Federal Military Spending
Every year Congress decides on the funding level for many of the things provided by the federal government which our tax dollars pay for. This "discretionary budget" includes such things as health, education, veterans' benefits, housing, transportation and the military, among many others.
Where Your Tax Dollars Are Going
This chart, provided by the National Priorities project, shows how the discretionary budget for 2021. The military got a whopping $752 billion, or 47%.
Since then, the money, and the percentage of our taxes going to the military has grown.
For the 2023 fiscal year, Congress approved $858 billion dollars for the military: $37 billion more than the Department of Defense asked for. That same Congress voted against continuing expanded SNAP (food stamp) and childcare benefits, and other vital social programs.
Who benefits when the Pentagon's share of the pie gets bigger and bigger? Weapons manufacturers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Who loses? Those who use health care, go to school, live in houses and eat food: ordinary working people.
Where People Want Tax Dollars to Go
Brooklyn For Peace is an active members of the MTM coalition. It has been conducting a poll at street fairs by giving people a bag of 20 pennies, and asking them to "spend" those pennies according to how they think the government should spend tax dollars
The chart to the left illustrates what Brooklynites think about what federal discretionary spending should be.
Many are shocked to see how differently the pie is really being sliced.