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2017-05-31 / Editorial

How much have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost us?

Donald Trump is asking Congress to make drastic budget cuts to Medicaid, food stamps and to other programs that benefit the poor and elderly. In the short run nearly every program that is meant to help and to improve the lives of the disabled, poor, and elderly will be impacted.

Hillary Clinton slammed President Trump’s budget proposal Tuesday, saying it shows an “unimaginable level of cruelty” for millions of Americans and children. This administration and Republicans in Congress are mounting an onslaught against the needs of children and people with disabilities, women and seniors," Clinton said.

At the same time Trump's fiscal year 2018 Defense Department budget request proposes a $52.4 billion increase over the 2017 request and seeks to shore up readiness, procure systems for the future and fully fund operations worldwide.

The budget request is $574.5 billion, with a $64.6 billion request for overseas contingency operations. Officials said the budget request – that still must be passed by Congress -- reverses the manpower decline with funding that would put the services on track to increase by 56,000 service members.

The US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers up to $6 trillion, “the most expensive wars in US history,” a new report has revealed, adding that these campaigns will dominate future federal budgets “for decades to come.”

Think about that: Six trillion dollars for two wars that are still ongoing and wars that have accomplished simply nothing to benefit the average American. As the infrastructures in this country continue to crumble we are spending millions to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

What about our crumbling bridges and decaying roads? The impoverished Indian reservations could have used a tiny percentage of the money wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan to rebuild our bridges and roads, to improve our failing health care system, our schools, our colleges and our tribal administration buildings.

We have charity groups and church groups coming to our reservations making an effort to help, but they do not have the massive resources it would take to solve the problems that took more than 100 years to develop. All the Indian people have ever asked is for the government to provide the financial resources needed, and then get the hell out of the way and let us solve our own problems. We are not charity cases, but we are instead a proud people.

For far too many years the government has told us how they want to solve our problems and for the most part they have gone about it in the wrong way. Give us the resources and stand aside and you will be surprised at how resourceful the Indian people can be.

To the United States government we will quote an old adage, “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.”

(Contact the Editorial Board at editor@nativesunnews. today)

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