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Reduce federal debt by cutting military waste | READER COMMENTARY

A billboard showing the national debt is seen in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images).

Thanks for the recent article, “US debt now $31 trillion: Here’s how it grew so big” (Jan. 23). The first figure to astound this reader was “just under $6 trillion for all of America’s ‘war on terror’ efforts after Sept. 11.”

This astonishing amount included the cost of the brutal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. What was accomplished? Imagine if those tax dollars were used for social services or to protect the environment. One can argue the war on terror is a flop and that the illegal prison at Guantanamo is a stain on the human rights record of the United States.

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I also noticed the effects of tax cuts, which, of course, benefited the elite, contributed mightily to the deficit. Finally, I have to bring up the military budget, which is designed to bestow record profits on weapons contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. The U.S. has some 7,000 nuclear weapons. Why spend $50 billion annually on the nuclear arsenal?

Yes, let’s reduce the deficit by severe cuts to the military budget so that one day our government has a moral budget. It would be designed to provide for our security by using tax dollars to end income inequality, to provide sufficient funds for programs aimed at helping the poor and to mitigate climate chaos.

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— Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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