The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Schools and books, not bombs and tanks

Zamira Recinos | Special to The Union

The amount of aid sent to Ukraine displays the United States government’s priority of supporting foreigners rather than its citizens.

The U.S. has problems of its own that could be solved by the government with appropriate funding. Instead, the government chooses to support the people of a foreign nation rather than its own.

While Congress debates topics such as free healthcare, free college and managing America’s spending and debt, they have no hesitation to fork over billions of taxpayer dollars to give Ukraine military weapons.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022, the U.S. has been sending assistance to Ukraine since Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Since 2014, the U.S. provided $32.4 billion in aid to Ukraine before the invasion.

Following the outbreak of the war, the Biden administration and Congress appropriated billions more in funding to be sent to Ukraine.

Bilateral aid to Ukraine, between Jan. 24, 2022, and Jan.15, 2023, totaled $76.8 billion going towards military, financial and humanitarian aid.

In total, the U.S. appropriated $115 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine since the war’s beginning. 95% of the funding goes to the Department of Defense and State Department.

The remainder goes to agencies providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

Some may argue aiding Ukraine is aiding democracy. However, the same arguments were used to justify intervention during the Cold War, such as in Vietnam.

America should not be sticking its snout where it does not belong, especially if it wants to maintain the safety and well-being of all Americans.

Would Ukraine be doing the same for us if the situations were switched?

This raises the matter of whether our government is putting the needs of Americans or Ukrainians first.

Only 79% of U.S. adults are literate in English, meaning 43 million adults in the U.S. possess low literacy skills, and 54% of adults 16-74 lack proficiency in literacy.

Perhaps instead of sending billions of dollars to Ukraine, the U.S. could invest in its citizens’ well-being by providing funds so they can be literacy proficient.

Low adult literacy rates cause a loss of $2.2 trillion in economic growth each year. The U.S. is suffering from its own issue.

This lack of appropriate funding for education in the U.S. has resulted in more than just economic problems.

According to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, adults with poor literacy are four times as likely to report lower levels of health, requiring hospitalizations and emergency medical services at a high rate.

Almost nine out of 10 children under six whose parents do not have a high school diploma or equivalent are in low-income families.

The government’s lack of attention to the problems America faces demonstrates the priorities of those in power.

The aid sent to Ukraine is like a punch in the stomach to those Americans who are struggling to survive in this nation.

The U.S., a first-world nation, has over 34 million Americans who face hunger every day, including one in eight children.

This hunger faced by Americans is not caused by famine or war; it’s a result of people not having enough money to buy food.

So why is the government so willing to send a lot of aid and money to the citizens of another country while its own is suffering?

It’s because those in power could care less about those they supposedly serve.

The problems of famine and illiteracy the U.S. faces right now could have been solved if the government acted upon its own principle, “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

While the war in Ukraine is a tragedy, the government has not taken any action to justify it to the American people.

If the U.S. diverted money and resources to solve many of its issues it would strengthen the nation and bring prosperity to America.

The U.S. should be putting Americans first if it wants to ensure the prosperity and success of its people.

More to Discover