Las Vegas Sun

March 4, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

America’s fiscal house not in order

Another view?

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The letter written by Frank Mentlik, “We have had 400 years to learn,” made several good points but was not factual in terms of history.

The English settlers who came to Jamestown in 1607 didn’t come due to religious reasons or issues that they had with James I, the king of England. Instead, they came to make a buck or two.

They were part of an all-male group that came to try to establish a colony and hopefully turn a profit.

The establishment of James­town was part of the English government’s plan to get into a race for colonies in not only the New World but around the world.

Mr. Mentlik is correct when he talks about the uncertain future that we face as a nation with an ever-increasing national debt.

We can’t continue to spend money that we don’t have, and we can’t continue to become engaged in wars that we can and should avoid. The recent war in Iraq comes quickly to mind.

Also, we need to take a long, hard look at our defense budget and possibly take a paring knife to parts of it. We spend twice as much on defense as China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom combined. Forty-three cents out of every dollar spent on weapons throughout the world is spent by us.

Our current national debt can’t be paid off in the blink of an eye, regardless of how much budget cutting we might do.

But cutting back on a bloated defense budget would be a great start.

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  1. We have cut back on the defense budget. The U.S. removed the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and consequently did not have a Marine Expeditionary Force that could respond to the sacking of the Benghazi consulate on September 11, 2012 and save the 4 Americans who were murdered. Plus, the U.S. reduced the interceptor defense missiles that were scheduled to be added to Alaska and Europe. But the President reversed his policy on the interceptors and decided to add them [although it will take 4 years] to Alaska and possibly some more to the west coast and Hawaii too. Why? North Korea. President may do the same for the east coast [add interceptors]. Why? Iran. Perhaps the President will change the policy on the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean too so when there is another dust up at one of our embassies and consulates in the mid-east, the U.S. can respond militarily. Or, maybe we'll just depend on Europe and our host nations to do it? How's that working for U.S.

    Carmine D

  2. We need to cut defense--we don't need to support hundreds of thousands of American troops in Europe and elsewhere. We can maintain with technology. Our aircraft, if we'd stop giving samples to "allies", would remain the state of the art without additional trillions in R&D for newer aircraft. We can invest and maintain special forces, drone technology. We need to hold officers accountable for allowing and even encouraging rapes, assaults, bullying. We need to DOWN SIZE THE MILITARY. We cannot teach our young that violence is the only way of life. We need to SECURE OUR BORDERS WITH TROOPS. We also need state-side forces to LOCATE AND EXPEL ILLEGALS. We need to roll back some of the stupid open-arms ideas that have destroyed our economies and our way of life.

  3. Stop letting the Defense Contractors, where retired generals go to make a buck, run our military. When Lasers are able to shoot down missiles/planes, Drones with missiles will be attacking battleships, robotic subs able to destroy real nuclear subs, etc... we need to look at the future of protecting our country.

    Spending Billions on single Planes, Subs, etc.. that will be easily destroyed in the future looks like a waste of money and just keeps the politicians hands financially greased from the defense contractors.

    We are not the worlds Cop nor Guardian Angel, nor can we alone guarantee the safety of Oil Shipments around the world. Military monies should be allocated to do everything possible to reintegrate our Veterans to have a full life as they gave so much to all of us.

    And as there is a time for War there is also a time for Peace, be wary of Politicians and the War Machine looking to keep us in perpetual war.

  4. A couple of points....debt has been part of the nation since day one. It took almost 60 years to pay off the Revolutionary War. When we were debt free we had some of the worst economic times in the countries history. Money to pay debt comes from consumption. The economic engine of the devoloped world is consumption driven.
    Reducing medical costs is the way to get our fiscal house in order. You folks need to actually read the DOD reports. In the next ten years the defense department expects to spend at least $700billion dollars on medical for active and retired personnel. They are spending so much on medical that soon they won't be able to afford guns and bullets. Maybe the defense department becoming a giant health insurance company is a good thing. Who the hell knows?

  5. You conservatives/Tea Party/Republicans ignore the glaringly obvious. Since Ronald Reagan and the failure of supply side economics our economy was headed toward disaster. It was Reagan who first borrowed monies to fund military defense driving us into debt. Prior to Reagan we loaned funds to other countries. Eisenhower and his policies are also ignored. He funded the nation's highways and other infrastructure without laying a heavy burden on the working class. Since Reagan however we've had a shrinking in wages and purchasing power for the working class while the wealth of the country shifted upward. Case in point, NAFTA and repealing the Glass Steagall Act did absolutely nothing for working class people but to put the screws to them. Only the wealthiest gain from defense spending and engaging in war and it's the working class who die and suffer from wounds. Yes the author is correct, our fiscal house is not in order, but not because of President Obama as many of you like to scream about. We've been trending this way for better than 30 years. Without a strong middle class this great nation will collapse as other super powers did in their timelines. What else can you expect when 80% of full time workers at companies like Walmart need food stamps to feed their families because they are paid peon wages?

    Reagan was the first president to borrow to fund defense??? George Washington was and it has been going on ever since. Give me a break!!

  7. Read the 0918 post line 3.

  8. The first to borrow for defense putting us into hock, not to wage war. Correct, Washington borrowed, but that was to buy weapons, ships, munitions and pay the troops. Reagan attempted to build his "Star Wars" defense through borrowing. Reagan himself said he regretted turning us from a nation of lenders to a nation of borrowers.

  9. "Carmine asking himself questions -- then providing the answers himself -- seems a bit noxious. Why? Because he is rarely correct."

    You should practice what you preach.

    Carmine D