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December 13, 2006

Funding priorities

U.S. spending priorities

The Star notes we are spending $8 billion a month on the conflict in Iraq (12/10, A-1, “War costs felt all through the ranks”).

Parade magazine quotes Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, as saying for about $2 billion to $3 billion a year, we could begin to break the malaria cycle, which is estimated to kill 3,000 children a day in Africa (“We can save these children”).

Of course, $2 billion or $3 billion could keep the battle in Iraq going for another seven to 10 days.

To her credit, Laura Bush is promoting the anti-malaria program. However, I can’t help but wonder whether she ever hooks the two things together, in terms of our spending priorities and our standing in the eyes of the world.

Dean Askeland
Olathe

Think about these two facts printed in the Sunday Star. We (you and I) are funding the Iraq war to the tune of $8 billion a month.

In another article, about Laura Bush’s campaign to save African babies, we read that for the comparatively tiny sum of $2 billion to $3 billion a year, the cycle of malaria in Africa could be broken. The money would go to the purchase of mosquito-proof nets for beds, which would save 3,000 children a day from dying in Africa.

We are doomed as a nation if this continues to be the way our government prioritizes how our money is spent.

Joan Millon
Olathe

Share costs of war

In response to “War costs felt all through the ranks” (12/10, A-1): It seems it is time for America to tighten its belt. This war in Iraq belongs to all of us (whether we approved of it or not). Until each of us owns the situation, the costs will spiral.

Medical care for those with physical and mental ailments — as well as care and support for their families — is mandatory. Nothing but the best of equipment must be provided.

A military draft would spread the burden to all families. Until we are all equally affected (including and especially those in Congress), people will turn a blind eye.

And whatever happened to war bonds? There seems to be plenty of money going into the stock market. Why not finance our own debt instead of letting China and others do it?

War bonds and the draft would involve personal commitment. This is patriotism.

Wake up, America. We are in a major crisis.

Barbara Alley
Leawood

Comments

Engineer

wellpaidscientist
You are of course correct concerning the debate on DDT. But it did bring malaria under control rather inexpensively.
As to fradulant billings, those with which I am familiar originated with sub-contractors, not Haliburton itself. If there has been fraud, surely Congress will make every effort to bring it to light and prosecute it.

wellpaidscientist


I know there is still a scientific debate about the effects of DDT on animals and humans, and you can probably find tons of info to support whichever side you are inclined to believe.

I don't doubt that Haliburton has some expertise on the rebuilding of oil refineries and chemical plants. I also don't doubt that they are experts at fraudulent billing and serving outdated food to our troops.

My point was that if there is profiteering to be done at the US Government feeding trough, Haliburton will be the first in line.

jack

Why don't the "conservatives" in Washington just do with this what they have done with everything else, borrow the money?

Engineer

wellpaidsientist
Surely you know that: 1 Haliburton is a company with abilities and expertise not held by any other company, and: 2 The war on malaria was won several years age by the use of DDT, but since that use was banned malaria has reasserted itself. In other words, we have sacrificed millions of lives to a book, "Silent Spring".

wellpaidscientist


I think Halliburton would be an excellent choice for managing the war on malaria.

Joe Barone

I found myself irritated this morning as I watched Laura Bush talk on TV about how her husband had declared some day in April national fight malaria day in solidarity with other nations who are doing the same. We had a relative once who said, "Talk is cheap." Don't listen to what people say, look at what they do, or in this case, how they spend our money. Fighting malaria is very low on the totem pole, as are all kinds of other national and international health issues.

jack

My son does a second tour in Iraq while the President's children (the same age) do their weekly tour of the finest nightclubs on the east coast.

BTW: "We" are NOT funding the war. Our great grandchildren are. It is funded 100% with borrowed money.

It amazes me how all the big war supporters don't want to pay for the war, serve their Nation or in any way be inconvenienced.

Way to many are eager to say, "We need to kick some butt. Let me hold your coat."

Kansasdog

$8 billion a month, no big deal. I won't have to pay for it, that's for my kids to pay... and their kids, and their kids, and...

big dreamer

Askeland - Why, oh WHY should we spend our money on curing disease in Africa when we have plenty of unsolved, serious, deadly issues to cure in the US? Everyone is so set on solving the worlds problems and at the same time many are experts at denying the problems of America! AIDS; Education; Homelessness; Economic Crisis/Job loss; Childhood cancer, diabetes, and other health issues; pollution; global warming; dependence on oil; and so on...(do I need to list them all??) yet people think we should give our money away. Has anyone done a study or research of any kind on how much money other countries in the world OWE the UNITED STATES? We need to get out of Iraq and use our military to secure our borders, round up illegals, address the issue of vagrants and criminals in the nations cities, and right this sinking ship of freedom. On the present course, we will have no freedom and will be a neo-Marxist nation inside of 10 years. We are headed down the wrong road and all you can think of is Africa.....shame on you!

Joan - good woman...you see the truth and understand (I think) that US Money needs to help the US first!

Finally, Barbara...- have you ever looked at the draft? If you return to the Vietnam era, the last time the draft was enacted, you will see that the draft rarely affects the wealthiest of Americans because they either go to England to study, flee to Canada, or stay in college. The draft, historically, hit the poor and lower-middle class of American in far greater proportions than the middle class, upper-middle class, and wealthy. So you are simply advocating for conscription of those who are poor and unable to protect themselves from this stupid idea. Now war bonds may be an ok idea but how will you get investors to invest in a low yield bond? Bonds do not offer the return today they did 50 years ago.
There is nothing patriotic about drafting people against their will especially when those you think should be accountable (rich, government officials, etc.) have ways to "opt out" legally from the process.
You want the rich to go to war, conscription such as Israels 2 year service requirement for continued citizenship would be the ONLY way......of course you would see many of the rich send their kids to become citizens of other nations but .....at least we would be rid of the bums.

 
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