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Letter: Time to scrutinize defense spending

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Defense spending is by far the largest expenditure of our federal government, and it's increasing every year. The defense budget represents about half of all U.S. discretionary spending. Our defense appropriations exceed the total amount of defense spending by all other nations in the world -- combined. Defense spending is one of the largest contributors to our huge deficits.

We are embroiled in two wars, racking up deficits, and Americans are not willing to pay for them by having their taxes increased. We can't have it both ways; either we pay for our wars, or we incur further deficits.

The U.S. no longer can be the world's sole policeman. It will take the combined efforts of all civilized nations to help stamp out terrorism throughout the world.

The defense budget is a 'sacred cow' that few legislators seem willing to trim because they will almost certainly be labeled as being soft on defense -- or even worse, 'unpatriotic'. 

There is always fat and waste that can be trimmed in any budget. Defense Department budgets should receive the same scrutiny as any other department of our government and should not be immune from legitimate cuts in unnecessary, wasteful spending.

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