First, our government has done some fact checking and found that Iraq, at year's end, will have a budget surplus of $79 billion. Our Congress has just given $48 billion to the military for rebuilding Iraq and Iraq has contributed $4 billion of their own money towards rebuilding the country. If this angers you, think about this: it would cost $50 billion to pay full tuition for any American wanting to go to a public college or university. Where are our priorities here?
Now, I do believe we have a responsibility to assist Iraq in rebuilding, after all we did invade their country. I also feel, though, that Iraq should be doing more than they are. From what I've heard and read in the media, part of the problem is this surplus money is located here in the U.S. and the Iraq officials cannot get their hands on it.
This was brought up, along with a fantastic story on the Bill Moyers Journal last night on the new booming industries making money by targeting the poor. Here is the link, I suggest you watch it before making any kind of a large purchase: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08082008/profile.html
Along with these predatory practices, one that has caused a lot of problems has been the sub-prime mortgages. These are mortgages for people who normally would not qualify for mortgages and because there have been record numbers of these defaulting, people are losing their homes while the financial executives who allowed, and in some cases caused, this mess have gone unpunished.
Here is a video from a singer/songwriter who has obviously been affected by all of this, and uses audio of what Ralph Nader would like to do as President of the U.S.:
The good news for the citizens is that there is hope on the horizon. I'm not referring to Congress bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, nor the mortgage relief bills being passed through Congress. I'm talking about a non-profit organization that is helping those hurt by this by finding legitimate ways of qualifying for homes they can afford, as well as helping those who would still like a piece of the American dream. This was profiled a little while ago on NOW on PBS:
And here is the link to Just Price Solutions.