Letters: Reduce defense spending | VailDaily.com

Letters: Reduce defense spending

David Le Vine
Vail CO, Colorado

If, in fact, we are going to improve education, somehow provide health care to more people, subsidize essential research to reduce global warming and achieve energy independence, then “something’s gotta give”. And I would strongly suggest that the budget for the Department of Defense be reduced and taxes be selectively increased. If not, our national debt will continue to spiral upwards. That would be a disaster, for even now it is the root cause of many of our economic problems.

I would remind you that we are spending more money on our military than all of the rest of the world combined (more than $650 billion in 2007, including nuclear weapons research and veterans affairs ) and so I suggest that we review the expenditures of what I now believe has become our “Department of Offense.” For starters we should realize that no foreign country ” not Russia nor China nor Iran nor North Korea — has either the plans or the capability to invade the United States. What’s more, they know that we have more than 3,000 nuclear warheads that could be employed to obliterate any country. We need fear no other nation! Terrorism is a totally different matter. We should seal our borders and we should remain vigilant. But efficient “homeland security” does not require the horrendous expense of being prepared for war.

The affluence of the wealthy has indeed risen at a disproportional rate, and so I also suggest that we reconsider the tax structure that has permitted that to happen.

Re-establishing higher income tax rates for the very wealthy would not be a tragedy ” hardly even an inconvenience! Also, there is no reason why the profits from capital gains should not be taxed at a rate commensurate with the general income tax rates. Buying and selling stocks is merely another form of gambling, they contribute almost nothing to the general economy. The reduced tax rate for capital gains is just another means of subsidizing the wealthy.

If we are in favor of continuing most existing programs and also confronting new challenges, then selective budgets must be reduced and revenues must be added and these would be my choices. I do remain absolutely certain that further increases to the national debt is not a viable option.

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