By Ellen Field
The over-deployed and over-stressed members of the U.S. military absolutely deserve the public’s respect and funding for decent salaries, benefits and good medical and psychiatric care. The country needs a strong military; however, there is a ridiculous amount of waste and unnecessary spending in the military budget:
— The average salary of the top five defense contracting CEOs last year was $21.5 million, paid, in large part, by taxpayers.
— There are737 military bases around the world. Why? There are enough problems here without policing the entire world.
— There are 963 generals and admirals in the U.S. Armed Forces, about 100 more than before 9/11. A New York Times study showed that the cost for the staff provided to top generals and admirals can exceed $1 million per general.
— Republican Sen. Tom Coburn commissioned a report that found $67.9 billion waste in the defense budget over the next decade.
— Many Pentagon programs are 30 years out-of-date but are not cancelled because someone profits from them.
— The GOP’s so-called “Spending Reduction Act” fails to cut even one penny in military spending.
Since billions of dollars in waste could be cut from the bloated military budget, why are politicians trying to cut vital programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
More than $1 trillion has been cut from schools, medical research, public safety and Head Start already. It is way past time for the Pentagon to share the burden.
Ellen Field, New Gloucester