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Cut the Pentagon 10 Percent, Invest in Public Health

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/16/cut-pentagon-10-percent-invest-public-health

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Thankfully, we have the Democrats to push cutting the Pentagon’s budget!

Oh wait, Senators’ Blumenthal, Murphy and 14 other Democrats voted to block the removal of Troops from Afghanistan.

We are SO lucky to have an opposition party in DC, aren’t we?


Let’s close the Pentagon and make the military budget so small we can drown it in a bathtub.



Cut the Pentagon 50% and invest in a World of Good.


We need a second party in the US. Both wings of our present one-party state support the full $740.5 billion, following dutifully along behind Liz Cheney…



But I’m of the opinion that those who vote either Republican or Democratic are absolutely fine with our grotesque military budget and our military excursions around the world. Why else would they continue to vote for, as you say, the “one-party.” And then pretend there’s is actually a difference between the two.


We get this because the spending on healthcare is regulated by trade agreements that tie it to procurement and tendering of bids where its unlikely US firms would win because of higher wages, in the US, even for foreign workers working here.

In contrast military and secret anything is high profit margin and unlikely to be outsourceable or offshorable.

While more and more everything else is. So if you want to have a job in a few years, get involved in the war machine. All other jobs are on the table to be outsourced or offshored eventually because its cheaper. Dont expect honesty on this. Safety nets are also being cut to the bone because there will be so many unemployed.

The whole thing is the way it is because profit is king in the US.

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It has come to the point where when you see an article such as this it has to be dismissed outright. Any suggestion that cutting the Pentagon Budget by 10 percent so as to invest in other priorities demonstrates a disconnect as to what Military spending in the USA is really about.

10 percent is meaningless. 50 percent is a start. The USA can dismantle the Pentagon , save 1 trillion a year and still spend 200 billion a year on arms which still more then any other Country.


Wow, a whole 10%. aren’t you the bold one. 80% would be more in line with the total waste but then the ‘created’ enemies would invade and take over the NFL. Comical . Why does Common Dreams publish this garbage.


If it were cut by 10% it would still be more than double that of any other country.


Even the pacifists in Congress are ok with being the biggest force of destruction in the world.


As everyone has said 10% relative to current levels is not enough. How about 10% relative to the low point in the top plot given at ~https://www.cfr.org/report/trends-us-military-spending ? This plot has about 390 billion constant 2011 dollars as the low point (just before the Afghan War) and our current point is about 610 billion (2011 dollars).

So let’s drop our current budget by (610 - 0.9 * 390)/610 * 100 = 42% to start (and we can do more later).

@dpearl - is that a good source? I see a few more I liked, but couldn’t get the plots in constant dollars except for this site (e.g. other sites I saw were ~https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/military-spending-defense-budget, ~https://www.statista.com/statistics/272473/us-military-spending-from-2000-to-2012/). Where do you go? (apologies if you’ve already answered this before)

I prefer the data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which is up to date and covers every country in the world. See ~https://www.sipri.org/databases/milex

Note that military spending can be calculated in many ways. Do you count money for past wars such as the VA medical system costs or not? Do you count debt payments on past military expenditures? Do you count the national “intelligence” budget? Do you count military research within a country’s scientific research program? and so forth? I prefer SIPRI as a resource since they make a decision on these kinds of issues, include all of these details in their methodological notes and treat all countries in the same fashion as much as possible (many countries - ours especially - do try and hide expenditures).


Thanks. I took that data (given below) and plotted and it looks similar in shape the link I quoted. The min is still the late 90s, but your source gives more recent data (I just noticed my source ended in 2013 before it started ticking up again). Repeating my calculation with your source gives:

(731.8 - 0.9 * 448.3)/731.8 * 100 = 45%

It should go without saying that none of this 45% cut should be in VA costs. I’d like to completely exit from all wars we are in, all foreign bases, and stop all nuclear weapons programs - that alone would probably cover the 45%, but if not we close some US bases, reduce some personal, and reduce some non-nuclear weapons.

Here is the data from dpearl’s source:

Year 2018 dollars (billions)
1988 657.5
1989 652.0
1990 624.9
1991 552.0
1992 581.7
1993 550.5
1994 521.9
1995 487.5
1996 461.0
1997 458.6
1998 448.3
1999 449.4
2000 466.8
2001 470.6
2002 528.3
2003 601.3
2004 655.4
2005 685.6
2006 695.5
2007 714.0
2008 766.0
2009 826.2
2010 849.9
2011 839.8
2012 793.2
2013 732.1
2014 687.1
2015 671.5
2016 669.4
2017 662.6
2018 682.5
2019 718.7
2020 731.8
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Perhaps they suffer from an imagination of a world at Peace.

In the long run, “It’s all about the Benjamins” to them.

We need more thoughtful and intelligent people in the miIitary. Imagine how quickIy the threat of our green planet going into dried grass brown could be achieved by stopping aII WARS. Without wars, how much money we woUId save in pIane and tank and ship fuel.
Imagine having bIue skies again, Iike China had back when they sponsored the Olympics!
In such a short time China’s grey .brown skies gave way to blue…and weirdly a positive side effect of Corvid 19 is cIeaner skies with so many people not working.
But most important for the Pentagon-----they are taking too much money now, and the new ruIe would be an ACCOUNTING—where each department has to account for where aII the money has gone, since they lost those paIIets fuII of money in Iraq. That sounds fair. ; )

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Just watched Bernie talk about the 10% cut----this is why Bernie should be the next president of the US-----Bernie is a MODERATE !

Cut the war budget by 40% and it should go to COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE CENTERS in every neighborhood

Just saw someone disscussing the lack of day care—these HEALTHCARE CENTERS would have child care—and open space ----

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Why stop at 10%? How about at the lowest level of the post Cold War era where we actually had a balanced budget? That’s a savings of about $200B. Think what $200 billion could do. Even then the military was the most wasteful organization on the planet. There are over $21Trillion unaccounted for since the 90’s began for the Pentagon. That astounding amount could of actually been used for the good instead of being siphoned off in the black hole of oblivion; most likely in many oligarch war monger’s pockets.

Better yet make the assholes that lost the money pay it all back. $Trillions to give us what we all need. Universal healthcare, free college, free childcare, no war, and a way to get off fossil fuels altogether. Oh wait, I just woke up from a nice dream, sorry.


Hi OIhippy:
Darn that dream! : )