From the tragic events in Japan to the U.S. taking the lead in the assault on Libya, America has consistently inserted itself into situations it didn’t necessarily have to, shelling out millions of dollars. U.S. citizens continue to tighten their belts as state and federal budgets are in question. Social programs that traditionally benefit the elderly, children and low-income households like Medicare, Medicaid and Head Start are in danger of being cut. As the United States continues to spend money overseas, some Americans are beginning to ask, what about us?
While the job market is slowly recovering, 15.3 percent of African-Americans were unemployed in February. As a result, some people have decided to go back to school in order to put themselves in a better position to find work, but not immediately.
Another place where Americans, and in particular African-Americans, are feeling the squeeze, is health care. While the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” has been in effect for a year, many states are fighting the law and the added expense of providing health care to every American. Medicare and Medicaid are also on the chopping block with both Republicans and Democrats eyeing the programs that have historically provided health services to the young, elderly and low-income. New Jersey, Texas and Arizona are just a few of the states that have made or are considering cuts.
So while Americans are losing vital services, the government has somehow found the money to launch 112 Tomahawk missiles at Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in an attempt to assist the rebel forces currently trying to wrest control from the Libyan leader. In case you’re wondering, the cost for one Tomahawk missile is $569,000. And while the Obama administration says that the Libya exercise is supposed to be short-term, there’s no guarantee that this will remain the case and we’ve already spent almost $64 million dollars, money that could be better spent combating America’s budget problem.
Humanitarian situations like Japan are one thing, but with the United States already fighting a war in Afghanistan and closing the book on the war in Iraq, now is not the time to get involved in another skirmish, no matter how small. There comes a time when a country has to ensure that the needs of its people are being met instead of playing global hall monitor for every problem that arises. For America, that time is now.
What do you think? Should the U.S. government focus on home before aiding other countries? Share your thoughts in the comments section.