It is disgraceful that the richest nation on Earth cannot provide better care for our Veterans.
My grandfather and my husband’s grandfather both served as officers in World War II, and their experiences affected their lives well beyond the end of the war. These were the days before we talked about PTSD. I will always deeply respect and honor our military, and especially our veterans who were willing to give their lives in service of this country. This country in return should provide the best we can give in return, to make sure that no veteran is ever homeless, or without the very best physical and mental health care, or deported to Mexico after they have served our country.
The problem is - Trump’s current budget seeks to increase military spending by an additional $54 Billion in 2018, and cut non-military by same amount. This brings our military budget for this year to $700 Billion. The US already spends more on military than the next 8 nations combined. Spending on our military accounts for 57% of the federal tax dollar; all other categories range from 1-6%. The United States maintains 800 military bases worldwide at a cost of $100 billion a year. This is money that can be spent at home creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure, and investing in the future of the people. The disastrous war in Iraq cost trillions, the war in Afghanistan is 15 years in with no end in sight, and we’re currently bombing 7 different countries. It’s time to end the wars and the perverse monetary-incentive structure that makes politicians careless about sending young men and women to die. Unilateral U.S. military force should only be used as a last resort to defend the nation. The current budget could be cut drastically if we used our department of defense for what it was intended—defending us, instead of waging interventionist wars.
This is what I believe, and all legislative decisions will stem from these principles:
- I will always take a strong stand to support our military members (both active and veterans) and their family members—economically, socially, psychologically and medically.
- I believe in supporting our veterans in substantive and meaningful ways that will ensure their psychological, social and economic well-being.
- I also believe in maintaining a strong military that is supported in acting responsibly while protecting American interests; however, I believe in a common sense approach to military spending.
- I will always pursue peaceful negotiations before military intervention, using our military only for purposes of defense of our country or our allies.
- I do not believe that dramatically increasing military spending for traditional warfare weaponry and activities will automatically guarantee the protection of Americans, since we are in a new era of international relations fueled by new forms of globalization, technology and cyber warfare. The current administration’s recent dramatic increase in budget for military spending is both troubling and irresponsible.