F-35 comes with high cost
If Congress forces the Department of Defense to cut up to $57 billion from next year’s budget and $500 billion over the next 10 years, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said troops, retirees and their families would feel the effects in personnel-related areas.
The department already plans to raise health care premiums for veterans by as much as 340 percent and could cut as many as 100,000 troops from active duty in 2013, leading many more to the unemployment line. Currently, nearly 30 percent of young veterans are unemployed; veterans are twice as likely to carry high credit card debt and account for an astounding one-fifth of all suicides in the U.S.
Instead of shortchanging U.S. troops and veterans to cut the deficit, wouldn’t it be better to cut out-of-control defense programs? The F-35, for instance, has overrun its budget by 75 percent and is projected to cost an eye-popping $1 trillion. The program has been fraught with problems, including ill-informed plans to base the new aircraft in the most densely populated area of Vermont, where ear-shattering engine noise will disrupt and potentially destroy the lives of over 6,000 residents, many of whom are of low or moderate incomes.
This is the cost of the F-35: veteran health care, military personnel jobs and benefits, destruction of residential communities. Is a trillion-dollar weapon system worth this cost?
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rosanne M. Greco
The letter writer is chairwoman of the South Burlington City Council.MORE IN Letters
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