Letters to the Editor

Can we afford to buy more EA-18 Growlers? | Letter


Is the Navy out of touch with economic reality?

The Navy will not conclude their EIS on the transition of the Prowler to the Growler at NAS Whidbey until 2015, but they are already asking for 22 more EA-18 Growlers.

Are we to assume that the fix is already in for a Navy recommendation of “no adverse impact” on our environment, health and safety and that plans are already made for expansion of harmfully loud jets and related personnel?

Can we continue to afford $80.5 million per Growler in the 2015 federal budget while our bridges and schools crumble?

Right now, more than 50 percent of the federal government’s discretionary budget is allocated to military spending, while national polls continue to show that the American public thinks military spending should be trimmed.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told lawmakers during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on March 12 that the Navy’s request for 22 more Growlers is a “hedge and risk-reduction” effort, adding that the Navy is “very mindful of the industrial base.”

He added, “The U.S. government is also working on things like foreign military sales to keep that (the Boeing Co.) line in business.”

Is it the intent of the Navy and the United Sates Congress to keep Boeing in business? Only about 20 percent of Boeing’s business relies on military contracts — the rest is focused on the civilian marketplace.

Shouldn’t a request for equipment be made because you need the equipment, not as a hedge and risk-reduction effort? Has the Navy forgotten who is paying for these super jets with super price tags?

Each Growler costs $80.5 million dollars. Although these are Boeing jets, they are made in Missouri, not Washington state. Multiply 22 jets times $80.5 million and you’ll see why this huge allocation was left out of the Navy’s 2014 budget.

The Department of Defense expects its total 2014 budget, including supplemental war funding, to be more than $600 billion.

Isn’t that enough?

Plus, spending on the military generates fewer jobs than spending the same amount of money on a wide range of alternatives.

The multiplier effects of defense spending is currently between 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent.

Military spending is among the most expensive and inefficient ways to create jobs.

According to a U.S. study, $1 billion dollars creates the following jobs: Military spending creates 11,600 jobs; clean energy spending creates 17,100 jobs; health care spending creates 19,600; education spending 29,100 jobs

So, yes, the military does create jobs, but every other choice would be a better alternative.

We are living in a time of choices. Admiral Greenert and the Navy brass need to take a look at today’s economic constraints.

And we the people need to stand up for our civilian economy and a better way to make jobs rather than pour more money into a military-industrial complex that benefits the few.

Maryon Attwood



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