Pentagon spending hike not in nation’s best interest

To the Editor:

I have lived in Harrisville and worked with students in NH’s public schools since 1975. It has been my privilege to work with many immigrant students and their families and to witness their remarkable courage and persistence.

Our social safety net has been crucial in helping these families get on their feet. Medicaid allows my disabled sister to live in a nursing home in Peterborough. So I’m deeply concerned about the proposed cuts in the social safety net that would fund a corresponding increase in the Pentagon budget.

Therefore, I am writing to Senators Hassan and Shaheen to ask them to oppose any increases in Pentagon funding this year, and to work to bring Pentagon spending under control.

The Pentagon now spends $600 billion a year. It commissioned, then suppressed, an internal study that found $125 billion of this is wasted. We have brought 100,000 soldiers home from Iraq, but the Pentagon still spends as much as at the height of the Cold War.

It is foolish to throw more money at the Pentagon at the expense of the EPA, the State Department and the 38 million Americans – 1 in 8 – who rely on the social safety net. It is also contrary to our values. We must invest in education: $1 billion spent on education creates twice as many jobs as $1 billion spent by the Pentagon. We must invest in infrastructure, and in families.

David Blair