Readers React: Nearly six decades after Eisenhower’s warning, military spending may top $700 billion

An aerial view of the Pentagon in 2011. President Trump's budget proposes to spend more than $700 billion on defense next year.
(Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

To the editor: President Eisenhower warned of the “military-industrial complex” nearly six decades ago, but obviously, no one has listened. (“White House releases budget, forecasts a decade of mounting debt,” Feb. 12)

In a time when everything else seems to be going to hell, the Trump administration wants $716 billion for defense in 2019. Have we totally lost our minds? We already spend more on defense than the next eight countries combined — and President Trump believes we need more.

Obviously, we need to protect ourselves. But just like the medical system in this country, we seem to get little in return for paying the most. With poverty so bad and infrastructure in decline, if we don’t reverse this obscene imbalance, the military won’t have anyone to protect except for the wealthiest 1%.


S.R. Fischer, Los Angeles


To the editor: The modern-day trend of explosive deficits began under conservative icon Ronald Reagan and his “supply side” spending. Explosive deficits continued again under George W. Bush, who wiped out a budget surplus and used his humongous deficits as an excuse to try to “privatize” Social Security.

Trump is just continuing the modern trend of monstrous Republican deficits. You have to put yourself in the way-back machine and travel to the Eisenhower era to find a Republican who cared about lowering the deficit.

We should stop pretending modern Republicans care about lowering the deficit.

Kevin Powell, Seal Beach


To the editor: Trump has proved that he can’t run the White House. He makes promises he can’t keep. He hires people who are incompetent. I don’t trust his words on anything.

So now tell me: Why should the American people prioritize any project he proposes? Even if Congress naively approves major allocations for his border wall, there is zero chance that he could even get it built and bring it in on time and on budget.


I wouldn’t hire Trump to change the burned-out light bulbs in the White House.

Jerrold Goldstein, Sherman Oaks

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook