Letters to the Editor

State Rep. Pricey Harrison: War fund could benefit other programs

I would like to applaud Matthew Leatherman for his Sept. 22 Point of View “ A bottomless fund for permanent war” highlighting the endless overseas military spending.

The Pentagon is funding much of its Middle East operations with a special war spending slush fund or so-called “Overseas Contingency Operations” account. By doing this, the Pentagon is easily able to spend $7.5 million a day for Iraq operations alone, without dipping into its existing half-a-trillion-dollar budget that eats up over half of all discretionary spending that Congress annually appropriates.

The OCO account that is unconstrained by budget caps will this year provide the Pentagon with an additional $85 billion – an amount that is more than any other federal department’s budget.

I strongly agree that we must ensure national security and provide for our veterans and military, but I do not condone an unconstrained slush fund that amounts to more than the budget for programs, such as education, that are needed for our communities. It’s time to take a step back and question where our money is going.

State Rep. Pricey Harrison

Greensboro

The writer, a Democrat, represents N.C. District 57.

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