Letters to the Editor

Spending choices

December 23, 2009

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To the editor:

It is hard to argue that the way a person, community or country spends its money does not reflect what that person, community or country values most. What does it say about the United States of America that in 2010 taxpayers will spend $626 billion on defense/war spending and only $76.8 billion on health and human services? I’m afraid to answer that question.

The rest of the world will spend an estimated $500 billion on military expenditures, with China finishing a distant second at $65 billion. Iran and North Korea spend approximately $5 billion each per year on defense.

What makes us so afraid that we will spend hundreds of billions of dollars to build the machinery of war but cannot spare a dime to enact a meaningful health care bill? I do not fear losing the next war. Even with half of our current military spending, I do not fear losing that war. What I do fear is that we are losing our humanity.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 7 months ago

I've called for it all along - reduce all government expenditures by at least 20%, provide corresponding tax relief, and begin paying off our intolerable national debt.

Additionally, that $77 billion annual expenditure on health and human services will seem like a mere pittance when the $900 billion government health care takeover becomes a reality.

Brent Garner 5 years, 7 months ago

Several distortions in this LTE. Our European "allies" realized long ago that they could slack off on their own defense because Uncle Sam would cover them because it was in our own interests to keep them free. The same goes, in a related way, for the Middle East. Ergo, these "alllies" can do next to nothing in terms of defense and let us carry the load. The problem is that unless we want to slit our own throats, they can get away with this. So don't compare our expenditures to the rest of the worlds. They have shirked their responsibilities and dumped them on us. I truly wish there was a way to dump it back on them. One good way would be to develop our own oil supplies and end dependence on OPEC. With the right mix of energy sources we could do that, but part of that mix--oil, gas, coal, nuclear--are not acceptable to the environmental freaks so I doubt we will be able to make that happen.

parrothead8 5 years, 7 months ago

opposeobama (Anonymous) says… we have violated the Constitution by spending $76.8 billion on something for which the federal government has no legitimate role.

The Preamble to the Constitution says that one of the reasons for establishing the Constitution is to "promote the general Welfare" of "the People of the United States." At the time the Consitution was written, the term "Welfare" referred to health, happiness, and prosperity.

At one point in our history, women could not vote and black people could not be citizens, but these things seem unthinkable to us now. The beauty of the Constitution is that it is open to interpretation, and able to be changed.

Just because no national health care plan was established in the 18th century doesn't mean the U.S. government has no legitimate role in doing so now. The Constitution may be timeless, but the times, they are a-changin'.

bliddel 5 years, 7 months ago

Defense/war spending is specifically enumerated as a Federal government function, in the US Constitution.

Health Insurance is not, and should never be, a federal government function. The preamble talks about how a purpose is to "promote the general welfare". It doesn't say "to provide welfare". That's communism. Haven't you learned? Communism doesn't work!

$76.8 billion is way too much to spend on "promoting".

The government thinks it can regulate insurance because they can regulate interstate commerce. Hello...

in 1868, the US Supreme Court decision in Paul V Virginia was supposed to put an end to such federal interference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_v._Virginia

Then the U.S.S.C. blew it with the South-Eastern Underwriters decision. Hence, Congress quickly passed the McCarran–Ferguson Act in 1945, allowing the states to regulate insurance (consistent with the tenth amendment).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarran%E2%80%93Ferguson_Act

So, whatever Congress does now, in the way of socialized medicine, is either going to be unconstitutional, or inconsistent with existing law. Bad government is worse than none at all!

Don't tread on me!

Jason Bailey 5 years, 7 months ago

Joe: We spend that money on military because it's super-cool. I have a trusted source that says generals love to go to Boeing and Northrop to witness trials of new, super awesome stuff blowing up other stuff.

It's all about fourth-of-july roman candles on steroids.

I don't have to ask if you honestly think we're overspending on military/defense because I know the answer. If people with your ideology were at the wheel, we'd let our military rust and rot back to the 1800s but all of our citizens would have free stuff. Eventually, we'd be living under a hammer and sickle flag or a red Chinese dictator but man, we'd have free stuff!

Just enjoy tonight when Santa gives you free stuff from his Obama Stash. I also have a reliable source that says Santa got TARP funds this year and every toy delivered tonight comes free of charge from the American taxpayer. As we gather around our trees and fireplaces on this Christmas eve, can't you just be thankful for the massive entitlement program which is Santa Claus?

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