I want to applaud Senator Jerry Moran for his work as the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Two weeks ago, the subcommittee received testimony from senior officials from each branch of our armed services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense regarding the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request for a $54 billion increase in military spending.
In the hearing, Senator Moran asked witnesses about how to improve military construction, how to avoid “cost overruns” during construction projects such as the hospital at Fort Riley (which resulted in a $22 million settlement with the contractor), and how each agency prioritizes construction projects. The DoD is the only agency that has not gone through a formal audit. I cannot support granting the DoD an additional $54 billion when it is not known where the current resources are being allocated, and with no specific plans for future spending.
Thank you, Senator Moran, for asking the hard questions, for being a good steward of our resources and for advocating for efficient spending in the DoD. I urge our members of Congress to oppose any increases in military spending and demand an audit of the DoD.
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Susie Ternes, Wichita
Readers would find it helpful if the Wichita Eagle published columns from those who understand the climate change science and why it is important to move away from fossil fuels. Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, in an episode of Cosmos, explained climate change in terms that non-scientists could understand. Surely, local scientists are available to write such a column. We need columnists other than those representing right-wing think tanks, groups that are interested only in profits through fossil fuels.
Profits are being made through green energy sources, which is why so many forward-looking companies are turning to green energy. Green energy not only provides profits, it also brings jobs.
Those who think climate change is a hoax because Wichita is sometimes cooler or warmer than usual need to look beyond Wichita to places like Florida, where the coastlines are disappearing under water, to the melting polar ice caps, or to glaciers that calve huge blocks of ice into the sea. These events are not natural processes. They are warnings to those of us who are supposed to be stewards of the earth. We should heed those warnings for those who come after us.
Diane Wahto, Wichita
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