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Mitt Romney is proposing a two trillion dollar increase in military spending. The proposal is seriously flawed. Our military remains the strongest in the world by far, and will remain that way under current funding. The proposal would add to our debt. The proposed military increase may set off a dangerous arms race. The tax dollars needed for this plan would be better used to reduce our debt and/or upgrade our infrastructure.

Our military might is unchallenged in the world. We are a superpower. But this position of extreme superiority comes at a very high price. We spend more on our military than the next ten countries … combined. In the 2011 federal budget about one quarter of our taxes went to military spending, and that was the largest item in the budget. Spending more money on the already well funded military might help the defense contractors, but it may not make us any safer.

We need to reduce the national debt, not add to it. No matter how you do the math this proposal will add two trillion dollars to our debt. We need to get the debt down.

A new and increasingly dangerous arms race may occur if we increase our military to the extent in the proposal . Other countries may see our build up as an added threat, and also ramp up their military capabilities, including their nuclear capabilities. Our military build up could destabilize the balance of power, and threaten everyone, including ourselves.

If we must spend money, let’s spend it on something that will benefit all Americans. Several years ago the American Society of Civil Engineers rated our infrastructure, and gave it a grade of “D”. Our infrastructure used to be the best in the world. Now we have fallen far behind, and you can see it everyday. Our schools and roads are in disrepair. One quarter of our bridges have major defects. We need to improve our infrastructure. The engineers determined that two trillion dollars would repair almost all of our deficient bridges, dams, levees, roads, rail lines, aviation facilities, schools, water and wastewater plants, power grid, landfills, and parks … combined. An expenditure to improve our infrastructure would help all Americans.

As former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was leaving office, and after serving as a five star general and hero in World War Two he warned of “the disastrous rise of misplaced power” in the “military industrial complex”. He was talking about what Romney is proposing, an unnecessary, wasteful, expensive, and dangerous plan.

Bill Limpert

Warm Springs, VA

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