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

Will the Government Shut Down Over Trump’s $5 Billion Border Wall?

Congress has been working to pass legislation funding the federal government for months. If they don’t reach a deal by midnight Friday, one-quarter of the government will shut down.

Nine Things to Buy with $5 Billion Instead of a Border Wall

Five billion dollars is not huge in a federal discretionary budget of more than $1 trillion. But it’s an incredibly meaningful sum to any number of smaller federal government programs.

How Skewed Are Our Government’s Economic Priorities?

As Trump threatens not to sign the appropriations bill, the battle over the border wall continues to hold up federal government funding.

Trump is Spending $210 Million So Troops Can Hang Out With Border Agents Tear-Gassing Children

Military veterans are speaking out against the border stunt, calling it a “profound betrayal of our military.”

Breaking Down the U.S. Military Budget

The U.S. federal budget is a cerebral subject, seemingly reserved for the technocratic elite to calculate, deconstruct, recompose, modify, and amend. But it affects people’s daily lives in profound ways, and not just in America.

Here’s What We Could Have If We Slashed the Military Budget

The US military budget sucks up an enormous amount of resources without making the world more peaceful or democratic. Here are a few ways we could better spend that $717 billion.

Trump Tax Plan 2.0 Cements the Worst Economic Policy in a Generation

House Republicans are doubling down on reforms that awarded tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy.

Republicans Scramble to Make Tax Cuts Permanent Ahead of Midterms

Is the GOP is rushing this process due to fear of losing their House Majority or because they think it will help their chances during midterms?

The $717 Billion Defense Bill That Just Breezed Through the Senate Should Be a National Scandal

Democrats and Republicans rubber-stamped a severely bloated war budget.

We Can Pay For Free College The Same Way We Paid For A Pointless $5.6 Trillion War

Ideas like Medicare for All are written off as fantasy thinking by the same people who support virtually unlimited military spending.

Trump’s Complaints About NATO Defense Spending Don’t Add Up

If Trump’s concern is spreading the burden of security, why does he want the U.S. to ramp up its military spending?

Trump’s Giving Diplomacy a Chance. His Critics Should, Too.

But for the Korea talks to work, the administration will have to value diplomacy far more than it did on Iran.

Forget Work Requirements for the Poor — Guarantee Them a Job Instead

Instead of stigmatizing struggling people, a jobs guarantee would do far more to lift poverty than Trump’s mean-spirited work requirement ever could.

Tax Day 2018 Was a Bonanza for Corporations and the Military

The Trump tax plan will likely lead to a corporate income tax cut of $135 billion in 2018 alone.

How Corporations Cheat Veterans Out of Tax Dollars

This year, average taxpayers paid twice as much to corporate military contractors than to caring for all veterans combined.

Seven Surprising Tax Facts for 2018

Surprise! Corporations and billionaires are paying way less in taxes, with some profitable corporations paying nothing at all.

Help Spread the Word #ShowTheReceipts

Help us spread the word about our latest analysis, “How Your Personal Income Taxes Were Spent in 2017”

Report: How Your Personal Income Taxes Were Spent in 2017

Our analysis found that the average taxpayer put in 29 working days in 2017 to pay Pentagon contractors.

Trump Hates the Poor

Trump’s budget proposal has something to hurt almost everyone, but it’s a perfect storm for the poor.

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is a Scam

As another corporate giveaway, the plan would put major public infrastructure up for sale, and would loosen environmental rules designed to protect local communities.