In a recent announcement, President Joe Biden declared that his administration would extend a helping hand to the Hawaiians affected by the devastating fire in Lahaina, Maui. Each household impacted by this tragedy will receive a relief payment of $700. However, when you juxtapose this amount with the staggering $113 billion taxpayers shouldering for the war in Ukraine, it’s evident that the relief doesn’t even match the average $900 per household for the Ukraine aid.
While the President initially refrained from commenting on the Maui disaster as he relaxed at his Delaware beach house, his administration soon shifted gears, probably realizing the gravity of the situation. A tweet from the official account, which seems to be managed by the exact individual handling Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s charge, conveyed the government’s decision to disburse a one-time payment of $700 to each affected household, aiming to provide some solace during these trying times.
The relief, termed “Critical Needs Assistance” and overseen by FEMA, targets those displaced from their homes and in dire need of essentials. The funds are intended for immediate necessities like water and groceries. However, given Hawaii’s steep grocery prices, this amount would barely sustain a family of four for over a week. This doesn’t even factor in the additional challenges survivors face of the most catastrophic wildfire the nation has witnessed in the past 100 years.
The fire’s aftermath is heart-wrenching, with the death toll already crossing 100. With approximately 1,300 individuals still unaccounted for, the numbers are anticipated to rise. The blaze has razed thousands of structures, predominantly homes, leading to damages amounting to billions.
Simultaneously, the financial burden the U.S. government has placed on its citizens for the Ukraine conflict is substantial. Each American household effectively pays nearly $900, overshadowing the relief amount by more than 125%. As reported by The Daily Signal, the Congressional Budget Office highlighted that with around 127.9 million households in the U.S. as of fiscal year 2022, the average cost per household for the approved Ukraine aid stands at about $884.
It’s perplexing to witness the government extracting almost $900 from citizens for international causes and expecting gratitude when a fraction of that amount is returned to help them rebuild their lives post-disaster. But isn’t that typical governmental logic?
While any aid is appreciated, ensuring that international commitments do not overshadow domestic tragedies is essential. The citizens of Lahaina, Maui, deserve more than just a token gesture.