Maggie R. Minnesota

Letter to the Next President

This letter is requesting your consideration on the reduction of the military spending or considered and well-thought out spending.

Dear Future President,

Congratulations on your win in the election. I am writing this letter in hopes to persuade you into be more physically responsible with the government funding and the military funding. The U.S. is the largest military power in the world. Our military budget is currently about $581,000,000,000. There have been many cases of overspending, wastes of money, and just a basic surplus of budget and this needs to be fixed.

The Federal government, the military budget, in general is constantly accused of wasting American tax dollars on insignificant things. One of the most memorable botched jobs by the government, is the Golden Hammer. The Golden Hammer was supposedly a hammer that the military bought for $400-$600, instead of just a regular old hammer. This overspending outraged people and even inspired the "Golden Hammer" award, An award that goes to the biggest government fiscal waste of the week. An article I found on The Washington Times, “State Department spent $36.5 million polling foreigners”, opinions talks about a recent ‘Golden Hammer’ screw up, polling in in foreign countries. Since 2007, the government has accumulated a cost of $36.5 million just towards polling in places like Spain or Russia and how their government was. Mr/Mrs/Ms/ President, I ask you, why are we spending millions on a polling in other countries when there are problems in America that need attending?

VA spending has also been wasted. According to an article on called “$483K Rock Sculpture: VA Art Budget Comes Under Fire in Congress”, thousands of dollars were wasted on a rock sculpture for a VA home in California. One of the designers on the project said that the structure gave "a sense of transformation, rebuilding, and self-investigation,". Well as lovely as I’m sure this sculpture is, it is not as helpful as medicine could be to the health of veterans. If Veteran homes want very good art then I have a few high school students I would recommend to sell you some art, and it sure won’t cost millions. Another article agrees, saying that about $20 million dollars was spent on artwork for the VA homes just from 2004 to 2014. The article was found on, “Report: VA Spent Millions on Costly Art as Veterans Waited for Care”, also stresses the deaths of veterans that could have been credited to extended times of waiting for treatment. My late grandfather fought in WWII and he lived in the VA home in Minneapolis. I visited him quite often and I remember hating most of it. The rooms were quite small, there did not seem to be a lot for them to do, and most of the residents were not too happy. My church goes to the VA home and performs for them to try to bring joy to the home. Hearing that thousands, even millions of dollars are being wasted on a sculpture instead of more medicine, research funding, or improvements in their status of living, makes me very upset. The men and women who fought for our country deserve the very best care and spending $483K on art is not the way the money should be spent.

However I may feel, there is obviously going to be be people who disagree. Nationally safety, of the people and our country, is a priority. Wars and attacks in the past, terrorist acts and disagreements in the present, and paranoia for the unknown dangers ahead, lead us to make quick, rash decisions in topics such as joining wars, what to do with acts of violence against police, and the unjust treatment that groups such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ are rightfully fighting against. Most will say that it is completely necessary to have a budget so immense, ready for an emergency of epic proportions and providing the means for our military. Nevertheless, an allocation of $581,000,000,000 is simply too much. The next country's military budget, China’s, is only 132 billion US dollars, claims an article “China’s Defense Budget”, found on China is one of the world’s most up-and-coming countries, constantly developing, improving, and moving forward in the world. Yes, they may have a bit of a different government form and way of politically doing things, but if this large country has a military budget $400 billion less than us then I think we are overspending.

Military funding is currently excessive in its account and being spent irresponsibly. The money could be going to better places or being used in a better way. I plead you Mr/Mrs/ President, reconsider your budgetary plan, not for me, but for the veterans, other billions of people in America, and the future generation.

Thank you for your time,

Maggie Roberts

10th grade

Mendota Heights, MN