letter, Daily Local News, 1/4/13
The middle class dodged most of the bullets from the Battle of the Cliff, but the guns from the promised negotiations on spending cuts are squarely aimed at us. The president has expressed a willingness to reduce spending on popular programs like Medicare and he’s still talking about “entitlement reform,” which means cuts to Social Security. Republican lawmakers are salivating at the prospect of getting these cuts.
Where in all this chatter is a mention of cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget? Numerous reports in the last couple years document that $100 billion a year could be safely cut from military spending, with hundreds of costly overseas bases as the chief culprits of overspending. Cutting $100 billion a year would just about eliminate the federal deficit.
Effective job creation is the best long-term solution to the budget deficit, and studies document that military spending is the least effective way to create jobs. Education, health care, renewable energy, and yes, even tax cuts create more jobs than giving money hand over fist to the war profiteers, as we do now. Military spending has almost doubled in the last decade. It’s no coincidence that jobs have declined.
Let’s flip this script: first cut the Pentagon. Remember, Social Security has added not one dime to our deficit.
JANE SWIFT DUGDALE