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.
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.
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.