Mil­i­tary fund­ing leaves lit­tle for life

Cape Breton Post - - COMMENT -

The Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fence bud­get is $21.2 bil­lion, $4.8 bil­lion higher than it was when the Harper gov­ern­ment took of­fice. I do not have per­cent­age break­downs.

Most peo­ple favour spending cuts in­stead of rais­ing taxes and some want to con­tinue deficits. But Ekos poll­ster Frank Graves was quoted as say­ing that de­fence would be the most pop­u­lar tar­get WRITE TO US: Email: let­ters@cb­ Web­site: www.cb­ Fax: 902-562-7077 Post: The Cape Bre­ton Post Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor Box 1500, 255 Ge­orge St., Syd­ney, NS B1P 6K6 The CapeBre­tonPost wel­comes let­ters on mat­ters of pub­lic in­ter­est for pub­li­ca­tion over the writer’s name. Let­ters must state home ad­dress and phone num­ber where au­thor­ship can be reached for ver­i­fi­ca­tion. Let­ters must be no more than 300 words. Pub­li­ca­tion is at the dis­cre­tion of the Post and all let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing for read­abil­ity, gram­mar, taste, pro­pri­ety and length. To en­cour­age a di­ver­sity of con­trib­u­tors and opin­ions, let­ters by same writer will not ap­pear more fre­quently than twice a month. Copy­right in let­ters and other ma­te­ri­als sub­mit­ted to the pub­lisher and ac­cepted for pub­li­ca­tion re­mains with the au­thor, but the pub­lisher and its li­censees may freely re­pro­duce them in print, elec­tronic or other forms. For e-mailed let­ters, do not in­clude at­tach­ments. Opin­ions ex­pressed in let­ters are those of the au­thors. The Cape Bre­ton Post, its pub­lisher or pub­lish­ers, and Transcontinental Nova Sco­tia Me­dia Group Inc. do not nec­es­sar­ily en­dorse the views ex­pressed therein. for any fu­ture cut­backs.

In mid-Jan­uary, U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama pledged $100 mil­lion in U.S. gov­ern­ment aid to earth­quake-dev­as­tated Haiti. Com­pare that to the $100-bil­lion price tag to keep 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for a year.

More than a mil­lion Haitians are still home­less and vast num­bers (the lat­est es­ti­mate is 75 per cent) don’t have tents or tarps. The rainy sea­son is fast ap­proach­ing, and there is se­ri­ous dan­ger of ty­phoid and dysen­tery.

There is no short­age of bombs in Afghanistan but a lethal short­age of tents in Haiti. Such pri­or­i­ties are rou­tine.

There is plenty of money in the U.S. trea­sury for war in Afghanistan. But do­mes­tic needs – job cre­ation, for in­stance – is an­other mat­ter.

To quote Nor­man Solomon: “But the war­fare state, with vast bud­gets for mil­i­tary pur­poses, has scant funds for sus­tain­ing life.” Ron MacDougall Syd­ney Mines

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