Keep what you can
The July 16 article on the front page of the Record-Eagle regarding lost revenue from uncollected sales taxes can be seen from two sides. First side: $242 million that Lansing didn't get to squander. Second side: $242 million that citizens were able to spend on goods or services, save for retirement, help fund their children's college education, etc. No matter how much money goes to Lansing, it's never enough, so why not keep as much as you can?
End Pentagon's waste
The military-industrial complex is the very real elephant on our back. According to the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Pentagon has lost, wasted and left unaccounted for more money than the total budgets of five other federal departments: State, Interior, Commerce, Justice and Energy. Its spending is higher than any time in the last 60 years. It is the least efficient job creator.
Legislation requiring a significant reduction in all departments' spending, including the Pentagon's, became law last summer in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Action is afloat to restore money to the Pentagon. We want the Pentagon's reduction maintained. The Pentagon should pay its fair share, rather than get its usual sums and other agencies be cut further. Our military gets almost half of U.S. dispersible funds while other agencies have already faced more severe cuts than the Pentagon. Congress could close unnecessary bases overseas, end the Pentagon's hundreds of billions lost to waste and fraud and lower the profit margins of major Pentagon contractors.
The planned reduction in Pentagon spending would still leave more money in the core Pentagon budget than in 2007, at the height of the Iraq War.