Consumption assumption 

Walters complained that public transportation, as opposed to vehicular transportation, is subsidized and would “take away that freedom.” Mayor Cornett correctly pointed out that roads and fuel are also subsidized.

Add to the explicit subsidies for fuel and roads the massive defense spending to ensure our flow of fuel continues unimpeded. Military spending isn’t a fuel subsidy per se, but try getting cheap oil from people who don’t like us without it.

In the FY 2011 Department of Defense Budget Request Overview, just the Overseas Contingency Operations (the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) portion of the defense budget from FY 2003 to FY 2011 is $1.176 trillion, or about $358 million per day. (The entire defense budget for the same period is about $5.25 trillion, or $1.6 billion/day).

Councilman Walters’ daily commute is not only the most highly subsidized mode of transportation in the history of this planet; it’s also the most wasteful. Choosing to travel one person at a time in a vehicle that is consuming costly foreign oil where public transportation is or should be available will ultimately cost us the freedoms that Councilman Walters and the rest of us hold so dear.

When defense spending to support this addiction to foreign oil has destroyed our economy, life for us is going to change — if we don’t run out of oil first.

Nobody is proposing to take away Councilman Walters’ personal vehicle. But when it makes sense to fund and develop solid public transportation, we should support it and use it to the hilt.

—Walter J. Jacques

Del City

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