Congress will be voting on the budget at the beginning of December. Now is a good time to think about our spending priorities and how to most efficiently spend our tax dollars. The House budget approved in October will increase military spending by between $35-50 billion to nearly $700 billion at a time when the State Department funding is being cut by 30 percent and key State Department positions are going unfilled.
Increasing the military budget while gutting the State Department is counterproductive at best and dangerous in the long run. As Secretary of Defense Mattis said at his confirmation hearings, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, than ultimately I need to buy more ammunition.” (Washington Post, 2/27/17 “Retired Generals cite past comments from Mattis while opposing Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts”).
Pentagon spending should not be increased at the expense of diplomacy, development and vital human needs program providing food, housing and health care assistance domestically.