$106,537,771 Stolen from Youngstown

On Thursday, August 26th I was finally able to get to the Dorothy Day House at 620 Belmont Ave. Youngstown, OH. I went for their monthly Roundtable discussion. This month it was on war and weapons of mass destruction. Roundtable discussions on social justice topics are held on the fourth Thursday evening of the month at 7:00 PM. The Dorothy Day House serves dinner to the needy in our community.  They do this Monday-Thursday from 5:00 to 6:30 PM, and offer free showers on Tuesday evenings from 3:00 to 4:45 PM. Before I arrived Thursday I was told just that day they had served dinner to 120 people. I like to cook but I can’t even imagine how you could go about making dinner for that many people.

I love the work of Dorothy Day and poet Peter Maurin who established the Catholic Worker Movement. The fact that we have good people in our community carrying on their work at this Youngstown Dorothy Day House is a blessing and a wonderful tribute to Dorothy and Peter! The Dorothy Day House one more great reason to live in our valley.

I’ve mentioned how poor the Elecpencil is. Truth is most of my postings are short of commas and other punctuation because I can’t afford to buy more of them. I don’t usually like to talk about money but today I am making an exception. In the last decade I’ve gotten into a bit of a financial pinch. I had a credit card with no limit and I charged whatever I thought I needed. I also borrowed money and about 40% of it was from other countries. I had a contractor rip me off for $549.7 million in spare parts shipped in 2004. All together several companies claimed I owed them for lost and  unaccounted  goods that cost me  $9 billion. I paid one company $20 billion that my auditors claimed included a  questionable $3.2 billion. I sadly note that I am  doing even more business with these crooked corporations that stole from me.

I now owe what amounts to $8,333 a second, $500,000 a minute or $750,000,000 a day.  All in all I owe $1,072,074,367,425 and climbing every second. Before, all is said and done I will owe $3 trillion or more.

If you feel sorry for me you should also feel sorry for yourself. That is because as we the people of the USA are the government those figures are what we owe  collectively for the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars since they started in 2001. Per taxpayer we have each paid $7,439 so far. Ohio’s share was  $37,6033,055,432 and Youngstown spent $106,537,771. Of course all those figure are going up per second as you can see here.

What could have Youngstown done with that  $106,537,771 instead of spending it on war? Youngstown could have added on 409 police or sheriff’s patrol officers for one year. Or 508 firefighters for one year. How about 4,600 students receiving Pell Grants of $5550. We could have paid 381 elementary school teachers for one year. 3,168 military veterans could have received VA medical care for one year. There could have been 3,708 Head Start slots for children for one year.

Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq – $390,000. The only money I want to justify is whatever it takes to help our soldiers.  A recent study indicated that the long-term health care costs for wounded Iraq War veterans could range from $350 billion to $700 billion. We’ve had 31,897 US soldiers wounded (total excludes psychological injuries.) Within 3 to 4 months of returning home 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems. We’ve also lost 4,416 US troops; 9% killed by non-hostile causes.

On these two wars we’ve spent $1.7 trillion overseas, with little return to the American economy and we’ve weakened the dollar. As I said, 40% of the money for the war was borrowed from other countries to financing this war with debt. We now are at the mercy of foreign nations holding that debt.

Still, bin Laden roams free, and more nations are starting to look at us as occupiers. Having over 737 US military bases in 130 countries around the world (that costs the USA a fortune) adds to that impression.  Add in all the criticism of the NYC Islamic Center  and al Qaeda has a recruiting tool to show that Moslems can become US citizens but they and their religion will be treated by many as second class Americans.

The faiths we have today all include some large elements that will ignore the morals of their faith to justify war. I believe only a dollars and cents fact-based instead of faith-based approach can lead to the end of wars. It’s sad that money talks but it’s time to use that fact to talk about peace as we just can’t monetarily afford any more wars.

My favorite Peter Maurin Poem: Better or Better Off

Mike Masse: The Mistake

Michael Franti and Spearhead: Time To Go Home

Get up and dance like I am with Spearhead: We Don’t Stop

These kids understood what is not immediately obvious; that they were going to pay the bills for tax cuts that had been passed today or in the last 4 years, and for the war in Iraq, because essentially we are borrowing money to do those things. ~ Tom Allen



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2 responses to “$106,537,771 Stolen from Youngstown

  1. JJ

    When will we ever learn? It’s oh so easy to strike, to kill, to hate. Why is it so hard to be tolerant, to understand, to be open minded, to be kind, and to love? Just what is it about our country that makes it so easy to fight, to go to war? God help us!

  2. elecpencil

    JJ~ Thanks for the comment. Those are all great questions. When I think of kindness and love I think of happiness. When I think of hatred and war I think of great sadness. Given those two choices I pick happiness. Why others would pick sadness is a mystery to me.

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