EDITOR: President Donald Trump’s proposal to increase the Pentagon’s budget by more than $50 billion at the expense of funding some of our nation’s most important diplomatic, foreign policy and national security tools is a travesty of morality and common sense and will only serve to make our country less safe.
Worldwide, millions of people will be placed in danger of famine. Americans, especially children, will suffer from hunger and even die as a result of this administration’s budget cuts. The devastating effects on our society cannot be calculated.
Trump’s diversion of our tax money to create a new generation of nuclear weapons instead of funding vital programs seems insane considering the real and immediate dangers facing us. This administration seems bent on causing the American people to suffer as well as losing the respect and confidence of the world.
EDITOR: Daniel Cottrell cited “popular support for a single-payer system” to provide universal health care (“Single-payer California,” Letters, Sunday). I don’t oppose the single-payer system outright, but people supporting it need to realize something common to (and necessary for) all such systems: they don’t guarantee that you will receive the best possible treatment. If a new treatment, say a drug, is proven superior to existing treatment for a disease but is too expensive, the system says “no.” You have to be satisfied with the existing treatment.
Similarly, if there is no alternative to the expensive treatment (think liver transplant), the system decides the number of patients it can afford to treat in a given year and prioritizes the candidates. If you make the cut, you get treated. Otherwise, maybe next year.
The money the system saves by limiting these expensive treatments pays for the universal access to more routine treatments such as prenatal care and treatment of high blood pressure, pneumonia and such. This saves many more lives than are lost by not providing the expensive treatments to the few who need it. But hope you don’t draw the short straw.
L. ROBERT HILL
Getting past appearance
EDITOR: Wow, aren’t we lucky we have Michael McInerney to tell us who our next Democratic presidential candidate should be (“A rising star,” Letters, April 5)? She seems quite capable, with “a political trifecta” as he tells us: she’s intelligent, sincere and attractive.
Since when was appearance relevant to one’s political competence? If she were unattractive, by McInerney’s standards, would she be less qualified to run for the presidency? Heaven forbid we elect a homely woman to lead the country.
Thanks for reminding us that a woman’s looks are just as important as her mind, if not more so. I was hoping we’d be beyond that by 2017.
A housing policy
EDITOR: Our nation doesn’t have a national housing policy. Our national programs via the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Housing and Urban Development Department housed millions of Americans after World War II. Our only national housing policy is the mortgage tax deduction, but if you are a renter, you don’t get the benefit of any housing assistance.