To the Editor:
I read with great interest in Monday's paper, Mr. James' letter suggesting that instead of cutting "crucial spending for human needs," our elected representatives should first start with the military budget.
I couldn't agree more. Let's review some of our options:
First, anyone with any business sense knows that an organization's single biggest expenditure is payroll. Why don't we start by cutting the 40,000 soldiers added a few years ago to ease the burden on the existing force? I'm sure that I and every other soldier on the chopping block won't require any public assistance.
After all, jobs are plentiful in this booming economy.
No stomach for a massive layoff? No problem. Let's look at the hundreds of millions spent on equipment upgrades and research and development. Imagine how much money could've been saved by not outfitting our troops with improved helmets, body armor and mine-resistant vehicles.
Why, you could easily purchase 40,000 granite headstones, my own included, for a fraction of what a single armored vehicle costs, and at tremendous savings too!
Why not target the big ticket items? Have you seen how much a single fighter jet costs? It's outrageous! Cut them all, I say.
That way, when my convoy comes under attack, my frantic radio calls for a protective airstrike will be met by empty static.
A lot of people talk about inconvenient truths. Well, here's one for you: Every penny spent on defense helps me and my brothers and sisters-in-arms remain alive.
But you're right. We aren't really people with "human needs."
My solders and I don't have dreams and aspirations beyond our upcoming overseas deployment. Our spouses will eventually move on and I'm sure my sons will do just fine without me there to teach them how to be honorable and decent men.
Some day, they may even come around to your point of view and, standing over a granite marker purchased in lieu of my armored vehicle, will say to one another, "Well, dad didn't make it, but at least the budget is balanced."