The True Cost of Military Spending

Regarding the opinion-page column "It Isn't Defense Spending That Bloats the Budget," June 7: The costs of military spending have been minimized on paper by hiding nuclear weapons under "energy" (instead of the solar and conservation we might imagine), slipping costs of past wars over to human services, and treating interest on national debt as an across-the-board and unrelated phenomenon, when actually the costs of war (cold or otherwise) have been the main reason for spending beyond tax revenues.Justification or criticism of spending of tax money should rest not only on dollars or percentages involved, but on the potential benefits. What benefits can be claimed from US defense spending of $5 trillion since the mid-1960s? The bottom line seems to be that while militarism may glorify generals, it fails to solve problems. William A. Calder, Crested Butte, Colo. Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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