The omnibus bill is tone deaf to the real needs of Americans
The last couple of weeks have been hard on the American people, especially those who work out in the elements to ensure we have access to the essentials of life which are food, water, electricity and fuel.Our nation would come to a screeching halt were it not for farmers and ranchers, coal miners, linemen, electricians, truckers and those who are willing to do hard and dangerous work to provide for us.A prolonged winter storm swept across the country just as Christmas arrived and many spent the holiday without power. The massive winter storm brought in intense winds, bitter cold temperatures and mountains of snow for a dangerous combination that continues to have impacts on the nation.Store shelves are bare. Trucks haven’t been able to move. Flooding has occurred as pipes have frozen. Travel has been disrupted. Vehicles crashes have increased and it’s all hit at a time when we are supposed to be merry and joyful.This storm has an extra sting to it as Americans are also feeling the pinch of rising inflation with escalated food and fuel prices. Many Americans are defaulting on credit card bills and a new generation of young people feel like they will never be financially stable enough to purchase homes.To add insult to injury, Congress passed a spending measure just days before Christmas. The “ominus” omnibus bill racks up an additional $1.7 trillion in spending by our federal government and has been sent to President Joe Biden to sign.The bill, which runs more than 4,000 pages long will keep the government operating through the end of the fiscal year, September 2023. The omnibus bill includes nearly $45 billion to support Ukraine; $2.6 billion for U.S. attorney, to “further support prosecutions related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases, $11.3 billion to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate “extremist violence and domestic terrorism,” a ban on TikTok, $132 million in funding to U.S. Capitol police, another $576 million for the Environmental Protection Agency to total annual funds to $10.1 billion, $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama hiking trail, and the list of added pork goes on and on.When did our federal government become this sizable beast that treats its citizens like peasants? How did states lose control in our federal republic? Why are politicians more concerned about lining their pockets and getting re-elected than serving “we the people?”And what can average Americans like you and I do about it?At a time where there are clear vulnerabilities in our food supply chain and our electrical grids, I find it concerning that Congress is more concerned about passing a hefty spending bill and getting home for Christmas break than truly fleshing out what is in this 4,000-page bill and treating our government like a business.Our tax dollars are being spent in every direction, with little to no regard about the massive growing debt our children and grandchildren will inherit. As a small business owner myself, I would be out of business in a month if I ran my finances the way our federal government does.It is a shame to see our elected officials be so completely out of touch with what the American people need. It’s not a hiking trail. It’s not an electric car and a carbon credit. It’s safe, affordable and nutritious food. It’s access to clean water. It’s heat for the winter months. It’s safeguarding the economy to ensure Americans don’t need second, third and fourth streams of income just to make ends meet. It’s encouraging home ownership and savings and the ability to accumulate wealth over time, faster than the rate of inflation. It’s nurturing the nuclear family and promoting a sound educational system that guides our children in the way we should go.At every turn, it appears we are on the wrong path and it’s disheartening to say the least. However, as for me and my family, we will continue to work hard, save our pennies, raise our kids to know and love God, serve our community, love our neighbors and stick together through the ups and downs that life brings.Maybe if enough of us do exactly that, society and our elected officials will follow suit.Amanda Radke is a South Dakota rancher, a writer, and motivational speaker, specializing in the beef industry, social media and consumer trends. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.