Cut defense, not education

I was surprised to pick up The Minnesota Daily on Wednesday and see an Andy Post column that I actually agreed with. I agree it is time to cut some government spending. However, the only specific federal government cuts Post suggested was the inefficient Department of Education, which only allows one fourth of its budget to reach students. I donâÄôt quite understand his objection, though. The Education Department does many things: improve coordination, management and accountability of federal education programs; improve education standards through research and encourage more parental involvement in community schools. Money intended to go directly to the students mostly comes from local property taxes and dedicated state funding. In fiscal year 2009, the Education Department budget was $68.4 billion. On the other hand, military spending topped $965 billion, including more than $200 billion for two unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We spent $10 billion on a worthless missile defense program. We are evidently facing threats from Islamic terrorists and extremists; I donâÄôt think they will be launching Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at us anytime soon. And letâÄôs not forget the money pit that is no-bid contracts. It is time to cut military spending! The United States can no longer afford to be the unilateral war machine that it turned into under President George W. Bush. Of course, take care of our veterans. But we donâÄôt need new F-22s, new nuclear weapons, or a missile defense shield. Tom Kelly University graduate student