A rational view from the other side

Published 11:00 am Monday, October 1, 2007

By By Foster Kizer
With Master Tray Smith off in Washington, D.C. performing duties as a Page to Congress I have been asked to write a weekly article for The Atmore Advance.
Over the past several months I have learned to respect Tray's intelligence, astute following political issues and his love for politics in general. While we continue to disagree with how to deal with the issues facing our nation, we have at least agreed to disagree and I like to think that we are now becoming good friends. I am really proud of him performing his duties as a page for Congress. This experience will undoubtedly cement his views for the future. I wish him well and look forward to hearing upon his return about his many exciting experiences in the halls of the federal government.
The Mobile Press Register reported on Sept. 26 that most of our state's delegation to Congress opposed the Children's Health Insurance Program. While this measure passed in the House of Representatives on 265-159 vote, Congressman Joe Bonner and the other four republican representatives in our state delegation all voted against the bill. President Bush has threatened to veto the bill and will most likely do so because not enough votes were cast in favor of the bill to override his veto. The Senate is also likely to vote on the legislation this week. Senator Sessions will oppose the bill as well as Senator Shelby. This bill was scheduled to be paid for with a 61-cent per pack tax on cigarettes. This tax increase on cigarettes would cover the $35 billion five-year expansion of the Sate Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers 68,550 children in Alabama alone. What better source of revenue to pay for this program than a tax on cigarettes.
Now what is wrong with our Republican congressman and senators? These warmongers are willing to continue the funding for this useless war in Iraq. Let me share with you the cost of this war so far. With Congress' recent vote for an additional $100 billion more in war spending, the total spent or allocated for the Iraq war alone rises to nearly half a trillion dollars. The cost to taxpayers of Alabama now totals $4.2 billion. I hope the citizens of our community see that the money spent on this war could drastically enhance our lives if this money was better spent on providing insurance to the uninsured citizens in our state. And this half a trillion dollars does not include the human cost of this useless war.
Alabama has sacrificed 61 of our fine soldiers who have given their lives. In addition 448 Alabama soldiers have been wounded, Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and another two million Iraqi refugees have been displaced to other countries. The future cost of this war has not even been calculated. How many more billions of dollars will be required to take care of the wounded soldiers both physically as well as psychologically? What about the payout the families of the soldiers that continue to be killed on a daily basis in Iraq. And our warmongering Republican representatives continue happily along with funding this war while voting to deny our children who cannot afford health insurance the chance to grow up provided even the most basic healthcare. What is wrong with this picture? Call or write our senators and congressmen and demand that they support the Sate Children's Health Insurance Program and stop this hemorrhaging of dollars going out to support this unwinable war in Iraq.
Foster Kizer is owner of Royal Oaks Bed &Breakfast. He can be reached at 368-8722.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox