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US Foreign Aid: Good or Bad ?

 
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 01:56 am
With the U.S falling further into debt, the American people want answers, solutions. What cuts can we manage?

Turn off foreign aid?
While humanitarian aid still holds priority, developmental aid is quite another story. It has never been popular, and with good reason. It's too often a waste of money. Candy? Or cure? Checkout this link...

http://www.cato.org/dailys/09-14-03.html

The United States gives out $13.3 billion tax dollars in direct Foreign Aid annually. The United States is above and beyond the single most generous benefactor of the United Nations, donating $2.4 billion dollars of YOUR money, to primarily third-world dictators.

This amount is 25% of the United Nations budget. In addition, the United States also gives another $1.4 billion tax dollars to United Nations'programs and agencies. The American taxpayers fund more for the United Nations than ALL of the other 177 member nations COMBINED.

What most Americans do not realize is that the vast majority of the recipients of the of US Foreign Aid routinely vote against the wishes of the United States in the United Nations at an average rate of 74%. In other words, of the $13.3 billion tax dollars invested in direct Foreign Aid only about 26% or $3.5 billion went to support people who endorsed American initiatives or causes. A staggering $9.8 billion tax dollars went to causes and people who were and are in open and direct opposition to the United States' interests and objectives.

Listed below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations' records:

Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time.
Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time.
Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time.
United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

US Foreign Aid to those that hate us:
Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.

Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Pakistan votes 75% against the United States receives $6,721,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

India votes 81% against the United States receives $143,699,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.

Perhaps it is not time to get out of the UN, but to curtail our generousity and give the tax savings back to the American workers who are having to skimp and sacrifice to pay the taxes.

What are your ideas? Should U.S. foreign aid be curtailed-or redirected and re-evaluated?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 6,346 • Replies: 40
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infowarrior
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:10 am
I know I risk being labeled anti-semitic for saying this, but I find it appalling that a nation like Israel is still on the US taxpayer's payroll.

Since Bush won his lawsuit, the amount of combined foeign aid, loan guarantees and military hardware to Israel has tripled to $15 billion dollars!

Has anyone been to Israel? I have -- Tel Aviv looks like Miami or Los Angeles with million dollar high rise view condos, cafes, and loads of Mercedes clogging the roads. Israel is doing quite well and can easily do without our money.

For me, it's easy. As long as there are schools in the USA who can't afford books, or working poor who can't afford healthcare, or hungry kids in American urban cities, I say end all foreign aid at once -- no exceptions.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:15 am
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:17 am
CerealKiller,
Some of your numbers are wrong (though I don't plan to do the research for others on this one).

Please list your sources. Much of that is not in the link you provided.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:27 am
Palau was (in 2002) the only country, which voted 100% with the USA, followed by the Marshall Islands 97.6%, Israel (92.6%) and Micronesia (89.8%).

The next are the UK and France (57.1% resp. 56%), followed by some dozens with 50% and lower.



Since we always hear that the US is a country with a great Christian-Jewish tradition, there is absolutely now fear that Foreign Aid will be dropped or diminished.

And since economy is top and wants to be top in the US, this will never happen.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:42 am
This is where I got the information. How accurate it is I do not know.

http://www.science.co.il/Arab-Israeli-conflict/Articles/Anonymous-2003-08.asp
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 08:52 am
The problem with that source is that it is an anonymous posting with no year given for the statistics and no source.

Isn't foreign aid also a form of bribary?
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:00 am
I'm not so sure some of this should even be called aid because it only makes situations worse keeping countless nations poor and politically unstable.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:04 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid.

The U.S. foreign-aid budget as a percentage of gross national product (GNP) ranks last among the world’s wealthiest countries (at about 0.1 percent). In raw dollars, however, the United States is now the world’s top donor of economic aid, although for more than a decade it was second to Japan, which is far smaller and has been beset by economic woes. In 2001, the United States gave $10.9 billion, Japan $9.7 billion, Germany $4.9 billion, the United Kingdom $4.7 billion, and France $4.3 billion. As a percentage of GNP, however, the top donors were Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Sweden. The tiny Netherlands (pop. 5.3 million) gave $3.2 billion in 2001—almost a third of what America contributed.


It breaks down to about 40 dollars a day per American, nothing we can't afford but if 30 dollars of it is going to third world warlords it's not a good investment.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:06 am
Foreign aid is somewhat like welfare. No one seems against it, per se, but there are always questions about who should be receiving it, and how much actually ends up being useful to the stated cause.

Yea, LW, it is often a form of bribary, and sometimes we seem to be rewarding our enemies and punishing our long standing friends.

Right or wrong, US foreign aid has more strings and conditions attached than most countries'. One of the Scandaninavian (Denmark, I believe) countries has the fewest, and spends a much higher percentage of GDP.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:06 am
infowarrior wrote:
I know I risk being labeled anti-semitic for saying this, but I find it appalling that a nation like Israel is still on the US taxpayer's payroll.

Since Bush won his lawsuit, the amount of combined foeign aid, loan guarantees and military hardware to Israel has tripled to $15 billion dollars!

