America’s flawed priorities

Friday, January 26, 2018

With all due respect to my friend Brad Brigham, his letter to the editor on Jan. 15 (“No more immigrants”) seems to be based on a flawed assumption. Apparently, he assumes that this country doesn’t have enough resources to meet the needs of everyone who lives here, recent immigrants and their children, as well as the rest of us who, with the exception of Native Americans, are descendants of earlier immigrants.

Brad is certainly right in pointing to the chronically unmet needs of homeless persons, people with substance abuse problems, our many neglected veterans and the working poor. But why is it that in this, the so-called “richest nation on earth,” we’re told, and many people believe, that we can’t afford to help everyone who is poor, homeless, jobless, sick, elderly and/or lacking decent education and health care?

Could it be because our country is spending trillions of dollars (over half the U.S. government’s annual discretionary budget) on endless wars and preparations for war — an amount nearly equal to the military budgets of every other country in the world, combined?

In this writer’s view, the overwhelming problem we face has nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with our tragically misplaced, and clearly self-destructive, national priorities — priorities which we citizens can and must change.

Randy Kehler