Republicans say they will not cooperate on raising the debt limit in mid-February unless Democrats agree to cut spending by an equivalent amount ("Trouble ahead," Jan. 2). What these trillions of tax dollars are allocated for is instructive.
The Pentagon takes up more than half of all discretionary spending. Yet politicians wrangling about budget cuts — especially when they are busy amending the tax code so the wealthy contribute their share of the national tax burden — say very little about the military industrial complex.
Our tax dollars — more than anything else — go to funding the military. Examples include programs like drone aircraft and cluster bombs that maim and kill their victims, especially children; obsolete weapons systems; and nuclear bombs and missiles that endanger the planet and can never be used.
Analysts from the conservative and liberal ends of the spectrum agree that U.S. expenditures on weaponry far exceeds what is necessary for national defense. Meanwhile, 20 percent of children in the U.S. live in poverty.
There are alternatives to our current policies that could provide food for the hungry, housing for the homeless, jobs for those at low end of the wage scale and universal health care for all. And these activities would be a fraction of the costly, unending U.S. operation in Afghanistan.
Lee Lears, AnnapolisCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun