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

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.
katrina hurricane disaster response

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.
House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Adam Smith

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.
military spending and pentagon budget

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

Military Recruiters Don’t Belong in High Schools

Military recruiters deliberately exploit the financial and social insecurities of teenagers to enlist more soldiers.
US aid - hands reaching for a life raft

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.
covid-19 vs military spending

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.
Military Budget - United States Navy Helicpoter launches from USS Ronald Reagan

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.
trump and senior military officials

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.
cut the pentagon budget by 10 percent

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.
Helicopter money policy as response to covid-19 public health crisis: helicopter distributing currency to prevent economic depression

Cut the Pentagon 10 Percent, Invest in Public Health

Tanks and ships can’t save us from our greatest dangers, so let’s pay for the things that can.
prison guard locking a gate

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?
military personnel

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

coronavirus-stock-market

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.
bullets-military-budget

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.
coronavirus-trump-administration-mike-pence

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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