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

u.s. military soldiers armed and patrolling a sandy aread resembling a desert

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
Naftali Bennett speaking to a group

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.
sign that reads refugees welcome

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.
militarized police in swat gear marching toward crowd of protesters with blue smoke in the background

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?
graphic of joe biden and xi jinping

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.
U.S. military soldiers exiting a plane and running toward an objective

Biden's Unconscionable Military Budget

With the Afghanistan War finally ending, we shouldn’t squander our “peace dividend” on costly weapons or military bloat.
us continues to spend more money on war and pentagon budget while CDC and other agencies recieve small budgets

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.
smoke stack to depict biden's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the US's new climate plan

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.
U.S. Navy EODs fast ropes down a Blackhawk SH-60 for a training exercise

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.
F-35 fighter jet to depict president joe biden's increased pentagon budget and militarism

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 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.
joe biden addressing members of the U.S. military to depict U.S. defense and Pentagon spending - Adam Schultz - White House - Flickr

Pentagon and Tax Cheats Already Cost Taxpayers Far More Than Biden’s Job Plan

Biden's American Jobs Plan calls for $2.3 trillion in federal spending over eight years. That's a lot, but much less than we spend on our military.
U.S. military soldiers to depict president biden's skinny budget which includes increased military spending - U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Steven Lewis

Biden's 2022 Budget Raises Military Spending Past $750 Billion

We must shift government resources away from what causes harm, and reinvest it in what can really keep our communities safe.
peace groups support protecting the right to organize act

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.
pro act-renewable energy and solar power worker

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.
Rising sea levels threaten lives and livelihoods in populous, low-lying countries like Bangladesh (Shutterstock)

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.
security doesn't mean militarization of police

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.
Responsibility of USA on global climate policy and greenhouse effect. Man standing on the edge of ice in front of the desert wasteland with american flag.

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.
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