Things We Could Pay For Instead Of a War in Syria

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Your government is preparing to spend tens of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars on a war you probably don't agree with. As the Obama administration continues to plan its attack on Syria, it begs the question: 

What could we be paying for besides a war with Syria?

Is there not any area here at home that could use that funding? 

ABC News reports that part of the attack involves 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from four Navy destroyer ships parked in the eastern Mediterranean. With a single Tomahawk costing $1.5 million, that portion of the attacks alone will cost an estimated $300 million. Add in the aerial strike and we are looking at a monumental cost in an effort of which a majority of Americans disapprove. If we're determined to spend such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars, we should at least consider the various uses for such funds and not rush to a decision because another country is involved in a civil war.

Our first option, of course, is not to spend this money on anything. Just because we seem to have the money readily available doesn't mean that we need to rid ourselves of it as if it were a hot potato. If we absolutely have to spend it, though, there are a couple options that immediately come to mind.

The first thing that comes to mind is the national debt. As our debt steadily hikes toward a whopping $17 trillion, we will soon have no choice but to stare it in the face and deal with it. Contrary to what some elected officials seem to believe, ignoring it doesn't mean it will eventually disappear on its own — this is a debt that will be a burden to my generation and those after us. Beginning to pay off even a small chunk of this debt will be a step in the right direction.

An equally worthy selection is to invest some money in the states. Rather than intruding on the states' constitutional rights to operate their own affairs, the federal government could return this money to the states and allow them to use it as they see fit. Decisions made at the state level are much closer to the people, thus closer to their specific needs. State A may need to invest more in education, State B may want to create a larger budget for transportation, and State C may want to give tax incentives to minorities to start their own small businesses. The needs of individual states vary; an overreaching federal government can never know their needs as well as they do.

The situation in Syria is tragic and horrendous, but there is no need for American lives and resources to be lost because we intervened in another civil war. We could use those millions of dollars for plenty of needs here at home. Just as an example, how many small businesses would be created if states gave low-income residents the help they needed to get a small business going? Give people a loan that they're required to pay back once their business is functioning. That's only one possibility of uses for this money. Let's invest in our people.  Let's use this money to take care of our immediate needs.