Letter to the Editor – Joe Burton

To the Editor:

It is very true that earmark spending has come to symbolize runaway spending by the Federal Government (N&O, 11/26). But, why are Republicans in Congress concerned about spending millions of dollars on domestic civic projects? After all, that spending provides work for people and infrastructure that is needed by our communities. On the other hand, congressional Republicans have no problem spending a trillion dollars in this decade on two futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—wars they are directly responsible for starting. That spending sends dollars abroad and unlike earmarks, has no positive effect for our nation—no new schools or hospitals or affordable housing, or the many other infrastructure needs of our nation. Since 2001, North Carolina has contributed $30 billion to the Afghanistan/Iraq wars. The dividend from that $30 billion investment by our state has been much death and destruction, incredible suffering, no benefit for North Carolina, and arguably less security for our nation. When that $30 billion expenditure over 9 years is compared to the $3.5 billion budget shortfall predicted for our state in 2011 (N&O, 11/23), it becomes obvious how misplaced the concern over earmark spending really is.

—Joe Burton

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