Opinion

Slashing budgets

In its Oct. 29 edition, the Snoqualmie Valley Record reported on money problems in “School board postpones vote on $34.2 million bond resolution,” and “School funding out of whack?”

Print and electronic media flood us with stories about our state and national deficits. Leaky financial dikes get pluged with billions of tax dollars. Our national debt doubled to ten trillion in the last eight years. Our current wars are predicted to add another three trillion.

Like the families in trouble, there basically are two choices to stem the tide of budget shortfalls: Earn more money and spend less.

Question: How come in all the media you rarely ever see, hear, or read about cutting funds from the Department of Defense to save money? Every year, DOD and related budgets suck up 50 percent of Congress’ discretionary spending.

There’s all kinds of places to cut defense funds without hurting any individual U.S. soldiers or sailors, their equipment, their training, or their retirement benefits. In fact, U.S. service people and veterans would be better protected by some some rational cuts in the DOD.

For example, in the Puget Sound region, do we really need eight $2-plus billion dollar nuclear subs, each one with eight $60 million nuclear missiles? Annual maintenance for each sub costs over $70 million.

Look what just $1 billion slashed from the 2009 DOD budget could mean for jobs: 8,555 in defense vs. 10,779 in health care, 17,687 in education, 19,795 in mass transit.

Ultimately it’s our money and our choice, if we are willing to work at it.

Tom Shea

Snoqualmie

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