South Whidbey Record


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Cutting defense is moral choice

November 16, 2012 · Updated 1:53 PM

To the editor:

When a household donates money to help others that is a moral decision. When a household makes a decision to live an extravagant lifestyle and not give back to the community that is also a moral (immoral?) decision.

Likewise, the federal budget is a moral issue. In the current federal discretionary budget the military accounts for over 50 percent of all discretionary spending. During the past 10 years, domestic spending has been cut and human services reduced, while military spending has continued to increase unabated at an average annual rate of 9 percent. This is a moral issue.

The likelihood of sequestration of budgeted discretionary spending (spending over which Congress has control) has raised the possibility of the military budget being reduced by 10.4 percent. While the media and politicians are expressing dismay at the possibility of a reduction in the military budget, many people of conscience see this as a positive opportunity to critique spending from a moral perspective.

One that emphasizes peace making, compassion and justice. The sequester of discretionary spending outlays raises the issue of what has the increase in Pentagon spending in time of economic recession meant from a perspective of compassion, justice and peace? Are human and social needs being sacrificed for wars and preparation for wars? Are our most vulnerable citizens considered expendable?

Dick Hall


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