Prioritizing Spending


Dwight D. Eisenhower

Former Five-Star General Dwight D. Eisenhower

This year, in the name of security, the federal government spent over twice as much on the military as we did on education, science, the environment, housing, and transportation combined. In an age that will require tighter budgets, it’s time to recognize that securing the future safety and well-being of America means investing less in overseas military bases and operations and more in our citizens at home.

Dream of a Nation Partner

National Priorities ProjectBringing the Federal Budget Home
Many people in the United States don’t know where or how their federal tax dollars are spent. National Priorities Project makes federal budget information transparent and accessible so people can influence how their tax dollars are spent. Learn More.

Read the National Priorities Project Essay: "Redefining Security for Strong Communities and a Safer World"

Read the National Priorities Project Essay

Endnotes & References

The Story of Broke: Why there's still plenty of money to build a better future.


What Can I Di?

Write a letter to your Congressperson

Budgets can only be changed by legislators, write a letter telling your Congressperson about what priorities are important to you.

Learn more about the Federal Budget and how it effects your community

Try building your own budget with the priorities you think are important. Use this tool to re-organize the Federal Budget so that it makes more sense to you- and then share what you come up with.

Understand the local impact of federal dollars.  Use National Priorities Project's Federal Priorities tool and see exactly where your community's dollars are going.


Q.  Reports have found the Pentagon wastes over $75 billion developing out-of-date Cold War weapons systems, what could that money do if spent on education?

A. Rebuild over one-third of America’s deteriorating schools, help states by more than doubling the federal spending on education, or provide Pell grants to over 85% of college students.

Q. What if Congress followed the recommendations of the Sustainable Defense Task Force, a panel of scholars commissioned by the House Financial Services Committee, to find cuts in defense spending?

A. By cutting unnecessary weapons programs, selling off outdated foreign bases, and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the federal government could save nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years.