Dear Editor: We oppose the deployment of F-35 jets at Truax because they will have a negative effect on our air quality and because the noise level they will produce could harm the hearing and learning of children in nearby schools. But mostly we oppose this deployment, because the F-35 weapons system, at a cost of $1.4 trillion the most expensive system ever produced, will feed and strengthen the U.S. military-industrial complex.
President Eisenhower warned the country that our economy could become dependent on this complex and our politics controlled by it, thus undermining U.S. democracy. The widespread support for this project by Wisconsin Republican and Democratic party leaders and leaders in the local business community reveals that what President Eisenhower warned against has occurred. The overwhelming and enthusiastic support by both Democratic and Republican congresspeople for the Trump administration’s dramatic increases in defense spending in the 2019 and 2020 budgets is further evidence of this.
Local political and business leaders argue that the deployment of F-35s at Truax will create jobs but seem not to care that it will increase our economy’s dependence on the military-industrial complex. They also ignore studies showing that investment in defense is a very expensive way to create jobs. A federal investment of $1 billion generates only 11,200 defense-related jobs. An investment of that same amount would create 16,600 jobs in clean energy, 17,200 in health care and 26,700 in education. If it’s jobs we want, let’s invest in urgently needed civilian projects, not in F-35 fighter jets.
Rev. Jerry Folk, Sr., Maureen McDonnell, O.P., Rev. Frederick R. Trost
Madison and Sheboygan
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