US Should Cut Military Budget to Fund Build Back Better Programs | Emma Claire Foley

Aalmost months of negotiations, Congress is struggling to develop a plan to finance the Build Back Better Act. Rather than imposing more cuts that would further limit the bill’s transformative potential, throughout the process, lawmakers have considered sources of funding that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable. With the progressive power of Congress at a relatively high level and the experience of Covid-19 not quite behind us, now is the perfect time to look at the defense budget as a way to fund the stimulus effort that the United States desperately needs it.

The Pentagon budget is the one area where massive long-term government spending is not only seen as completely normal, but suggestions to change the status quo are still mostly rejected. Negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 are also underway, and the contrast between the range of seriously considered alternatives is stark. The turnover figures are even higher than the president’s budget request, which itself is $ 13 billion more than Trump’s final military budget request, and it preserves nuclear weapons programs administration that the Democrats canceled just a few months ago.

For those members of Congress trying to match one column to the next, there are plenty of opportunities to shift defense spending toward domestic spending that would have a huge impact on the health and quality of life of Americans.

The strategic ground deterrence program is just one of them. The United States has pledged to spend at least $ 264 billion to replace land-based nuclear missiles lying in silos across the “nuclear sponge” states: Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado. Since the early 1960s, these states have harbored a fleet of missiles capable of inflicting unthinkable damage if launched – and they are extremely vulnerable to a similar attack from their Russian counterparts.

In an age when every dollar of government spending is scrutinized, many question the wisdom of the program as a growing chorus of political leaders, nuclear weapons experts and advocates draw attention to the profound drawbacks of nuclear missiles terrestrial. Once these missiles are launched, they cannot be recalled, which means that in the event of false information indicating an impending Russian attack, the pressure to use these weapons before they are destroyed could result in the accidental triggering of the weapons. ‘nuclear war by the United States. This kind of near miss has happened before. As long as the status quo prevails, this could happen again.

What could the United States achieve by putting GBSD funding to build better? While the program will likely go over budget, there is a bit of a gap between its projected cost of $ 264 billion and the roughly $ 2 billion needed to fund the reconciliation bill. But it’s not unreasonable to say that the program could eventually get closer to the $ 300 billion mark, which is what it will cost to expand Medicare to cover dental care, vision, and more. hearing.

But that’s just one example: Congress could also free up additional money by canceling the sea-launched nuclear missile that the Navy says has no use for, or simply not adding funding for an extra F-35 that no one asked for. , or by requiring a certain level of financial responsibility from an institution that has never had one.

The economic and health devastation of Covid has pushed a dilapidated system beyond its limits, and those who struggle to pay their bills, keep their homes and get the health care they need deserve to take action. experience a bit of what defense companies expect from the United States government: a stable, reliable, and generous level of financial support that keeps them prosperous and allows them to plan ahead with confidence.


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