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Billions for Defense Leave Less for Humanity

October 29, 2002

Re "Bush Signs Big Boost in Defense Spending," Oct. 24:

In a politically and emotionally motivated wartime era, Bush has found $355.5 billion for military expenses. I'm glad that new weapons will be developed, along with a ballistic missile defense system, while millions of Americans are unemployed, homeless or dying from an incurable disease. There are people who have no health insurance, don't know how they'll feed their children tonight or are covering themselves with this newspaper to stay warm on a park bench. Is it any wonder that so many Americans feel neglected and unrepresented by our government?

Jennifer Newell

West Los Angeles

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Do we realize that the $355.5 billion for our new defense budget is more money than all other nuclear powers in the world combined allocate to their defense budgets? Do we realize that if we shifted even a portion of this money to humanitarian causes around the world we'd see a significant improvement in the anti-American zeal sweeping the globe right now? Or, for that matter, how far this money could go in helping out with our own problems?

After all, regardless of how we're told that out of any other country the United States gives the largest amount of money toward humanitarian causes, it's never mentioned that, when compared as a percentage of the gross domestic product with other much smaller European countries, we're far from the leaders of the pack.

As the economic superpower of the world, is this something to boast about? Do we even care?

Marc Mintz

Riverside

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