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Dear Editor:

I read Naomi Creason's article ("Navigating blurred lines" Jan. 12, The Sentinel) with much interest hoping she would shed some light on the major influences that affect our politics today. Other then some salient points, it left much to be desired with regard to the importance and influence "think tanks" have on our political world today.

All of these organizations are 501(c)3 tax free, some representing foreign entities. While many are benign and have little influence, others have the power of essentially unlimited resources from billionaires, foundations and trusts. The lines are "blurred" intentionally by these think tanks, which also include lobbyists and other special interest groups with money in hand to influence elections and Congressional legislation.

They have turned reality into ill-conceived ideas and a false narrative. This perception has dire consequences that has allowed our federal government to build a wall, fortified by the media, that is impervious to the citizen's complaints, elections or other legitimate protests.

More prominent than the misperceptions are the huge discrepancies and abnormalities that have crept into our political scene without an outcry from the public or a significant change in our Congress. As an example, we now spend around $1 trillion on the military/security complex; this is more than the next seven countries combined, including Russia and China. The perception is we require this for our security. The reality is we have created an enemy to justify this bloated expense.

This has driven our national debt from $2 trillion to $20 trillion in the past 17 years. The perception is welfare, social benefits, pensions are the problem; the reality is we spend 2/3 of our discretionary budget on defense. These misconceived ideas are generated from "think tanks," special interests groups and lobbyists representing factions that rob of us our labor and resources.

Winton Miller



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