What Are Our Priorities?

One of the unfortunate aspects of the continuing diversion of our resources to war in Iraq is that the real cost of the war is hidden. Our taxes have not gone up in proportion to the cost of the war which is approaching one trillion dollars. Why? Because the war is being funded on one gigantic credit card. We are charging the war to our children and grandchildren. We are diverting the resources of the future to fund a war without end. The Bush administration keeps the minimum payment down so the negative impact of this foolhardy venture will be passed on to someone else after they are long out of office.

If we “paid as we go”, I think the debate in Congress and at the grass roots level would be quite different. Do we really want to continue to fund the invasion of Iraq long after any notion of threat from that nation has passed? Do we really want to put our sons and daughters in the middle of a deadly civil war where neither side want us there? Do we want to continue to be the catalyst for violence and the breeding ground for the terrorists of tomorrow? Are we solving any problems by continuing to devote our hard earned resources, our common resources, to this war?

If we had a fiscally honest appraisal of how we spend our money perhaps the decisions would be different. Is this war really more important than providing health care for all Americans? Is this war really more important than combating climate change and global warming? (The keynote presenter at the recent Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility conference, Frances Moore LappĂ©, called it “global heating” because she said here in the Northeast “global warming” sounds like a good thing). Don’t you think that our security would be enhanced better if we spent that money on more port inspections, more police to protect us, better telecommunications, education and hundreds of other very worthy efforts that we neglect now because those resources are being squandered in a dishonest war in Iraq?

A honest debate upon our priorities might result in more human oriented expenditures, increased security, and a brighter future for our children. Depleting energy and combating climate change will require sacrifice and a good deal of our resources. That battle makes sense to borrow from the future because it is future generations that will benefit! It is time to re-boot our national priorities!

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