There was an interesting juxtaposition of commentaries in the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Insight section on Dec. 11.
On the one hand, Dr. Mary Dowd eloquently brought to life the addiction crisis her patients attempt to navigate, the stark despair they experience, and the utter failure of political and social systems to meet their needs. She makes a compelling plea for health insurance coverage, medications, behavioral treatment and, of course, the funding necessary to focus attention on saving the lives of our addicted neighbors.
On the other hand, Alan Caron concludes a column on job creation by noting that the Pentagon buried a report that uncovered $125 billion in excess spending in a year, and the Army cannot account for $6.5 trillion in spending. The Pentagon is the single federal agency that refuses to be audited and it spends more than 50 percent of our discretionary tax dollars.
Budgets are moral documents. Our addicted neighbors are paying the price for Pentagon largesse and endless war. 
Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King should be leading the charge to audit the Pentagon, and to ensure that addiction – the most significant health crisis our country  has faced in decades – receives the attention and funding it demands.

Mary Beth Sullivan


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