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Pentagon budget grows while local services suffer

Letter to the Editor

A lobbyist recently reported that some members of the Super-Committee are open to cutting Pentagon spending.

'We need to hear what the folks back home in our state have to say about this,' they said.

They need to hear about the consequences in our communities when money isn't invested in schools, roads, jobs, and other local priorities.

The debate in Washington affects all of us here in Washington County. We are dealing with cut backs in funding for education, libraries and infrastructure.

Communities around the country are being squeezed. More people are relying on food banks; local governments are coping with both the neighborhood and family stress of foreclosure; schools are increasing class sizes and shortening the school year; and critical maintenance on bridges and roadways is being cut. Police and firefighters are losing their jobs.

Yet the Pentagon budget continues to grow.

One big way that Sens. Wyden and Merkley and Congress can address the escalating deficit and debt is to cut the Pentagon budget by at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

If the federal government keeps increasing spending on wars and military contractors, then there will be even less money available for other urgent priorities here in our communities.

Karen Alexander-Brown lives in Hillsboro.