Mary’s Musings

Rethinking our priorities

Posted:  Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 8:30am

When something puts a strain on your household budget, you tend to get nervous — sometimes very nervous. We can’t help but think our country should be feeling that same pressure about now.

How are we ever going to afford to be there for our own people who are depending upon us for financial help to get back on their feet after the horrific events of the past few weeks? We’ve suffered one disaster right after another with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria resulting in the loss of homes, businesses, and infrastructure, not to mention the hundreds who have died. These storms impacted a number of states, as well as our countrymen in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Close on their heels were the California wildfires, the worst the state has ever seen, taking even more lives and leveling thousands of properties, over 5,700 thus far,  leaving even more folks homeless with nothing except the shirts on their backs. Stunned Americans will be looking to their government for help as they struggle to rebuild their lives. What they’re facing is unimaginable.

It takes years to bring some semblance of order to entire communities decimated by these disasters. In fact, parts of our country have yet to return to “normal’’ after hurricanes and other disasters dating back 20 or 30 years.

So what do we do now? We’re facing billions of dollars — billions — to help these folks. Where will the money come from?Some seem to think that our government has very deep pockets and that the money will somehow keep coming and coming, but we ask, “From where?’’ Ultimately, it’s us. How can we afford to be there for all of them, individuals, businesses, and state and local governments alike?How far will our tax dollars go?

The past few weeks, we’ve found our thoughts turning to the billions of dollars our government wastes. We all have our own pet peeves when it comes to waste. This week, we couldn’t help but think about the money we spend around the world defending other countries, some of which have more money at their disposal than we do (like unlimited oil supplies). We think some of that money would be better spent here at home, not only beefing up our own national security and military preparedness, but ensuring that we have the necessary funding to pay our own bills.

We’re not good at understanding world finances because the numbers are far beyond our comprehension, but perhaps it’s time to rethink our priorities unless we’ve got a Fairy Godmother who is going to wave a magic wand and bring forth money whenever we need it.