I’ve seen a lot of reports on the internet about the president’s upcoming visit to India. I’m not sure what the purpose is, but he’s taking a lot of people, including his own family along. There is even a number of naval ships going to be sitting off shore in the entourage.
Okay, the president sees fit to have a meeting with various dignitaries in India. Fine. But its a 2 day visit, he’s including his wife and daughters, and from the sounds of it, almost everyone from the White House. That is a bit over the top. If it is too dangerous for him to travel to India without all of this hullabaloo, why don’t they choose to meet somewhere safer?
The price tag on this visit is a price this country cannot afford, reportedly at $200,000,000 per day, for the two and a half day visit. It is sheer idiocy to spend that kind of money in this economy for an official visit anywhere. When I don’t have the cash flow, I can’t take a trip overseas. I have to be able to afford to take a trip like that. As a business owner, you don’t take a trip to a foreign country even to arrange for supplies or customers unless you can afford to pay for the trip. People who don’t use those two rules soon end up in serious financial trouble. Unfortunately, he is playing with America’s purse, and ultimately, it is you and I that are funding this trip.
I can think of a million reasons why this trip is a lousy idea. Unemployment is rampant. Home foreclosures seem to go on without end. The housing industry, along with almost every other industry, is floundering. We are involved in an unpopular war in the Middle East. Cities, counties, school districts, and states all across the nation are being forced by budgetary shortfalls to cut back on services. More people than ever are below the poverty line, and many of them have been unemployed for the first time in their life for the past three years. College graduates are working as clerks in convenience stores, not out of choice, but because that is the only job they could find. The American dream has turned into the American Nightmare for most people, unable to afford things such as a home (of any kind!) or even manage to pay their rent and utilities. Factories and plants are shutting down or have shut down, their jobs gone overseas where cheap labor and lack of regulations mean they can import their goods cheaper.
Just say the word “India” to many Americans and there is a look of bitterness. Either they have lost a job to outsourcing in India, or have had to deal with customer service or technical support that has been outsourced to India (or some other country.) Having our president spend inordinate amounts of money to visit India has aroused their ire, where their fury would exist for that outlay of money no matter where they were spending it.
$200,000,000 per day for two and a half days would pay for 12,500 new jobs at 40,000 for the full first year. Spending $2500 a year for health care insurance, that amount would pay for 200,000 to have health care. It would also make 416,667 mortgage payments of $1200. At $2 per meal, twice a day, for an entire year, 142,857 people would have food. At an average of $450 per month, 1,111,111 people would have a month of heat this winter. If you went to Emergency Essentials and purchased their Premium 2000 Year Supply of food at $2599.95 for one person, you would have 192311 kits to pass out. If you were buying textbooks for a school at $23 each, 8,695,652 school kids would have a new updated textbook. At $1.75 million each, you could build three new schools. If we were buying prescriptions for senior citizens, we could pay for 8,333,333 seniors to get a free prescription refill at about $60 each. At $75 each, we could provide 6,666,666 school aged children to have a check up with a doctor. If we were buying toilet paper at $3.57 per package, we’d be carrying home over 140 MILLION packages. (Bill Zucker will not be able to hoard all of it then!)
I’m not saying that our current administration is at blame for the current economy. I am saying that they are not exhibiting appropriate restraint on their spending in such austere times. This flamboyant spending is a slap in the face of every American worker, every struggling single parent, and every single senior trying to make ends meet on their Social Security check. Few people can see the justification in this kind of spending, it’s just too extravagant.
The country is broke, and the whole situation is starting to resemble the situation in France at the point of the French Revolution. All we need is for a certain woman to announce that the workers can eat cake if we can’t afford bread, and point out the fact that most Americans are obese. What they also fail to notice is that poverty is also associated with obesity-cheap foods are the same foods that are linked to obesity. People without resources or time are also more likely to resort to those other dietary evils such as snack foods and fast foods. Fresh fruit and vegetables are luxuries to many Americans anymore. Even our traditionally meat-heavy diet is beginning to fade into history. It’s not uncommon for people to use little to no meat in their daily meals, and usually cheaper cuts and versions than they normally would have considered even five years ago. With fruit, vegetables, and meat out of the picture, that leaves carbohydrates, fats, and sugars to form the bulk of the diet…which isn’t a healthy choice.
Americans need to wake up, and demand that both Congress and the administration show more restraint and common sense in their budgeting and expenditures. We can’t afford this kind of extravagance and short sighted spending to continue or our country will be unable to survive. I don’t know about everyone else, but I genuinely LIKE this country, but we need to address problems before we let them escalate into problems that can’t be solved.