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Whose priorities?

Priorities for spending the money paid into the United States Treasury by the citizens of the United States should be established by the people. Instead, priorities are being set by Congress and the president acting on the special interests of the military-industrial complex. These special interests are, by and large, those of the wealthy and the companies they own or control.

Who pulls the puppet strings of these clowns that claim to be a government of the people? Who says that it is more important to put a gun in the hands of a Syrian rebel than it is to fill a Head Start classroom with 4-year-old children in Iowa? Who is deciding we need an English language program so illegal immigrants can get their green cards instead of spending our tax dollars to feed the poor and elderly in Chicago and Los Angeles? Why do we need more border security and less money to educate our young people? Why are Congress and the president threatening the elderly citizens of the U.S. by attacking Social Security and Medicare?

Are the people, the voters, of this country awake? Who is setting the priorities for government spending? Why do the citizens of the United States repeatedly vote to send self-interested, do-nothing politicians to public office? These elected officials are not acting in the best interests of the voters who have placed them in office. The few who run our state and national governments are not representing the people. The American Dream is becoming a myth.

Fortified with our votes and our tax money, the president and Congress in Washington and in state capitals spend countless hours debating trivia and ultimately acting against the best interests of US citizens. Time and again these politicians vote to serve themselves and the special interests that back them rather than doing what is necessary to keep the U.S. a respected and viable world power.

Our politicians appear to be telling us we have enough money to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to provide arms for the Syrian rebels. They tell us we have enough money to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and enough money to double the size of our border patrol. They tell us we can afford to develop and implement programs to teach English to illegal immigrants. And all the while, we pay the salaries and health care bills for the endless parade of people in Washington and our state governments who spend their time in meaningless rhetoric and frustrating debate while accomplishing little of real merit.

These same politicians seem unable to agree on a farm bill lately. They refuse to fully consider or support food stamps for the poor and elderly needy citizens of the country they pretend to represent. These politicians also turn their backs on the children and young people of this country. They watch programs such as Head Start die for lack of money. They slash school budgets. They make a college education beyond the financial reach of the majority of American families. Our air traffic controller staff, our police force, our firefighters and those who are ready to fight forest fires are all understaffed and underfunded. Those who support the necessary infrastructure and backbone of our country face dwindling resources and lack of support from our belligerent, bickering bullies in Congress and around the state governments.

Wake up, voters. Get out of your armchairs. Turn off your TVs. Make your voices heard. Rise up. Vote. Send a clear message to the people who take our money, waste our time, run the country into the ground to benefit themselves, and set priorities that make no sense. Force these elected officials to set priorities in line with the needs of the citizens of the US. Make no mistake, these politicians in public office are spending, and will continue to spend, all of your tax dollars. Where do they get their misguided ideas about what to spend your money for?

We need to clean our political houses and senates and start over with men and women who have new fresh ideas. No incumbent should be re-elected anywhere.

Robert Blanks

Bogue