I'm appalled by the vote this week in the House of Representatives on the budget reconciliation bill ("The GOP's spendthrift ways," May 11). The House voted to cut spending on our social safety net, which protects the most vulnerable people in our country, while giving the Pentagon even more money than they asked for.

This is especially shocking in light of a recent survey by the Center for Public Integrity, showing that US people overwhelmingly want large cuts in military spending. Ninety percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans would cut the Pentagon budget, on average, over $100 billion a year. Eighty-five percent, overall, also stated they want a speedy end to the war in Afghanistan.

Congress needs to listen to the people and cut military spending, not food stamps and Medicare. The Pentagon budget devours nearly 50 percent of the government's discretionary spending and now it is eating into vital safety net programs that are keeping Americans afloat during this endless recession. We need Rep. Elijah Cummings and other Maryland representatives to take the lead in this effort.

Barbara Larcom, Baltimore