Replace sequestration with smarter cuts

2013-08-27T00:00:00Z Replace sequestration with smarter cuts nwitimes.com
August 27, 2013 12:00 am

In addition to cuts to general mental health services ("Protesters demand stop to sequestration, mental health funding cuts," Aug. 14), sequestration has also furloughed staff at military health clinics that help troops and veterans who have PTSD and other mental health challenges.

In fact, sequestration has dealt veterans several blows, cutting Labor Department job training for veterans and HUD housing aid for homeless veterans.

Washington shouldn’t ignore how sequestration hurts veterans. It should be replaced with smarter cuts to programs that are really wasting money, like the Pentagon’s $1.5 trillion Joint Strike Fighter. The JSF is the most expensive aircraft program in our history, but also one of the worst. The plane is slower and less maneuverable than current fighter jets, and carries less firepower.

Before taking another dime from veterans, we should cancel or shrink failed programs like the JSF.

- Col. Vince Martinez, National Guard (ret.), Albuquerque, N.M.

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