Perhaps it's time to rethink the mission of the U.S. military

Regarding your Dec. 27 editorial "Entitlement reform demands courageous leaders," I offer the following comments:

The United States is the richest country in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund's statistics for 2013, so we should not hesitate to maintain military pensions and benefits. We should not cut aid to our most vulnerable neighbors. We are, after all, the richest country in the world! Could we rethink our mission, equipment and capabilities that concern Sen. John McCain?

Why do we need 737 foreign military bases, totaling about 30 million acres (the Pentagon being one of the world's largest landowners)? Why are we maintaining our stockpiles of outdated weapons that no one wants in their backyards?

Where are our creative peace negotiators? "Entitlement" is defined as a right, a claim or a benefit established by law or by contract. According to this definition, tax breaks are entitlements. Corporate perks are entitlements. Congressional privileges are entitlements. Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are insurance programs that we citizens fund, and they should be independent of budget determinations.

This year, Social Security payments are limited to incomes of $113,700 or less. Raising this limit would make this program more equitable and viable.


You think it alarming that senators, looking again at the budget, want better ways to change this policy going forward.They may have heard this from their constituents.

Elaine Mayer


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