Opinion: Taking issue with lack of cuts to defense spending

Published 12:09 am Monday, October 18, 2010

In these tough economic times one item that seems to be off the table is the Pentagon budget — despite the fact that we spend more on our military budget than the next 45 countries combined.

Why is it not on the table, since we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy?

Why is the Pentagon budget off limits to budget cuts during these tough times when it is so out of proportion to the rest of the world, at a time when our deficits are sky-high?

The recent dustup over NASA’s budget involved a measly $3 billion per year increase that would have given it the resources needed to do all the space missions we have given it.
Yet Congress strained at gnats to come up with that $3 billion.

Yet, the payoff from commercialization of space technology is well documented — the laptops and smart phones we use today are a direct result of our push into space.

There is more power in the chip that runs the auto focus for a video camera (just that chip) then in the entire Apollo 11 computer used to take it to the moon and back in the 1960s.
This advancement in our technology came from NASA, not the Pentagon.

It’s time we brought the Pentagon’s budget back down to earth, and sanity, after spending nearly $1 trillion on two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Spending the same $1 trillion on our lagging education would produce a real return that would strengthen us.

In the last decade the U.S. has dropped from No. 1 to No. 12 in the number of college graduates; Texas has dropped to No. 49 out of 50 in the percentage of high school graduates).
In a high tech, global economy, that is bad news.

So we have to get spending under control, especially since the ship of state hit the financial reef in 2008 when our financial markets locked up and the entire world economy took a dive.
— Michael Fjetland