Letter: Trump’s proposed budget will make Americans less safe

To the Editor:

Donald Trump’s latest budget blueprint, which calls for a $54-billion increase in defense spending, will do nothing to increase our national security. Roughly half of this increase would be used to fund a border wall that most Americans oppose (and that we were promised Mexico would pay for). That money would be better spent improving our visa tracking system, rebuilding infrastructure or retraining workers for the 5-plus million jobs that U.S. employers currently cannot fill due to a widening skills gap.

The corresponding budgetary cuts to the State Department would deal a blow to our diplomatic efforts, which should always be our first line of defense. Deep cuts to the EPA and a planned rollback of regulations protecting clean air, water, and climate change measures will increase health and geopolitical risks for Americans. Climate change is a national security issue, and one need look no further than Syria to see how a prolonged drought can lead to civil war, terrorism and a global refugee crisis.

We need leadership that is strong enough to identify and confront the real threats to our national security. This means focusing efforts on addressing domestic gun violence, access to affordable health care, access to affordable education and training, preserving a healthy environment, and confronting climate change. Unfortunately, we will not overcome these problems with military might.

Christina Ungaro