Your article, (The Capital, Dec. 17) on the fiscal cliff’s effect to our area is rightly concerned that cuts not be made to either planned transportation funding or America’s true defense needs. It also rightly notes, happily, that the White House has directed that “accounts used to pay military personnel would be protected from any cuts.” But beyond this, it’s wrong to assume that our regional economy and national security would be better off with no cuts to Pentagon spending.
Just as no informed and responsible citizen would support funding defense and national security below our true, current needs, no truly informed and responsible citizen nor member of Congress would support funding Pentagon waste, fraud and abuse, nuclear overkill, or ineffective weapons and systems inappropriate for these times that the Pentagon hasn’t even asked for – knowing that those same billions upon billions are taken from vital urgent community needs: jobs, transportation, infrastructure, healthcare, education, seniors – all of us.
As for local jobs, the University of Massachusetts, Institute for Policy Studies, and others have clearly documented that far more jobs – several times as many for some fields – can be created by spending an equivalent amount on nearly anything else but the Pentagon. That’s why more and more experts say that reducing bloated Pentagon spending should be central to any solution to solve America’s urgent deficit crisis. With two wars ending and our healthcare, education and transportation systems all struggling, we must shift spending priorities to our needs at home. The challenge is to overcome shortsighted political inertia and corporate campaign donor/lobbying influence over the media and our representatives in Congress. We can – with citizen pressure on them to do what’s wise and best for our real regional and national security needs, not corporate campaign donors’ profits.
CAROL R. FORDONSKI