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Ike's Warning on Military Spending

November 07, 1990

Harold Willens' "Ike Was Absolutely On Target" (Column Left, Commentary, Oct. 22) is a timely, accurate presentation of one of our most serious problems. As a businessman, I recognize that we cannot violate basic economics laws indefinitely. In the last 10 years, we have tripled a national debt that developed over a 200-year period. In 1980 the national debt was approximately $800 billion. In 1990 it is in excess of $3 trillion. In 1953, 5 cents of every tax dollar went for interest on the national debt. In 1990, 19 cents of every tax dollar was required. Unless we deal promptly with the deficit, our children will be paying 25 cents of their tax dollar for interest on the debt. We are living with a 50-year-old foreign policy that forces us to maintain troops in Germany, Japan and Korea, as well as many other parts of the world, at a cost of more than $160 billion per year. With the collapse of Eastern Europe, we need to re-evaluate this policy and reduce our deficit with little pain except to the military-industrial complex.

We need to improve education, rebuild the infrastructure, revitalize our industry and pay down our debt.

Leadership from our elected officials is sorely lacking, but it is time for the electorate to become indignant. Let's make the decade of the '90s a decade of renewal.

THEODORE WILLIAMS, Los Angeles

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