Here is nice little up to the minute War Cost counter: COST OF WAR .
The Cost of a tooth extraction for a child varies from $100.00 to $500.00.
Bob Herbert a columnist for the NY Times wrote about 12 year old Deamonte Driver, of Prince George’s County, Maryland. We should note that Prince Georges County is not that far from Washington DC. Perhaps less than 100 miles.
Young Deamonte Driver had an abscessed tooth. A dentist offered to extract it for $80.00. Driver’s mother could not afford the fee, so when the pain got bad she took her son to the emergency room of the local hospital. The hospital gave Deamonte some pain killers and medicine for sinusitis and sent him home.
On February 25 2007, in agony, Deamonte died when the bacteria from the abscess spread to his brain.
We spend $122,000 A MINUTE for a mistake. A mistake in intelligence. A mistake in believing our elected representatives. A mistake that will haunt our country, like Vietnam has, for decades.
We cannot spend $80.0 damn dollars to save a child’s life. A life in which that child may have grown into the next Dr. Pasteur; or Picasso; or Beethoven, or Bill Gates. Without such delusions of grandeur, shouldn't American children be entitled to grow up with adequate health care. Shouldn't Deamonte have been able to reach his teen years; fall in love; get his heart broken; play sports; go to the movies; get married; have children of his own? Shouldn't a child in a country that calls itself the greatest society on earth have a decent chance of not dying from a tooth ache before the age of 20?
Would this have happened to Deamonte in Canada? or England? or France? Or Germany? Or Russia?
Bob Herbert quoted Nelson Mandela:
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul
than the way in which it treats its children.”
We have spent close to half a trillion dollars for the mistakes of our president and vice president ( and we are generous when we use the term mistake; one could easily make the case for “lies”).
Lets say circa 2001 there was no terrorist attack. Lets say that the people of Iraq in 2002 rose up on their own and peacefully overthrew Saddam Hussein.
The question is this: without a war on terrorism and a war overseas pending, would we as a society have agreed to spend one quarter of the cost of the war in Iraq on our children’s health over the next ten years? Would we have agreed to spend 10 billion a year more on health care for the 9 million uninsured children in this country? 10 billion is a lot of money. You can do a lot with 10 billion dollars.
10 billion dollars is what we are spending every 65 days in Iraq.
Think about it.
Think about all the lost lives in Iraq.
Think about all the lost opportunities and all the better ways we could have used that 400 billion dollars we have already spent.
And think about Deamonte Driver. Dead at age 12. George Bush and the Republicans would and have gladly spent 400 billion dollars to stop a terrorist from shooting Deamonte. But they wouldn’t spend an extra 80 bucks to have his tooth pulled.
We reflect on Nelson Mandela's quote and we come to this conclusion: we are not the greatest society on earth. Far from it. We are not the greatest country in the world. Whatever claim we had to greatness we have squandered. We may have had the greatest generation that saved the world from totalitarianism. We may have put men on the moon. But we can't protect the lives of our most valuable resource- children. And we continually vote for duplicitous and deceitful men whose only defense of their right to lead is that they are prayerful and believe in the lord.
George Bush hasn't squandered our greatness. We have. By voting for him. Twice.See You in Court.