To the Editor:
We the people deserve an accounting of how our government spends our tax dollars. Whether conservative or liberal, Americans recognize this principle as essential to a healthy democracy. Thus, Republican senators, including Chuck Grassley and Ted Cruz, and Democrat senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal, have written to the secretary of defense reminding him that contrary to law requiring “all federal departments produce unqualified financial statements,” a “clean audit” is “long overdue” from the Pentagon. “Congress and the American people” deserve reassurance that public funds are spent responsibly.
While the senators believe such an accounting will promote more “efficient and effecting spending” and “guard against fraud, waste, and abuse,” their concerns apply to current debates over the distribution of our tax dollars to the Pentagon and to programs to secure the domestic welfare. While our congress moves to raise the Pentagon budget by either fifty or seventy billion dollars, it considers cutting programs to promote the domestic welfare including food assistance for nearly eight million families, housing assistance for a quarter million households, job training for a half million, and Medicaid for fourteen-million of our fellow citizens. In addition, compassion calls us to aid our fellow citizens struggling to recover from two hurricanes and to assume this staggering but necessary financial responsibility.
Clear audits will aid in establishing spending priorities. It is the law. All government agencies of government comply — but not the Pentagon. Such negligence is, according to the senators, a “disservice” to us.