By Rebecca Bextel, guest columnist
Imagine needing a bank loan for $1,000, but in order to get approved, you would also need to guarantee a $6,000 loan for the people of Togo. Would this seem bizarre and unfair to you?
If so, then you are probably also against the $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that the House just passed, which also includes US “Covid relief” tucked in there. Many Americans could receive $600 each in exchange for other countries receiving hundreds of millions of dollars. Yes, you read this correctly.
In the 6,000-page bill that would have been nearly impossible to read before the vote was held, money was passed around freely to other countries. Some $33 million was given for democracy programs in Venezuela, $500 million was passed for border security in Jordan, $15 million was allocated for democracy programs and $10 million for gender studies in Pakistan, Sri Lanka will get $15 million for a boat, $1.3 billion was earmarked for Egypt,
Central American countries would receive $500 million to discover why children flee to the United States (I could answer this for free), and on and on, but Wyoming bar and restaurant owners, who are among the hardest hit, will receive NOTHING.
One obvious problem with this redistribution of wealth is that the US government does not have any wealth; in the US, the American people create wealth when they produce goods and services, but our ability lately to do this has been greatly hampered by the very politicians who are now wanting to give other countries our hard-earned money.
Are you wondering where Wyoming’s only elected House of Representatives member was in all of this? Was Representative Liz Cheney too busy picking fights with President Trump and calling for him to concede than to vote for this? Nope, she voted for it.
Yes. Mega millions of dollars to OTHER countries was just passed while we have massive unemployment in this state and country, and we are supposed to believe that Wyoming’s elected officials are in Washington, D.C. working for us.
Senator John Barrasso seems to have secured $64 million dollars out of the $2.3 trillion spend to improve Wyoming’s highways and water infrastructure, but again, this is proportionately like Wyoming getting two cents and Egypt getting $1,000 ($64 million is .002 percent of $2.3 trillion if I got all the zeros right).
So, I’ll ask again, for whom are these politicians really fighting for?
And what about that foreign aid? For example, does anyone really believe that the $500 million earmarked for Central America is going to be passed out in an honest way, trickling down to the needy there? I assure you missionaries weren’t the ones who lobbied congress to include this in the stimulus bill! I bet one day we will find out that some politician’s brother was awarded a $100 million contract for studying poverty in Guatemala, and someone else’s sister is on the board without any qualifications.
I have not spoken with a single Democrat or Republican friend that wants to give away hundreds of millions dollars to all of these countries, so why are we doing this? We are not helpless; we are the ones paying the bill!
Let’s hold these elected officials of ours accountable. We need to require them to stand up for Wyoming people, stand up for the American people, and stand up for our fair elections, or they will not get re-elected.
We did not send them to Washington to write $86 million checks to Cambodia and $130 million to Nepal.
(Note: Rebecca Bextel is a wife, mother of four daughters, and small business owner who lives in Jackson.)