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To the editor:

Our elected officials and candidates for office show a lack of leadership on the peace dividend. I am tired of supporting the Cold War-bloated defense sector. As far as I am concerned, our military budget has been little more than 40 years of welfare for scientists and machinists.Unnecessary defense makes up two-thirds of the Reagan $4 trillion deficit. It's time we help Utah citizens employed in building useless products like the Mark IV warhead guidance system (Litton) and Trident II boosters (Hercules) to get a real job.

On the other hand, a reasonable peace dividend, like cutting the defense budget by $100 billion to 150 billion next fiscal year, could have some dire economic consequences for Utah. Utah's economy, like a lot of states', is addicted to the quick fix of defense contracts. Around 20 percent of Utah's gross state product is related to the defense industry when the multiplier effect is included.

To prevent this adverse economic impact, planned conversion of the military and defense industry workers should begin now.

Kurt A. Fisher

Salt Lake City