Washington, D.C. — April 18, 2017 — On Tax Day, Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs for Peace Action, released the following statement:
“While Americans file their taxes today, they should know that more than half of the government’s discretionary spending goes to the bloated Pentagon — an agency that receives hundreds of billions of our tax dollars a year, yet has never passed an audit. Something that the government expects of all taxpayers. At events around the country, taxpayers say they want more spent on job creation, education, and healthcare not more endless wars and Pentagon spending which is nearly as much as all other countries combined.
“Instead, the president’s proposed budget would cut funding for education, healthcare, housing and other vital programs. Slashed State Department funding will hamper international efforts to end wars in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan, and to de-escalate tensions with Iran and North Korea. What about the United States investment in humanitarian programs like the United Nations World Food Programme and the U.S. Agency for International Development that provide life saving food and medical supplies to impoverished and war torn countries?
“What would we get in return for tightening our belts and accepting the administration’s express lack of commitment to diplomacy and international aid? A 10 percent increase to the already gargantuan Pentagon budget, and 11 percent more money for fueling the new nuclear arms race that President Trump has literally welcomed with the words, ‘Let it be an arms race.’ His budget will make everyone less safe.
“While individual taxpayers have no direct say in how their tax dollars are spent, their members of Congress do. Whether in letters, emails or voicemails, or at congressional town halls happening across the country, Americans have the power to make their voices heard and insist on a budget that puts their needs over the insatiable desires of the weapons industry and their lobbyists. It just so happens that the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget would do just that. Support for this budget that really reflects the electorate’s priorities will surely be considered in November of 2018.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action, the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.