To the Editor:
In his April 14 message, Congressman Daniel Webster criticized the Biden administration propose budget for “shortchanging the military”.
He failed to mention that the U.S. spends more on war and militarism than the next 10 countries combined, and that 10 of the top 15 military spenders in the world are U.S. allies.
He also neglected to note that more than half of U.S. military spending goes to private military contractors, a whopping 164% increase since 2001. Taxpayer spending on militarism doesn’t go to “support the troops”, so much as it does to support the huge, private, military industrial complex.
In our 11th Congressional District, taxpayers will contribute more than $946 million towards the military budget in 2021.
Does that money make us any more secure? Has it saved us from a worldwide pandemic? Is it addressing the global climate catastrophe? Is it educating our young people so we can compete in the world? Has it ensured cyber-security?
According to the National Priorities Project (www.nationalpriorities.org), a small 10% yearly decrease in military spending in our 11th Congressional district alone would enable us to fund:
• 9,888 military veterans receiving VA medical care, or
• 3,153 COVID-19 hospital stays, or
• 5,333 4-year university scholarships, or
• 1,702 new infrastructure jobs, or
• 1,418 new elementary school teachers
That’s just a 10% reduction. A 10% cut would save the taxpayers of our district more than $94 million!
Congressman Webster writes of the “Chinese Communist regime’s goal to gain dominance over the United States”. He does not mention the fact that the U.S. has over 800 military installations around the world, while China has 3.
Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has conducted endless wars and invaded and occupied sovereign nations costing U.S. taxpayers $6.4 trillion and resulting in the death and displacement of millions of human beings. China, on the other hand, has developed relationships with other countries through its “Belts and Roads” program, providing aid and financing to build critical infrastructure. China has invested capital in countries throughout the world. Which is the better investment?
The U.S. needs to cut military spending, end the overseas wars, commit to diplomacy not military threat, and compete with China and others through investment and partnerships, rather than militarism.
It’s time for new priorities.
Coordinator-World Beyond War-Central Florida Chapter
Village of Poinciana