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.

Latest Work

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How $9.3 Billion Funds Coronavirus Outbreaks in Federal Prisons

Why are we spending billions on a system set up only to amplify harm, especially in the context of a global public health crisis?
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First in Military Spending, Last in Our COVID-19 Response

This is a dress rehearsal for the climate crisis, and right now we're failing.
military climate impact

The U.S. Military Is a Major Polluter, but 'Greening' the Military Is Not the Solution

Instead of greenwashing the military, let's close unneeded domestic and overseas bases, end all U.S. wars, and cut weapons manufacturing.

Report: No Warming, No War

In the face of both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, we urgently need to shift from a culture of war to a culture of care.
woman holding a sign that reads people over profit in regard to the coronavirus stimulus bill

We Need a Stimulus that Serves People Over Profit

In the face of another global financial crisis, the coronavirus stimulus is an opportunity to finally reorient our economy to serve people over profits.

Fact Sheet: Defund Militarism in the United States

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If $1.5 Trillion Exists to Bail Out Wall Street from Coronavirus, We Can Fund Actual Needs for All

As the coronavirus crisis morphs into a full-on global pandemic, the sorry state of the United States’ social safety net is fully exposed.
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Remember Trump’s Choices: War, Walls, and Wall Street

There are few clearer ways to see an administration’s choices than its budget. Here’s what we found in the president’s.
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Facing a Global Coronavirus Pandemic, Trump Keeps Militarizing America

As fears of a coronavirus pandemic grow, the exact agencies best suited to protect Americans from disease outbreaks are starving for funds.
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Trump's 2021 Budget Cuts Diplomacy and Foreign Aid, Increases Foreign Military Aid

The president's 2021 budget aims to cut funding for an already struggling State Department by $1.5 billion, and slash humanitarian aid by nearly 40 percent.
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Trump's 2021 Budget Keeps Ignoring the Climate Crisis

A reframing of our national priorities is overdue—it’s well past time to put people and planet over the Pentagon.
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Who’s Afraid of ‘Socialism’?

Americans were taught to associate “socialism” with dictatorship and “capitalism” with democracy. Are those days over?
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Trump's 2021 Budget Cuts All Federal Agencies—Except Militarized Ones

This year and beyond, it's time to resist this militarized agenda and promote a moral budget that rises to the urgent crises of our time.
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Trump’s 2021 Budget Is Not Only Immoral — It’s Also Unaffordable

Progressive proposals are always met with affordability questions. Those same questions must be put to conservatives, starting with Trump’s 2021 budget.
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Trump's 2021 Budget Gives 55 Percent to the Military

Congress won't pass the president's 2021 budget proposal as is, but it's clear Trump wants to boost military spending while divesting from everything else.
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Yes, We Really Can Cut the Pentagon to Pay for Medicare for All

Moderators at the Democratic debate asked if Medicare for All would bankrupt the country, but failed to ask about the cost of the last two decades of war.
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As We Work to Prevent War With Iran, It’s Time to End All Our Wars

The military budget for 2021 must involve a tougher negotiation that results in real changes to Pentagon and presidential war powers.
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We Can’t Afford Another War

The United States spent over 800 billion dollars on the war in Iraq, while social services and infrastructure crumbled at home.
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Call Congress: No War With Iran

The military action to kill Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani was dangerous, illegal and possibly untruthful.
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Medicare for All or Endless War? It's Our Choice.

We could easily fund health care for all by ending military boondoggles and fruitless wars. Here’s how.
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