Why exempt Pentagon from budget cuts?

February 21, 2011

I am extremely disappointed in Rep. John Sarbanes' opposition to an amendment that would have insisted that cuts to the Pentagon budget be a significant part of any effort to control deficit spending. The House is attempting to make sweeping cuts in federal government spending for the rest of this fiscal year, including cuts in domestic spending, diplomacy, development and international assistance. Why should the Pentagon budget be exempt from cuts?

Military spending has doubled in the past 10 years and the Pentagon has a history of enormous cost overruns. The Pentagon has also never had a full audit that makes it accountable to Congress and taxpayers. A willingness to cut military spending would signal support for human needs in our communities. Instead, war is making us poor.

I am pleased to note that Maryland representatives Donna Edwards and Elijah Cummings were among the 76 members of Congress — some Republicans and some Democrats — who voted in favor of Pentagon spending cuts.

Polly E. Heninger, Baltimore

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