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Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to pbacharach@okgazette. com or sent online at, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

cut defense

In a time when we are facing huge federal budget deficits and debt, how can we not be talking about serious defense cuts?

We have used the war on terror as an excuse to throw money at the defense industry at unprecedented levels. In 2000, our defense budget was just more than $200 billion. In 2011, it was almost $700 billion. We spend more on defense than the next 20 highest-spending countries of the world.

We spend five times more than our supposed biggest threats — China, Iran, North Korea, and al-Qaida — combined. We are still building submarines that cost $2 billion each and fighter aircraft that cost more than $300 million per plane.

The F-22 is the most advanced fighter the world has ever seen, and by leaps and bounds, the most expensive. We have no one to fight with it, however. Even with our older F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s, we could take on all of the air forces of the world and have air superiority in two weeks. Maybe with the F-22, when the Martians invade, we’ll be ready?

When we are talking about cutting Medicare, Social Security, and education benefits, how can we not be talking about serious cuts to defense spending? President Obama has proposed nearly nothing in significant defense cuts. Mr. Romney is actually proposing increasing defense spending!

The biggest threat to this nation’s security is not China, Iran or al-Qaida. Our biggest threat is us: our debt and fiscal irresponsibility.

—Retired Lt. Col. of the Marine Corps Richard Westmoreland Edmond

Fairtax fan

Political parties want to “help us” with temporary tax breaks meant to encourage us, only to then use it for political gain when it’s set to expire.

Why can’t we take government control out of taxes altogether and just use taxes to generate revenue?

The “FairTax Act” does just that and is designed to replace the current federal tax code to remove all federal taxes on your income and move it to consumption. This would apply to new goods and services only and only to people living above the poverty level (something a lot of people leave out when discussing it).

This means the poor are not burdened with a regressive tax and middle class people see a lowering of their overall tax rate, while those wealthy individuals spending money on their expensive cars and yachts are the only ones paying the full rate.

It is a progressive national retail sales tax that you only pay once you are done taking care of you and your family.

Studies show that the current cost of our tax code adds about 19 to 25 percent to the cost of goods and services. With these taxes stripped away, the market can drive prices down, meaning prices won’t just increase.

Please research this wonderful bill; you may be surprised.

—Tony Leach Oklahoma City

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