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Letters: Worked up over defense claims

March 03, 2013

Re “Obama's dangerous experiment,” Opinion, Feb. 28

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, fails to mention that he himself voted for the “sequester” in 2011.

Two conclusions can be made: that he agreed with these cuts at the time, or that he negotiated in bad faith, planning to undo the cuts that he didn't like at a later date.

McKeon infers from President Obama's behavior that the administration wishes to “hollow out” the U.S. military.

I infer from McKeon's behavior that he wishes to protect a small number of defense contractors (that donated large sums to his campaign) at the expense of the large number of average citizens in his district who benefit from social programs.

Richard Olmstead
Van Nuys

McKeon mentions the president's proposals to avert sequestration, then goes on to blame Obama for all the ills that sequestration will visit on the military. Huh?

He also whines about previous cuts to the military budget, despite the fact that one GOP-initiated war has been wound down and the second is in the process of being ended.

The Republicans can't have it both ways — either focus on the budget cuts and suck up the pain, or work with the president to find alternatives.

Enough with the hypocrisy.

Brent Vanderwood
Mission Viejo

Dear Congressman: You may be absolutely right about what may happen to the military and to civilian jobs because of the sequester. You may also be absolutely right that it really was a “dangerous experiment.”

But I did not think that Republicans would care so much for cutting budgets that they would rather destroy the country.

People have figured out what Republicans want: Cut taxes for the rich and, in that fight, if the country goes to the dogs, it is Obama's fault.

I am a small-business owner. Can you tell me what you have really done for us? If more people had money, I would have more customers. I do not make money when only the rich can afford my products and there are not enough people in the middle who can.

Sam Mookerjee
Canoga Park

If one were to look at the yea and nay votes in the House on the sequestration bill, one would see that McKeon voted in favor.

If civics were still taught in our schools, we'd see that the president can create no laws; that is the job of Congress — the Senate and the House of Representatives.

So now my elected representative is blaming the president for the sequestration problem? Doesn't sound to me like the party of “personal responsibility” is capable of taking any.

Doug Kimball
Lancaster

The sequester is wrong, but McKeon's solution is absurd.

The Republican bill passed in the last session would cut deeply into programs for the poorest in our country to maintain a level of military spending that dwarfs the rest of the world's.

Now, while we are in a recovery period from the recession, is not the time to be cutting spending. We should have a short-term stimulus package coupled with a long-term tax reform and spending package.

We do need to do something to control the cost of Medicare in the long term; the healthcare law is starting to address this issue.

Michael Ubell
Oakland

McKeon worries that the sequester cuts to defense will “cripple our military's ability to fulfill its primary role: to keep this nation out of war.”

Since we have been almost continuously fighting since the Vietnam War, the mission seems to have failed.

Perhaps if we weren't so eager to engage in wars, the cuts would be easier to digest.

Donald G. Marshall
Downey

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