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Our country’s economy faces a dire threat from so-called “fiscal conservatives,” including the present GOP House majority, who have resorted to dangerous brinkmanship to force deep cuts in the federal discretionary budget.

The discretionary budget contains the Pentagon budget as well as a number of other broadly militarized line items, including nuclear weapons, federal immigration enforcement, law enforcement, prisons, and so on. That same budget also hosts most social programs outside of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP. It includes federal jobs programs, education, scientific research, and the like.

In this report, we find that the militarized portion of this budget is by far its largest single component. And yet the same legislators demanding billions in discretionary savings have vowed to exempt that militarized spending from any cuts. Instead, they’ve targeted the much smaller portion that funds human and community needs for even deeper cuts.

Below, we’ll show just how over-militarized our federal discretionary spending already is. We’ll argue that this militarized spending has done far more harm than good, while our consistent under-investment in human needs has made us much less safe. And we’ll make recommendations for getting our national priorities right in the future.

A summary of the report follows. A more detailed version can be found in the full PDF.

Source of original article: Institute for Policy Studies (
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