McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 4, 2013

Letter to the Editor:

By MJ Brickey
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Editor:

There are plans to cut expenses of government, yet cuts aren’t always justified and if they affect people directly, there is a lot of unhappiness. Plans to close the Social Security office in Hugo is a recent example. This office serves 11,448 taxpayers in more than 17 zip codes in a large portion of Southeast Oklahoma. The trillions of dollars we are in debt result in necessary cuts, yet, in planning cuts, politicians ignore that many got rich on foreign wars, companies made trillions in war contracts and the costs of these wars were  not paid for when fought.

Linda Bilmes, former assistant secretary of commerce and now a professor t the Harvard Kennedy School, has written extensively on the long-term cost of wars. She estimates the cost of providing Iraq and Afghanistan disability and services is close to $1 trillion.

We need to place our first priority on the needs of people in our own country and realize that we cannot resolve foreign conflicts according to our plans.

There is no disputing the need to cut waste in our government services but a small cut such as closing a needed Social Security office will not make any impact on our huge debt.

Edward V. Harris