Prioritizing Waste Reduction in Military and Government Spending – The Virginian-Pilot

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Regarding “Biden’s Defense Budget Undermines US Security” (Other Views, May 21): Representative Rob Wittman recently claimed that President Joe Biden’s proposed budget would compromise US security. In particular, he asserted that the proposed budget did not take into account the recent increase in inflation which would have an impact on both the purchasing power of the military and the purchasing power of men and women in service.

He also claims that the Biden administration has failed to rein in inflation, including rising gasoline prices. He apparently doesn’t realize that the federal government has no control over gas prices and can do little to control inflation. He also claims that excessive federal spending is part of the culprit. Again, he fails to recognize that it is Congress, not the president, who controls spending.

While it could be argued that the proposed budget for the military is inadequate in that it does not take inflation into account, it must also be recognized that the military spends money on items it doesn’t need or want. Again, it’s under the control of the Congress Wittman is a member of last time I checked. Additionally, Wittman could do more to limit other government spending and change tax laws so that, if needed, there could be more money available for the military. That would include letting Medicaid bid on prescription drugs and closing loopholes so companies like Amazon pay their fair share of taxes.

Warren Hill, Virginia Beach

Re “Biden’s Defense Budget Undermines American Security” (Other Views, May 21): Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican, isn’t the only congressman to oppose the proposed military budget, Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democrat, also has. And the budget does not take into account the current, much higher inflation rates. But Wittman, a Republican politician (a fact not mentioned anywhere in this column or its description), intentionally dismisses the failures of the previous administration as if it did not exist.

He writes: “…The Biden administration’s failure to rein in runaway inflation over the past year and excessive government spending long before (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s attack on Ukraine , have left Americans struggling at the gas pump, the supermarket and beyond.Now, by failing to recognize the consequences of failed policies, the Biden administration has risked undermining our military power and strength.

There is no mention of the disarray in our relations with NATO members left by the previous administration. There is no mention of the disarray left in our foreign policy in general. There is no mention of his inability (and unwillingness) to deal decisively with the effects of COVID-19, even though the President knew exactly how it was transmitted. This latest failure has left our economy in shambles.

When are we going to require our elected officials to speak honestly and candidly about the issues we face? Maybe it will happen when we overcome our own inability to be honest and upfront with ourselves.

Mannie Smith, Norfolk

On “Regional Flooding Needs Cash” (Our Views, May 14): Op-ed makes good point about Youngkin administration’s commitment to pull Virginia out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative greenhouse: if the money does not come from RGGI, where will it go? comes from? If the money is not replaced, pulling out of the RGGI will not only mean losing funds needed to mitigate floods and other climate-related disasters, it will create the need for even more money to clean up after disasters. And with flooding occurring almost weekly in Hampton Roads communities, it’s a question of when the next disaster will happen, not if it will.

In attempting to withdraw from the RGGI, Governor Glenn Youngkin is leaving the residents of Hampton Roads and other flood-prone areas of Virginia to their fate. Let the governor and your state officials know that you care about the homes, businesses, and natural features of our state and want Virginia to remain in the RGGI.

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Julie Bauer, Vienna

I sat down to dinner tonight at 5 p.m.; It’s now 5:43 p.m., and I’ve seen the ED ad at least four times – really? At dinner time? What if I had a 4 year old dining with us? It’s on all channels. And yes, I could have turned off the TV, and I would have if there was a child in my house, but what makes me so angry is this: in Florida, you don’t want me to uses the word ‘gay’; here you want to remove books from school libraries; and, you want to stop all abortions, but is it OK to talk about erectile dysfunction during dinner time?

And, do you think it’s OK for my taxes to pay for Viagra? Yet you can tell women what to do with their uterus — where is the “reasoning” behind that? This is bullshit.

I’m starting to think I just stepped back in time.

Sam Gilchrist, Portsmouth

Wouldn’t it be nice if former President Donald Trump used his influence on the GOP to push through the common sense gun laws that so many Americans want to see. Please use your powers for good.

Kathryn P. King, Norfolk

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