Military cuts hurt veterans, leave Americans exposed

From Joseph F. Morgan, retired Army medic and President/CEO of Veterans of Modern Warfare
As North Korea threatens nuclear attack (“North Korea threatens US with ‘preemptive’ nuclear attack,” March 7), Congress is inexplicably focused on military cuts that would hurt our veterans and leave U.S. cities dangerously exposed.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned these cuts would hollow out our defenses, shrinking U.S. forces to levels not seen since 9/11 and cutting training and war games that ensure the readiness of our troops. The Navy has already announced plans to cancel maintenance on 23 ships, including two aircraft carriers. Meanwhile 350,00 veterans working at DOD would face a 20 percent pay cut and transition funds to help vets re-enter civilian life would be slashed.


The cuts wouldn’t even spare our most critical national security programs, like our ballistic missile defenses. North Korea’s threats aren’t empty rhetoric; Pyongyang just exploded its third nuke and already has a rocket that can reach the U.S. mainland. But budget cuts could cause our defenses to fall behind. National Academy researchers say we need more interceptors out west, plus an East Coast base to face the growing Iranian threat. This Ground-based Midcourse Defense system has proved itself after years of rigorous testing to be our only real defense against the world’s greatest threat.

This is no time to skimp on upgrades it needs.

If Congress fails to stop these cuts, it could endanger the lives of our brave troops as well as every single U.S. citizen.

Washington, D.C. 

STEM advantages

From Anne Fertitta
As senior manager of a semiconductor design company with a vested interest in helping address STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education challenges, it was refreshing to read about the House approving the measure from Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) to create STEM competitions in each congressional district (“House passes resolution creating STEM competition for students,” Feb. 26). With an education crisis looming, it is great to see the acknowledgement of STEM competitions as a method to address educational challenges.

At AMD, we believe it’s not only advantageous to devote time and resources to tackle this issue for future generations, it is imperative. Now, more than ever, is the time to explore new, transformative approaches in education. That is why we support STEM initiatives likes the National STEM Video Game Challenge  — a video-game-design competition intended to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s young people by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games about a social issue.

Enhancing the STEM skills of America’s youth is essential to ensuring the next generation is equipped to address global educational challenges in the 21st century. We believe that creating these competitions is an important piece of that process and will further incentivize the next generation to learn, innovate and create.

Austin, Texas

Men die with VAWA

From Gordon E. Finley
In perhaps the supreme triumph of ideology and the feminist vote bullying over science ever, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been passed by both gutless houses of Congress and signed by a spineless president (“Obama signs VAWA, hails law as ‘victory’ for violence victims,” March 7).

Tragically, boys, men and fathers increasingly will die at the hands of their violent mothers and wives as our worthless elected officials rush to issue press releases and pat themselves on the back claiming victory for all eternity to now having ended “the war on women.” The consequences, in addition to what will be the exponentially rising violence against boys, men and fathers, include a drop in the confidence of ordinary citizens with real-life experiences and common sense in their elected officials, if it could drop any lower. The consistently replicated bottom line of empirical research studies, as opposed to politicized ideology, is that domestic violence initiation and victimization is very close to 50-50 on virtually all indexes.

If there is any legislation our worthless Congress has passed that is more harmful to children, families and the well being of society, I have missed it.

Fair Tax may fix Medicare

From Patrick R. Burkett
The Social Security and Medicare trust funds will become insolvent within the next few years due to high payouts and low income. The Fair Tax Act, H.R. 25, pending in the House Ways and Means Committee, would resolve this problem. The Fair Tax eliminates the income tax and several other taxes, including the current payroll tax and the current Medicare Part B premiums that fund their respective trusts but which are insufficient to keep the Trust Funds solvent. The Fair Tax replaces all of these taxes with a consumption tax, which will provide a more stable source of funds than income-based taxes because spending is less volatile than income during the ups and downs of the business cycle. And it will receive funds from a larger tax base because it taxes all who spend to purchase new goods and services above the poverty level, whereas only about 50 percent of people pay income taxes.

The 23 percent consumption tax rate will be revenue-neutral with the taxes eliminated and will be sufficient to fund all government activities, including Social Security and Medicare, at current levels.

Please join in making this a reality by indicating your support at and contacting your congressional representative.

Bend, Ore.