A national failure

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Regarding "Review Shows Sequestration Not Living Up to Obama's Alarms" (July 1):

Viewed from on high, perhaps sequestration hasn't been the budgetary end-times that some foretold. But for a homeless veteran looking for a place to sleep, it's made it tougher to get a voucher for a shelter. For a Marine just returned from Afghanistan, it has made it more difficult to take advantage of a veterans job training program. For a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, furloughs at military health clinics have made it tougher to get treatment. For qualified veterans with specific skills needed in their community, they cannot get the necessary certification to apply for employment. For these veterans, sequestration really did bring the sky crashing down.

This wasn't inevitable -- as the article points out, Congress could have made decisions to cut in more fiscally responsible ways. Yet sequestration hasn't touched the $1.5 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for instance, which Sen. John McCain called "a scandal and a tragedy" for its gross mismanagement, technical flaws and cost overruns. After more than a decade, taxpayers have spent $87 billion and only have 65 F-35s, none of which are combat ready. Once it does enter service, defense experts say that Russian and Chinese fighters will be able to fly circles around the F-35 due to its poor maneuverability.

As long as we continue to fund dubious programs like the F-35 at the expense of our veterans, sequestration is a fiscal and moral failure.

THOMAS BANDZUL
Legislative Counsel
Veterans and Military Families for Progress
Burke, Va.


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