Vail Daily letter: Questioning Bennet’s proposal
The current US national debt is approximately $20 trillion (12 zeros after the 20). To control that debt’s rise, Congress passed a Budget Control Act (“sequester”) in 2011.
The sequester-required spending cuts have had a severe impact on our military. There are parts shortages, fuel for pilot training flights is now limited and needed equipment upgrades are not being funded.
Per a 2016 National Parks press release, there is approximately $12 billion (nine zeros after the 12) in deferred maintenance at our National Parks. The press release does not mention national monuments, Forest Service land or other public lands (which probably also have deferred maintenance needs).
A recent Vail Daily story asks us to support U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in his efforts to memorialize a long-closed Army training site (camp, not fort). His efforts rely on finding an obscure clause in some law somewhere that allows him and fellow legislator Rep. Jared Polis to go forward.
Let’s question this action on three levels. One, can we afford it (see above economic data)? Two, is this the highest and best use for the land in question? And three, is taking land out of production the best way to honor soldiers who fought fascism and communism?