There are a lot of places where the United States could move money around to keep us safer. An easy one is the new “Ground Based Strategic Deterrent” program — or as we like to call it, the “Money Pit Missile.” These weapons are the same dangerous ICBMs, but wrapped up in a new fancy package.
PSR is not alone in criticizing this waste of precious resources. Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flourney and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, have both questioned the merits of this program. Former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry has said these are “some of the most dangerous weapons in the world.” That’s because these missiles, like any ICBM, are destined to be targets as much as they are meant to be weapons. Worse, because they are such “sitting duck” targets they force a “use it or lose it” policy which shortens the decision time on whether to use nuclear weapons to just a few minutes. Areas of the USA where our ICBMs are currently based are targeted so heavily these regions are sometimes referred to as “the nuclear sponge.”
We can do without new nuclear targets and without new nuclear weapons. It’s time to end our reliance on ICBMs, or at the very least, not spend billions of tax dollars on new ones. These GBSD Money Pit Missiles will cost more than $260 billion over their lifetime. That much money could cover 8.58 million hospital stays for Covid-19 patients. It’s enough to build a massive mechanical wall to protect New York City from sea level rise.
More than 540,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus pandemic. That’s more than died in Vietnam, WWI, and WWII — combined. Our government is supposed to protect us from such threats. But clearly we haven’t invested in security that actually keeps people safe. According to recent polling, Americans say the number one thing that would make them feel safer is “a sense that Covid-19 is under control”, and they overwhelmingly do not derive their sense of safety from nuclear weapons investments.
Representative Ro Khanna’s “Investing in Cures Before Missiles Act” would transfer over $1 billion in taxpayer funds from development of the Money Pit Missile over to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for vitally important development of a universal coronavirus vaccine to better prepare Americans for future Covid pandemics. It’s time our government corrects its budget priorities to better protect us from such threats.
We don’t need another “Money Pit Missile.” We need investments in healthcare, not warfare. We need to invest in public health, not weapons contractor wealth. It’s time for all responsible lawmakers to get on the right side of history and spend our money responsibly — on our kids, on our environment, on public health, and on everyone who has suffered in this Covid crisis.