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CodePink cut the Pentagon

The United States spends more on its military than the next nine nations combined, according to recent data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. (Photo: CodePink)

Poll Shows Majority of US Voters Opposed to Record-Level Pentagon Budget

"There is absolutely no excuse for writing the Pentagon a blank check it didn't even ask for," said Public Citizen's Robert Weissman.

Brett Wilkins

As Republicans push to boost the Pentagon budget beyond the $31 billion increase sought by the Biden administration for the next fiscal year, survey results published Tuesday suggest that any additional military spending wouldn't be popular among voters.

"Congress should heed popular, public opinion and reject proposals for even more Pentagon spending than President Biden has requested."

Polling by Data for Progress and the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen found 55% of all respondents are "somewhat" or "very concerned" about the $813 billion in Pentagon funding requested by the Biden administration for FY 2023, up from $782 billion this year. 

However, only 32% of those surveyed—including 39% of Democrats, 38% of Independents, and 20% of Republicans—said the U.S. spends too much on its military.

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said the military's budget should not exceed $813 billion. Among Democrats, that figure rose to 80%, while two-thirds of Independents and 42% of Republicans agreed.

"There is absolutely no excuse for writing the Pentagon a blank check it didn't even ask for," Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement. "Congress should heed popular, public opinion and reject proposals for even more Pentagon spending than President [Joe] Biden has requested."

Politico reported this week that some congressional Republicans, citing inflation, are seeking an additional 5% increase in the Pentagon topline budget.

According to Weissman:

There are very strong policy arguments to cut military spending significantly. Not only does the United States vastly outspend other nations, it doesn't effectively manage what it does spend... Pentagon spending is replete with waste and fraud both small (a spare parts maker with a 3,800% profit level) and large (the defective and dysfunctional F-35 program that will cost more than $1.7 trillion over its projected 50-year lifespan, according to the Project on Government Oversight). And money allocated to the Pentagon is money that could instead be spent on priority domestic and human needs, and to ensure true national security.

"If the goal is to spend money to protect the public, policymakers would be much better off investing in additional Covid-19 relief, expanding healthcare coverage, or investing in climate resiliency than giving billions more to an agency that already gets three-quarters-of-a-trillion dollars annually and still can't pass an audit," he added.

In April, Common Dreams reported that global military expenditures topped $2 trillion for the first time, with the U.S. spending more on its war-making capacity than the next nine nations combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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