Letter: Pentagon funding still bloated

Published:

 

I've been following the fiscal cliff melodrama, and I'm astonished — flabbergasted, really — that no one is talking about the biggest driver of the debt, the Pentagon budget. Fifty-five percent of every discretionary dollar spent by Congress goes to the Pentagon. This should not be happening in a democracy.

Our tax money is paying for 800 bases around the world, an antiquated A-l tank, a fighter jet from the Korean War era, corrupt contractors, and much more that we don't need today. The $600 toilet seats are still around, too, and costs in general are so inflated they resemble hospital costs.

Even probing columns such as the one by Ann McFeatters in the Dec. 9 Columbian, "Lawmakers bloviate, taxpayers fret," made no mention of Pentagon spending, now at a cool trillion a year if we include war costs and vets programs.

In the late 1780s, when the new Constitution was being debated in the states, George Mason, Patrick Henry, and others expressed their fear that the new nation would become an empire just like the England we had rebelled and fought against. Those concerns have proved prophetic.

At a time when America needs to reduce its debt, repair infrastructure, and embrace alternative fuels, military spending is a sacred cow that politicians and the media rarely even mention.

Bret Raushenbush

Portland