Government’s wasteful spending

In a recent opinion letter the writer was complaining about the wasteful spending in the military. The writer only addressed wasteful spending in the military rather than address the wasteful spending of the entire government.

The military is part of one of the three functions of government. The military makes up a large portion of the primary responsibility of the government that of national defense. The other two functions of government are the administration of justice (law and order) and the provision of certain public goods (elementary education, transportation infrastructure: goods individuals cannot afford alone). Nowhere in those functions is the redistribution of wealth to care for the poor and needy.

After spending 20 plus years in the military, I agree with the writer that there is wasteful spending in the military. Most of the wasteful spending in the military is at the behest of our elected officials. Many unwanted weapons systems are forced upon the military by elected officials simply because they are manufactured in the official’s state or district. I was told on many occasions that I had to fully spend my budget each year whether I need the supplies or not. If I failed to spend the budget, the elected officials in Washington would reduce the military’s budget or reallocate the money to some unwanted weapons system.

It is not only the military that has wasteful spending. Every department in the government has wasteful spending. The larger the government grows the more of the taxpayer’s money is wasted. There is waste in all 90 of the programs used to support the poor and needy. The bureaucrats spend every cent that the elected officials allocate them. Not only do the bureaucrats spend every dollar, then they are there begging for more.

Many elected officials have the mindset that the only way to correct a problem is to throw more taxpayer money at the problem. Throwing other people’s money at a problem will not solve the problem it will only increase the problem.

I am a firm believer that if you want to reduce waste in government the only way that can be done is by reducing the size of government. The easiest way to reduce the size of the US government is to follow the US Constitution. If it is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, then the federal government should not be funding it!!!

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount