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Debt: 'Owing the World'

January 31, 1988

The defense budget is the biggest pork barrel ever. Our representatives divvy up the states, each getting a share proportional to the effort of convincing Congress of the importance and need of the greatest defense machine ever. Beside the patriotic logic, the defense community claims that it creates employment, it keeps the economy vibrant, good paying jobs, etc.

A dispassionate investigation of defense spending reveals an altogether different picture. Waste is so thoroughly exposed it needs no further discussion. The claim that defense creates healthy employment is based more on public relations than on fact. It is well established that defense monopolizes our brain power to the detriment of private industry. The most misleading boasting about defense employment is now an accepted evaluation that for the same number of dollars spent in the defense industries three times as many workers can be gainfully employed in restructuring our roads, bridges, buildings, health and school facilities, and revitalizing closed and abandoned factories that used to be the superstructure of America.

National defense is a priority--but when it is blown out of proportion to the detriment of millions in great need--national defense becomes a vehicle of greed for the benefit of a small number of merchants of death and an equally small number of candidates whose aspirations in politics depends on big bucks only the merchants can provide.

DAVID ARONOFF

Woodland Hills

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