FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2009

2:05 PMCONTACT: National Priorities Project
Jo Comerford, Executive Director
413.584.9556 (o); 413.559.1649 (c)

The United States Can Do Better! It’s Time to “Close the Spigot” of Defense Spending.

NORTHHAMPTION, Mass. – April 7 – As taxes come due on April 15, taxpayers can take stock of how the federal government spent each 2008 income tax dollar: 37.3 cents went towards military-related spending, while environment, energy and science-related projects split 2.8 cents, according to a new analysis released by National Priorities Project (NPP).

In its annual release, Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?, NPP offers a breakdown of how the federal government spent the median income family’s 2008 tax payments in each state and 200 cities.

According to National Priorities Project, 37.3 cents for military-related spending breaks down as follows: 29.4 cents for current military and war spending coupled with 7.9 cents for military-related debt. At 3.8 cents of each dollar, veterans’ benefits receive similar proportions of a federal tax dollar as housing and community programs and food-related programs.

“The first page of our tax publication offers a look at Bush-era spending. The second page – focused on the environment, energy and science – looks forward to promising Obama administration shifts,” notes Jo Comerford, Executive Director of National Priorities Project. “Funding for the environment, energy and science decreased relative to budget spending as a whole during the Bush presidency, while President Obama’s February overview of his first budget indicates these priorities are likely to change.”

Comerford continues, “Secretary Gates has begun ringing in ‘the new day for defense spending’ heralded by President Obama by cutting Cold War weapons systems, putting others on hold for further review and promising greater budget oversight. Yet, the total U.S. military budget continues to exceed $600 billion annually, making it imperative that we take a closer look at Pentagon spending in the months ahead – especially now as Congress and the Obama administration begin preparing for the Quadrennial Defense Review.”

National Priorities Project is the leading source for the cost of the Iraq War, offering breakdowns of the cost by state, city and congressional district. Spring 2009 releases include a calculation of war costs for Afghanistan and Iraq and associated trade-offs based on analyses of the $75.5 billion FY2009 war supplemental and the $130 billion allocated for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars allocated in the FY2010 defense budget. Visit http://www.nationalpriorities.org for more information.

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The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels. For more information, go to http://nationalpriorities.org.

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