Letters to the Editor

Defense spending comes at high cost

The Island County commissioners debating over who will lobby the federal government on behalf of more military spending dollars and the celebration over Boeing’s award of the Air Force tanker contract has exposed the “elephant in the room:” The military-industrial complex. A former general, Dwight Eisenhower, as president foresaw the destructive impact of the military-industrial complex in a 1953 speech.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953)

Today we find our community caught in the tentacles of the military-industrial complex when a military contract award is celebrated and Island County commissioners go to Washington, D.C. to lobby against the slightest hint of cutbacks to a bloated military budget. Although war spending (aka defense spending) accounts for at least 44 percent of the budget it is treated as a “sacred cow” and declared off limits to scrutiny as are tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. In contrast severe budget cuts are proposed for education and programs that assist those most in need while the Wisconsin governor demonizes educators and public workers. Has not Dwight Eisenhower’s warning come fruition?

Dick Hall

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 22
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates