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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of April 11, 2011

Readers write in about defense spending as the real 'entitlement' the US Congress should cut and the need for better parental involvement in the effort to turn around failing schools.

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The real 'entitlement' to cut

Regarding the March 14 editorial "Tea party can show its punch": If the tea party is really on a mission to shrink government, tea partyers should focus on expanding the budget discussion. All we hear, as quoted from the editorial, is this line: "The most meaningful cuts, the vital debt-reducing moves ... lie in reform of costly entitlements – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

But there's another "entitlement" – military spending – which is surprisingly absent from the political discussion/posturing about debt and deficit reduction. US military spending is more than the rest of the world's combined and continues to grow in real dollars. Yet none of the big government opponents who are ruthlessly removing social safety nets appear to be looking as seriously at the military budget, where efficiency cuts could yield big money.

Can we afford the crippling costs of being the world's police force? Are all these expenditures making us safer?

These difficult economic times are forcing working people to closely examine their budgets. Our elected officials need to look closely at all parts of the national budget as well. Perhaps a "Gang of 87" freshmen might not yet be too beholden to military lobbyists to expand the budget discussion.

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