I find it hard to believe that so many Americans are not paying attention to where our elected officials’ priorities lie. It appears that they are willing to protect the interests of the National Rifle Association and defense contractors, as opposed to citizen needs and wants.

The representatives are adamant that the defense of our global interest, (translation: military protection of countries other than the United States) is more important than the repair and expansion of our infrastructure. How can we afford to build schools in Iraq and Afghanistan, but can’t find the money to repair the roofs on schools in Louisiana. How can we continue to cut educational, medical and retirement benefits for our own citizens, but send billions of dollars to fund programs in other countries?

There are those who will say that what we send as foreign aid is a small amount in comparison to our overall federal budget. Maybe that is correct, but I tell you that the city of Central would benefit from a few million dollars of that aid, as I am sure other cities within our state would also benefit.

Quit kowtowing to the defense contractors and the NRA and pay attention to and do something about repairing schools, bridges, parks, VA hospitals etc. here in the United States. I agree that we should help other countries, but charity does begin at home and we have been lacking in home charity.

Richard Stagnoli

EHS audit specialist

Baton Rouge