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U.S. should start focusing on its own citizens in need

Posted: Friday, January 07, 2005

Today I watched CNN news and again, the news was dominated by the tsunami disaster. I feel for the people who have experienced loss and heartache in this disaster, but I think it is time that the United States stop and reconsider the amount of foreign aid it is sending not only to the nations affected by this disaster but other nations across the world.

It seems as though pouring money and aid to this and other foreign causes has become the "in" thing to do and countries are trying to compete to be the one who gives the most or at least enough so they will not be labeled "stingy" by other countries.

If private individuals want to donate money to charities for these causes, that is one thing. It is their money and they should be able to give it as they see fit, but at a time when our nation is experiencing budget cuts and has had its own share of disasters, both natural and acts of terrorism in the past few years, I believe our tax dollars should be spent at home.

The war on terror is costing us billions both oversees and at home for the defense of our homeland and the military is experiencing budget cuts when we should be adding tax dollars to protect our own citizens and the soldiers who are on the front lines of our defense.

I know, personally, families who are unable to buy the medicine or get the medical care they need because they are unable to afford insurance. I am also aware of a family that was denied food stamps because the father was disabled and the medication needed to keep him alive was almost as much as the Social Security income that the family received, and the letter they received stated that they were denied food stamps because they were not making enough money after the medications were purchased.

The letter implied the family falsified the earnings and expenses they reported because, according to the letter, the family could not have survived on the money left over after the medications were purchased. Our country has many people, both disabled and the elderly, on small incomes that cannot get the medications or care they need because of their low-income status. I am sure that these families and also the families of the storms in Florida could have benefitted greatly by the tax dollars we are sending overseas.

I think it is past time that we stop worrying about other nations and their poor citizens and stay focused on our own homeland security and take care of our own. I know there are people who will say I do not understand the "big picture," but I say it is time we start to focus on the smaller, individual, but more important "pictures" here at home.

Charles Tynes, Kasilof



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