The effects of ALL federal budget prioritizing is ultimately local. It is in cities and towns and rural America that people feel the brunt of bad decisions and the benefits of good ones. Questioning decisions of the past in light of changing conditions and the needs of our people today would seem reasonable. Yet it is being resisted.
The United States currently has 900 military bases in 62 foreign countries, 95% of ALL foreign bases on the planet. World War II ended 65 years ago. Still we have 50,000 military personnel in Germany and 40,000 in Japan, with hundreds of thousands more stationed in bases around the world. So why is defense spending “off the table” when evaluating the federal budget?
According to the National Priorities Project, “Taxpayers in Santa Monica, California will pay $236.5 million for Total Defense Spending in FY2010.” The project looked at what that money could buy if used to support education, health care, public safety, affordable housing, renewable electricity and other peaceful pursuits. The trade-offs are astounding! Changing some of our priorities could indeed create a “perfect storm,” raining jobs on local communities. No part of the national budget should be off limits for analysis and questioning!
Available on the internet is information on the financial and human costs of our wars, past, present and future, based on government data. For starters is a “List of United States military bases”. Also check out the National Priorities Project which has researched the Total Defense Spending for cities across the country. Another good source is the organization Peace Action.
Ruth Sarnoff, Santa Monica
RE: BBB Proposed Fare Incresaes & Bus Shelters
A disproportionate Fare increase is proposed for Seniors. The current Senior fare is a third the regular fare. Why should seniors pay more than double the current rate, when everyone else pays only 67% more? A new fare greater than 42 cents would be unfair to seniors!
The proposed bus shelter design appears less capable to protect users from rain and sun than the current box-shaped design. Furthermore, it would be imprudent to replace existing shelters where they exist as long as they perform their function and are not beyond repair in light of the economy. Unless a more functional design is found, the existing design should be used for locations that don’t currently have a shelter. Any new features currently proposed could easily be added to the existing shelters. One would wonder who would benefit from ripping out the existing shelters and replacing them, should that happen. But by that time, of course, it could be too late!
Robert R Holden, Santa Monica
RE: Gayley Vaughn’s letter to the editor
I hate when that happens. I get so mad at myself for not forking out the extra 25 cents. So, thanks for paying your fine promptly. And you really are a cheap skate aren’t you? You can’t buy 27 minutes on a meter – you had to have had someone else’s leftover minutes!
Alvin Crown, Santa Monica
P.S. If you find another shopping area in West Los Angeles that doesn’t have fees for street parking, let us know!
Susan Hartley’s letter needs an answer. She is the epitome of the “NIMBY” Tom Elias wrote about, and the airport is a “LULU” to her. (Both her letter and Mr. Elias’s article are in the January 21-27 edition of the Mirror.)
Her first-paragraph questions are ridiculous. Restricting flights to the skies above the airport’s city will only take you in circles. Planes leaving LAX circle around L.A., then land at LAX., ludricous!!
Her solution is to close the Santa Monica Airport due to pollution. Following her logic, all airports would be eliminated. Hence more automobiles causing pollution. Next step, outlaw cars. The horse and buggy era is back in the U.S.A while the rest of the world moves on. (Other countries would not join in.)
I moved here in 1967 and the airport had already been here a long time. Ms. Hartley and others should not have moved close to the airport if the noise and pollution bother them. I love the airport and am tired of newcomers who whine so loudly. Ms. Hartley and her ilk should leave Santa Monica to those of us who understand and appreciate what Douglas Aircraft and the airport did for our city and country.
Carol Golden, Santa Monica