TO THE EDITORS:
The Intell/New Era article, “Fiscal cliff negotiators are facing high hurdles” (11/19) does not mention the choice between cutting Pentagon spending and keeping human-needs programs in the federal budget. Negotiators should keep $1 trillion in Pentagon spending cuts on the table during the budget negotiations.
The $1 trillion cut in military spending is already required in current law. Moreover, the Sustainable Defense Task Force, the Simpson Bowles Commission and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) all support this recommendation. One trillion dollars amounts to a 15 percent cut in military spending over 10 years.
The Pennsylvania state budget needs federal dollars. In 2010, the state received $827 million for food assistance programs, $436 million for needy children, $1.9 billion for education and over $2 billion for infrastructure. In 2010, 2.58 million residents received Social Security benefits, over 2 million residents received Medicare and 1.8 million residents received Medicaid.
As the U.S. military presence abroad declines, maintaining domestic security is a rational choice. Contact Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Robert Casey and Congressman Joe Pitts to keep Pentagon budget cuts on the negotiation table and maintain federal spending for health care, education, job creation and renewable energy in Pennsylvania.