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John Viacrucis, Published February 17 2012

Proposed defense cuts not enough

Bring our war dollars home and use them for helping our local communities.

Over the past decade, the Pentagon budget has grown by 100 percent. Some of that growth was to pay for the wars, but a lot of it went right into the Pentagon budget. Right now, we are all having to cut back. The Pentagon should have to as well.

At a time when budgets are tight and programs and services in our community are being cut back, the Pentagon budget keeps getting bigger. The secretary of defense announced Jan. 26 that he plans to slow the rate of growth for the Pentagon budget. But even under this proposal, in 10 years the Pentagon budget would still be bigger than it is today.

The fact of the matter is that we’re spending our tax dollars more on the Pentagon budget, instead of using it to help fund social programs. That is why the time has come to drastically reduce the Pentagon budget.

I hope that our members of Congress, Rep. Collin Peterson, Sen. Al Franken and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, will stick with the current law, which requires the Pentagon to cut its budget by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade – twice what the secretary is proposing.