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Don’t blame inflation on government spending that benefits working people | READER COMMENTARY

The recent letter to the editor from Bill Barrons (”Biden must rein in government spending — including student loan forgiveness,” May 9), shows the influence of myths about government spending and inflation that serve to reinforce the greed of our current-day robber barons. Government spending can, at times, contribute to inflation. Today, there are other key factors such as supply chain gaps caused by the pandemic and the ability of corporate interests to leverage monopoly power into unwarranted price hikes.

Mr. Barron is alarmed that working- and middle-class people will get debt relief. Why do we never hear about war spending as a cause of inflation? In the last two decades, the U.S. government has wasted trillions on wars in the Middle East and has accomplished nothing except to kill, maim and enrage people. We are now set to spend $800 billion this year alone on so-called defense, including tens of billions on nuclear weapons that threaten our very existence. We spend more on war than the next 10 nations combined. Russia and China together have fewer than 20 foreign military bases while the U.S. has about 800.

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The government also wastes hundreds of billions each year overpaying for prescription drugs and medical care because overly concentrated health industries have the political power to prevent price bargaining in Medicare and Medicaid.

Why is it that budget hawks complain about any spending that will help the working people of our nation but never make a peep about insanely larger amounts that line the pockets of weapons makers, health profiteers and other leeches?

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— Charlie Cooper, Baltimore

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