Has anyone been to Israel? I have -- Tel Aviv looks like Miami or Los Angeles with million dollar high rise view condos, cafes, and loads of Mercedes clogging the roads. Israel is doing quite well and can easily do without our money.

For me, it's easy. As long as there are schools in the USA who can't afford books, or working poor who can't afford healthcare, or hungry kids in American urban cities, I say end all foreign aid at once -- no exceptions.


I agree with you and think this is the best way to end the Arab/Israeli conflict.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:11 am
So it's conceded that the present administration is still indulging in bribary -- in the mistaken notion that you can buy anything. That is, after all, the American mindset.
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Deecups36
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:23 am
Am I alone in not understanding how the idea of America First is radical to lawmakers in this country?

Maybe it has something to do with growing up with Catholic immigrant parents, but we were taught you take care of your own family first, then if there's anything left over, you help your friends and neighbors.

There are so many Americans hurting today -- it's as though Bush enjoys slapping people down, he derives his power from it, and yet we're giving money to the likes of Israel and Egypt as fast as I can earn it.

This is wrong.

I agree. End all foreign aid and take care of Americans first.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:23 am
CerealKiller wrote:
This is where I got the information. How accurate it is I do not know.

http://www.science.co.il/Arab-Israeli-conflict/Articles/Anonymous-2003-08.asp


I can tell you right now that the majority of the claims are wildly inaccurate.

For example, UN dues are not 25% anymore and no, they are not related at all to the first number cited. 25% of the UN budget is not the same as the 13 billion quoted.

Next there's the claim that 25% of the budget equals more than the rest of the world combined.

Do the math. 25% is not more than 75%.

The article continues to confuse foreign aid with the UN. Most of our foreign aid is to Israel and Egypt (number one and number two respectively) and the aid has more to do with strategic allignment than aid itself.

It's not charity, it's geopolitical capital at a price.

The numbers on "who hates us" is misleading. First of all every single of those numbers that I read (I glossed over most) was wrong.

Secondly it is a misleading way to do stats. It's counting voting differently (not "against") and mainly on the issue of Israel.

Lastly it closes with the same idiocy it began with, saying we should "get out of the UN" to stop paying foreign aid.

Again, all of the foreign aid stats it cited, every last one except for the 25% figure (which is wrong) has nothing to do with the UN at all.

UN membership dues come nowhere near the numbers cited in the article.

In August 2000 all we owed the UN (including all the debt from our unpaid dues) was less than half a billion. Not the 13 billion a year figure.

The entire budget of the UN a few years ago was little over a billion dollars.

The 13 billion figure is mostly Israel and Egypt. I don't recall the exact figures but I think Israel is over 8 billion. Together with Egypt that's pretty much the foreign aid budget.

I have too much work to do to dig up the numbers, but if you do so you will realize that most of the stats you posted are not just false, they are absurd. The inferences drawn in that article are just laughable.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:39 am
I've got the Internet Fallacy Blues
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:43 am
The worst foreign aid so far is our donation to Iraq: Over 600 Americans dead, and 150 billion and rising every day on both counts - in return for.......????????
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:46 am
I don't really want to get in a pissing contest with anybody over statistics. I'll assume you're right and I'm wrong.

My intention is to ask: do you think the US should be giving foreign aid (money,food,medicine,etc) to other countries (particularly ones that don't like us) if we don't know exactly how that aid is going to be used ?
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:49 am
Deecups36 wrote:
Am I alone in not understanding how the idea of America First is radical to lawmakers in this country?

Maybe it has something to do with growing up with Catholic immigrant parents, but we were taught you take care of your own family first, then if there's anything left over, you help your friends and neighbors.

There are so many Americans hurting today -- it's as though Bush enjoys slapping people down, he derives his power from it, and yet we're giving money to the likes of Israel and Egypt as fast as I can earn it.

This is wrong.

I agree. End all foreign aid and take care of Americans first.


You're not alone.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:51 am
Foreign aid is but a symptom of bad management of our money by our government. Our criticism of foreign aid will do nothing to change our government to redirect that money for our own citizens at home - to improve our schools and health care. Many in our country do not have enough to buy food. Foreign aid is "way out there in lala-land," and impossible to justify.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 09:54 am
CerealKiller wrote:
I don't really want to get in a pissing contest with anybody over statistics. I'll assume you're right and I'm wrong.


It's not a "pissing contest". Look up your stats for the purpose of intellectual curiosity.

Quote:
My intention is to ask: do you think the US should be giving foreign aid (money,food,medicine,etc) to other countries (particularly ones that don't like us) if we don't know exactly how that aid is going to be used ?


Yes. The average layman likes to think of it as charity and invoke a populist argument but the money we spend on foreign aid is strategic.

As such it is an investment, not charity.

I frequently disagree with the recipients of the aid but for different strategic reasons and not because of the insignificant amount of our budget that foreign aid constitutes.

What many fail to consider is whether our projection of power helps us in economic terms. Remember that our aid is used for said projection of power.

It's a useful geopolitical tool, and is an insignificant portion of our budget.
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