Letters to the Editor: The right is OK with spending trillions on war, but not on Americans’ lives?

President Biden points during a news conference.
President Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling this week at the White House.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Jonah Goldberg says government spending in the trillions of dollars may be “defensible” when responding to unexpected and dire events, like a pandemic. He also notes the huge costs of the 2008 financial crisis and “two decades of military conflict” and tacitly accepts the legitimacy of those expenditures.

However, Goldberg and his fellow conservatives’ concern about the federal debt is suddenly aroused when it comes to programs to improve Americans’ lives. To them, spending around $7 trillion over 10 years on the military is totally acceptable, but $3.5 trillion on President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan is not reasonable, because “we’re broke.”

Biden’s plan would lower the costs of childcare, education and healthcare, among other things. It would also be a welcome start at dealing with climate change, which our defense establishment recognizes as our biggest security concern.


As for how to pay for it, the president’s plan would amend the tax code so that corporations and billionaires pay their fair share. Why should we stop spending just when we could actually fund long-overdue public needs?

Grace Bertalot, Anaheim


To the editor: Not all spending is equal, particularly when that spending is financed. It is time to understand the simple fact that in government, as in business, spending can be categorized as overhead or investment. Investment spending has a payback, and low interest rates make borrowing for investment expenditures more attractive.

When thinking about which infrastructure bill to support, we should think about how much of it is investment, what is the real return, and whether now is a good time to invest.

If our country is going to be a place of freedom, prosperity and happiness, we must think about politics more like a steering wheel than a permanent direction. There are only two real political concerns — capital or business, and society or humanity.

The real solutions for our country lie in balancing the interests, not holding the wheel in one direction, continually going in circles, constantly repeating the mistakes of the past.


The problem is not spending. The problem is not understanding investment. The solution is to free ourselves from the thinking of ideologues.

We should all be progressives striving for tomorrow to be a better day than today. We should all be conservatives knowing that effective, non-disruptive change will likely be thoughtful, often slow. We should all be wary of those who use ideology in the effort to blind us to their perverse uses of power.

William Collier, Ponce de Leon, Fla.