Bail Out the People; Not the Pentagon
Win Without War
WASHINGTON (May 2, 2020) — Right now, behind closed doors, defense lobbyists are quietly using every ounce of their influence to get billions and billions more of our tax dollars for the Pentagon’s already gigantic budget. They’re trying to use a global health crisis to boost their record profits even higher. And it’s already paying off.
Last week, Senator Tom Cotton — who has received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from the arms industry — introduced a bill proposing at least $14 BILLION in additional funds to boost the bottom line of weapons dealers . . . and BILLIONS more for an unrelated new weapons wishlist.
In this pandemic lockdown, influencing Congress is harder than ever, and we’re up against lobbyists and special interests with deep pockets and dirty relationships. The fact is we need to raise $9,683 this month if we’re going to have a shot at stopping them.
We’re not a movement of billionaire merchants of death. Our work is fueled by grassroots supporters, and we know this is a tough time financially.
The bald-faced absurdity of requesting additional funds for arms makers barely stands up to the smallest amount of scrutiny.
The Pentagon ALREADY gets nearly a trillion dollars each year — 15 times annual US contributions to the World Health Organization and the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, combined. And unlike other industries, only a minuscule number of arms manufacturers have paused production.
If we don’t seize the moment, already bloated and corrupt arms dealers will receive EVEN MORE funds —funds that are being denied to frontline health workers, undocumented communities, and families struggling to make rent and get food on the table.
Just this week Congress found $545 MILLION DOLLARS to go towards Trump’s racist border wall from Pentagon-funded projects. That’s half a billion dollars NOT going towards ventilators, state and local budgets, and keeping paychecks flowing.
Think We’re Exaggerating?
Boeing — which receives a THIRD of its income from the Pentagon (and your tax dollars) — ALREADY got a pseudo bailout of $882 million to restart a paused contract for refueling planes that, just a month ago, were slammed as not working by the Air Force’s top General.
Worse still — thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to axe the Inspector General assigned to oversee government stimulus funding, there’s NO real independent accountability about how any bailout funds will be spent.
And not to mention that every dollar not going directly into the hands of families struggling, as well as healthcare, delivery, and grocery workers who still desperately need protective supplies is an enormous misappropriation of emergency funding.
ACTION: That’s why we gathered over 60 progressive partners to call on Congress to demand not another PENNY goes to the Pentagon in the next relief package last week. And it’s why we won’t stop this work until we see that our representatives FINALLY protect people and not the Pentagon and its profiteers.
We’re gaining momentum too — just yesterday, a key decision-maker on Pentagon spending, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, told reporters that he would not support additional COVID money for the Pentagon, noting that the Pentagon should use the money in its existing budget to cover pandemic response needs.
Powerful leaders are hearing us, and starting to echo our call — and we just HAVE to ride this momentum!
Rebuilding our futures lies in what we support and resource right now. Let’s do everything we can to make sure we build the world we desperately need and want: a just, equitable, and peaceful world, for all.
Together, we’ll work to ensure US tax dollars go directly into the hands of families struggling, as well as healthcare, delivery, and grocery workers — not the Pentagon’s deep pockets.
Thank you for working for peace,
Stephen, Abbey, Annika, and the Win Without War team