Local residents say Bush should resolve to focus on 'homefront'

December 31, 2004|HERB BROCK

If President Bush hasn't yet come up with a New Year's resolution, some folks from the Danville area have an idea for him:

Spend more money and attention on people and problems in the United States.

A dozen shoppers at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter were asked this morning what resolution they would like to see the president make for 2005, and the vast majority of them indicated they would like him to concentrate more on domestic issues, including education, health care and poverty.

Moreover, several of those who want the president to spend more time dealing with national issues were critical of foreign aid, though most indicated they favor emergency spending on disaster relief projects such as the effort in Asia in the aftermath of the tsunami.

Some said they also want the president to end the war in Iraq and bring the U.S. troops home.

Those interviewed also were asked if they had made any personal resolutions for the New Year.


"I think the president, the federal government as a whole, needs to spend less money worldwide and more here at home," said Bill Blair.

Steve Boyd of Junction City agreed.

"The president and the government need to spend more time and money to take care of people who really need help here at home instead of sending all that aid overseas where a lot of it is kept by dictators and doesn't ever get to the people it's supposed to help," said Boyd.

"A good place to start (withdrawing aid) is Iraq," he said. "It makes no sense at all for us to be spending billions of dollars on this war when Iraq has billions and billions in oil money that could be used to pay for the war and the reconstruction. They also could use all that money Saddam (Hussein) stashed away."

Sheila Hafley of Junction City criticized the "waste" of American lives and money in Iraq.

"I'd like to see the president resolve to get our military out of Iraq and bring them home," Hafley said. "We've spent too many lives and too much money on that war. We're spending too much money overseas in general.

"He needs to take care of the people on the homefront. There are millions of people in need of food, shelter and health care. There are people living on the streets."

Focus on health care, Social Security needed, too

Burgess Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., who is living in Danville for six months while his wife takes part in a management training program at a local store, said the president needs to focus his attention on the lack of health care insurance for many Americans.

"There are 40 million or more Americans that don't have health insurance. That's an issue that deserves the president's attention," said Blankenship.

Jeanett Wade of Boyle County would like Bush to make sure Social Security remains solvent. In her 20's, she is concerned there won't be a program when she becomes older.

Peggy McCormack generally likes the "moral" direction in which Bush is leading the country and wants more people in federal government to follow his lead.

"I'd like to see the leaders of this country get back to a more Biblical and moral approach to government," said McCormack.

Regarding their personal resolutions, Boyd said he just wants "to survive another year," while Blankenship said he wants to "be a better person" and Hafley said she would like to "save more money" and "be more health-conscious."

Blair, McCormack and Wade said they refrain from making resolutions.

"If I need to improve something, I try to make the improvement during the year and not wait until the end to promise I'll do it," Blair said.

"I made a resolution a long time ago not to make resolutions because I always broke them a week after I made them," said McCormack.

Said Wade: "I don't bother with resolutions. They're meant to be broken."

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