It’s been a few weeks since Congress passed the $700 billion bailout plan, but it wasn’t until I heard author, journalist and filmmaker Naomi Klein voice her criticisms last night that the number really sank in.
$700,000,000 is a lot of money – enough money in fact, says Klein, to fund basic healthcare to every child in America. I think that’s important enough to reiterate. Right now, in our current state of record-breaking, history-making debt accumulation, our government voted to spend $700 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street when that same amount of money could provide healthcare to every child in this nation. Hmm. That paints a pretty interesting picture of where our government’s priorities are.
Klein also commented about how much money our government is willing to shell out with a little pressure. The fact that our government promised this much dough means that the excuse of “this is too expensive” to not meet our country’s needs no longer holds firm. Especially when it comes to issues as important as the health of the climate that we all need in order to survive.
The Obama campaign has already said, if elected, they might have to cut back on their already weak alternative energy plan to make due with less spending. We need to exert pressure on his campaign to make sure he knows this is not the area to cut back in research spending.
On an entirely related note, executive director of the Sierra Club Carl Pope
mentioned that this proposed cost of the bailout is roughly the equivalent to our year’s supply of imported oil.
“So if we really took ending our addiction to oil seriously,” writes Pope, “we could repay the Treasury for the bailout — and it’s hard to see any other pot of money lying around big enough.”
If our next president is going to cut back on spending for anything, here’s the answer. Cut back on spending money on something inherently destructive to our future generations. We will not take “lack of money” for an excuse any longer.