A Letter to the Editor

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David Delk, a UU in Oregon, recently got a Letter to the Editor published in the Portland (OR) Tribune:

Year after year, America spends close to half of its discretionary budget on military budgeting; more than the total of the next 11 countries combined, including China and Russia. It is 12 times higher than the military budget of Russia. It is said that this is the price of security but still it did not stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It appears to be a false security.

Biden’s budget request for the Pentagon is $813 billion dollars, a $31 billion increase over last year’s budget. Congress will likely increase that by another $25 billion or more.

Yet our national and local media doesn’t ask questions of candidates about this ever-increasing military budget. No questions about how this budget reflects the priorities of America, even as the needs of the people cannot be provided for — housing, healthcare, or relief from student and medical debt, for instance. Congress even seems to be having a difficult time approving a new expenditure for fighting the COVID pandemic!

It seems that the world’s greatest democracy and “freest” press cannot find its voice to ask important questions. One wonders if we have a democracy at all, or, if we do, who our democracy represents.

Let’s have a national discussion of priorities: war v. human needs. That discussion could begin if the press did its job and asked some hard questions. But we don’t have to wait on the “freest press”. We can start asking the questions ourselves. Let’s do that now.