East wars, reduce reliance on nuclear weapons, and turn off the spigot to arms contractors.

Ten Better Uses for Ten Percent of the Pentagon Budget

Military spending is at historically high levels, and increasing under Trump. A ten percent cut is an overdue correction to the bloated Pentagon budget.