Thank you for Bruce Gagnon’s column opposing General Dynamics’ request for $60 million in Maine taxpayers’ money (Maine Voices, Dec. 4). The U.S. House of Representatives (including Rep. Chellie Pingree) voted Nov. 14 in favor of $700 billion in military spending – $85 billion beyond the current cap. When will it end?

Our lawmakers are frittering away our hard-earned tax dollars on massive weapons systems and military buildup. What are we saddled with? No comprehensive health care; a deteriorating educational system; overwhelming student debt; people living on the streets and eating at soup kitchens; a Pentagon that is one of the world’s largest polluters, plus huge national debt that we, our children and grandchildren will scrape by to pay. All while, according to a Defense Department study cited by The Washington Post, the Pentagon wastes $25 billion a year … that we know of.

Our national security is truly at stake because government budgeting does not consider the people first. Perhaps our lawmakers fear people unlike us around the world. Perhaps that is why the U.S. military has a presence in 172 countries. We the people are not afraid of people; we’re afraid for our families, who are suffering and dying from the inhumane budgetary decisions Congress is making.

Please contact Reps. Pingree and Bruce Poliquin and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King. Ask them to: stop taking contributions from military contractors; decrease military funding by eliminating weapons programs, closing bases and pulling out of wars; ensure the military completes its first-ever audit (the Pentagon is the only U.S. agency out of compliance with an audit mandate), and redirect the funding to job-producing programs such as converting existing military contractors to address clean transportation, water and energy needs.

Ask your state legislators to use the $60 million that Bath Iron Works is requesting to make the Clean Election Fund whole and to support health care.

Ginny Schneider


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