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Biden Must Support Ukraine, But Our Economy Can’t Be Sacrificed Along the Way

Biden debe apoyar a Ucrania, pero no puede sacrificar la economía de los americanos en el camino

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Millions of Americans wake up every day to work 8 to 12 hours a day to feed their families; they struggle to make ends meet; inflation has devastated them; food is 10% more expensive than it was a few months ago; fuel is also at an all-time high nationally, and the situation seems hopeless in the short term.

On the other hand, there is Ukraine, where a war is being waged against Russia, one of the enemy nations of the United States that is trying to subvert the international order. It stands to reason to anyone with a little common sense that the U.S. should support the Ukrainian cause, not out of good faith or to save the poor Ukrainians; but because strategically and geopolitically it is important not to allow totalitarian regimes on the other side of the world to attempt an unprecedented expansion that will ultimately jeopardize national security.

However, despite the need to help Ukraine, the U.S. cannot sacrifice its economy along the way, after approving $13 billion in March, the Biden administration is managing $40 billion more for Ukraine that will come out of the pockets of American workers, those same workers who today are suffering to afford a tank of gas and find milk for their children.

The current situation reminds me of the last century when in the middle of the Cold War the U.S. created a space race against the Soviet Union, which would eventually end up breaking the communists. Today it seems that Russia’s war, besides being aimed at trying to take over Ukraine, is leading the United States into a dangerous economic situation, since it is not only the more than 50 billion dollars that have been approved for the war in Ukraine, but also the collateral effects that these measures have caused in the American economy: inflation, trade deficit, shortages, use of strategic reserves, among others.

Defeating Russia is essential, but it cannot override the needs of the American people. The United States cannot continue to subsidize the defense of the international order; or rather, those Americans who work 8 to 12 hours a day to feed their children, cannot continue to sacrifice themselves so that the world may be at peace, while the rest of the countries devote their resources to create welfare states, infrastructure and tourism.

Russian servicemen take part in the Victory Day military parade in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 09 May 2022. EFE

During the years of the Trump administration, the Republican president emphasized and demanded his NATO partners increase their defense spending. He warned Germany that continuing to consume Russian gas and depending on Putin would put the international order at risk; nobody cared, they did not listen to him. Today his predictions came true and the Democrats and their political allies turn a blind eye, and their only response to the crisis is to write more checks and increase the nation’s debt.

Biden cannot continue to provide endless economic aid that falls on the shoulders of Americans, his mission as head of state should be to pressure his partners in NATO and the European Union, so that they also contribute to the defense of Ukraine, after all, they are the main interested — and also threatened — parties by Putin’s expansionist ambitions.

A handout picture made available by Regiment Azov press service shows an injured Ukrainian serviceman in a shelter at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Plant in Mariupol
A handout picture made available by Regiment Azov press service shows an injured Ukrainian serviceman in a shelter at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Plant in Mariupol. EFE

The problem today in Washington is that it is full of demagogic politicians who are only interested in making policy, in solving today’s problem, regardless of the consequences for tomorrow. The main motto for the occupants of the White House in recent decades seems to be: I get into debt, let the next guy pick up the tab, and so the United States is heading for a cliff from which no one will know how to get out.

Americans must demand that Biden stop the absurd spending that has the country’s workers in a chokehold. Should Ukraine be supported? Of course, it should, but we must use diplomacy and intelligence to do so, not everything can be solved with multi-million dollar checks; America’s partners must also start giving some money and it is up to the president to collect from them.

Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American

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