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

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.
concept - us military looking through binoculars at a future where viewing climate as a national security threat increases militarism - biden administration

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.
presentation of U.S. space force flag - biden - trump - 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.
failed covid-19 stimulus package - trump and mcconnell shake hands

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 people at a protest

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.
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