Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 13, 2011 7:20 AM

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Military spending adds to the debt

On May 26, the National Defense Authorization Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 322-96. This bill authorizes $690 billion for the Pentagon for fiscal 2012. (The $690 billion does not include Veterans’ Affairs or Homeland Security.) Only six Republican members of Congress voted against this bill; 227 voted for it.

Less than a week later, on May 31, the U.S. House voted on a measure to increase the U.S. debt ceiling. It was defeated, 318-97. How did the 227 Republicans who voted “yes” on the $690 billion of military funding vote on increasing the debt limit? All 227 voted “no.” As the old saying goes, “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”

To vote for $690 billion (an amount more than 1.5 times the combined total for all domestic discretionary budgets) for the Pentagon, which has never been audited, and then vote against an increase in the debt ceiling is disingenuous at best. We will never control our national debt until we rein in the Pentagon budget and stop the wars. Please contact Sen. Tom Harkin and Sen. Charles Grassley and tell them that.

Ed Flaherty
president, Iowa Veterans for Peace

Iowa City

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