Joe Burton: Make defense cuts beneficial to all

March 3, 2014 

Regarding the Feb. 25 news article “Hagel wants deep defense cuts”: Deep cuts in defense spending are good news for our nation and state. Our government recognizes that as wars end, spending associated with warfare should also end.

The actual amount of spending cuts N.C. will experience is not known. But rather than wring their hands about the loss, our state and federal political leaders should be proactive about finding ways to convert this war-time economy to a peace-time economy aimed at providing for the real needs of people.

Some states have established commissions for economic conversion to make recommendations that will help make military base closings and defense spending cuts beneficial. For instance, a military base is valuable real estate with many potential uses such as housing, business development and recreation. Also, federally funded medical facilities could be expanded or built at former military bases to provide the often specialized physical and mental health care veterans greatly need and deserve.

All of the above would create many permanent jobs. Potential benefits to reduced military spending are numerous, and our legislature should establish an economic conversion commission to plan for positive outcomes.

Joe Burton

Raleigh

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