Foreign Aid

We sure are generous here in the U.S. of A. In fact, we’re so generous that we give money to foreign countries in spite of a 13 trillion dollar deficit. How’s that for creative accounting? I truly wish I could run my household like this. Imagine writing big juicy checks to all your family members, neighbors and friends, even though you’re tapping your overdraft protection just to stay afloat.  

I totally understand how we as a morally responsible country can justify giving foreign aid for humanitarian causes. When people are starving and dying of preventable diseases, I think we should pull out all the stops to help, even if it means we have to dig deep into our empty pockets. But I need someone to explain how we can give money we don’t have to dozens of countries worldwide.  

Here are some staggering numbers I found on a U.S. census web site. Israel got 3.1 billion in foreign aid in 2010, and Egypt got 1.5 billion. Following them are 16 other countries that account for billions more, and a handful of countries only got a hundred million or so, including the Palestinians, who got 75 million. I wasn’t able to get a total but no doubt, it’s stunning.  

Considering our current financial woes and the fact that our economy is in the toilet, shouldn’t Congress go back to the drawing board and rethink this whole foreign aid business?  They’re talking about cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits, laying off government employees, trimming some vital social programs. I just don’t get it. Or maybe I do. Maybe it’s called politics.

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