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Monday, June 27, 2016

Cut money where it makes sense

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Far be it for me to talk politics, especially at a time like this when all's quiet on the political front.

That's sarcasm in case this is the first time you've ever read this column.

In the past months, we've heard politicians from both sides of the aisle talk about spending, wasteful and otherwise. I too would like to weigh in on one particular area of what I believe to be wasteful spending.

Can we please stop giving money to countries who repeatedly betray us? As a matter of fact, let's stop giving resources, food and assistance to countries who gladly take our gifts of generosity and then turn around and betray us in a moments notice.

I can't even begin to fathom the amount of dollars sent overseas to "aid" foreign countries that never reach the people for whom it's intended. Yet, we continue to send it, knowing full well it's stuffing some fat cat government official's retirement fund while his people continue to live in abject poverty.

Personally, I admire U.S. church-based mission groups and other volunteers who go to countries and really serve the people, helping to build liveable homes, working water supplies and offer education opportunities. Those aren't wasted dollars or efforts. They reach the people.

So, how much money could we save our strained federal budget if we decided that any country deemed anti-American -- meaning they burn our flag, curse our president, and call for our downfall -- no longer received a penny of support, a grain of food or military backing?

Sure, we have organizations in our own country that have been doing these very same anti-American activities for decades, but we don't really view them as enemies-of-the-state. They're just "activists" who apparently have way too much "government subsidized" time on their hands or jobs which offer ridiculously extended periods of acceptable absence. Most working people can't find time to stand in parks for days on end and burn taxpayer property to make a point.

Come to think of it, I guess I wouldn't have trouble cutting off funding to these "rebels" either. Perhaps then they would be more interested in finding jobs rather than complaining about those who provide them.

But, back to our foreign dollar issues.

Whenever there is a foreign crisis or natural disaster, which country is always at the front of the line with dollars and assistance? And two years later, these same countries which we helped dig out and provide infrastructure for, will be calling us "capitalistic pigs from the West, responsible for the decay of their society."

So I say, let's be a bit more discretionary in our foreign spending. I'm not saying cut everybody off, but we're tossing a lot of money to the wind that's neither getting to those for whom it's intended or buying us any love across the seas.

Face it, we're a pretty self-sustaining country. Is there really anything we don't have that we really need or couldn't manufacture if we needed it?

Perhaps if we saved a few bucks here and there on our obscene spending around the world, for countries who despise us and wish for our demise, maybe ruffling a few feathers here or there, we could start rebuilding our own financial standing. Just a thought.

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Randy, did you attend the Herman Cain School of Foreign Affairs? Less than 1% of the federal budget is spent on foreign aid. Aid to the Wall Street gangsters costs much more. Foreign wars cost many times what aid costs. The purpose of foreign aid is to promote peace and build support for US interests. That it is sometimes misused is part of the cost of doing business in a chaotic world. As for the Occupy movement, you strike me as a guy who longs for "the good old days", in many ways the Occupys do to. "WALL STREET GOT BAILED OUT..WE GOT SOLDOUT" You better believe it.

-- Posted by Cookster on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 9:45 AM

I'd like that less than 1% spent here in America. I like to see it spent on Americans. Take care of US first and then the rest will take care of its self.

-- Posted by SSGM270 on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 2:52 PM

Free trade and commerce to take advantage of the international division of labor is by far the greatest way to raise standards of living and create wealth at home and abroad. Other nations becoming economically strong is only a good thing for the world, as it raises marginal productivity and brings products to market that benefit everyone. With more international wealth comes more exports if we had the regulatory and tax climate friendly to productivity and investment. The US doesn't, and instead pursues policies that aim to keep others poor. "Foreign aid" is nothing more than handing over American wealth to prop up dictators Washington uses as puppets in its childish and over reaching empire building foreign policy.

We hear all the time about the supposedly bad things about China becoming a major player in the global economy, but instead of embracing friendly partnerships to create wealth through trade, Washington implements policies that expatiate private capital to China while borrowing from them to fund welfare and warfare policies such as Obama's aggressively shortsighted move to base marines in Darwin, Australia, and spending our money to beef up and modernize Japanese and Indonesian military capabilities, and considering selling advanced weaponry to Vietnam. These are all clearly signals aimed a Beijing that say the US wants unilateral control of the Pacific Basin and the 100 billion barrels of oil and 700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas it contains. Then you have candidates like Romney and Bachman childishly and ignorantly proclaiming the Chinese are "manipulating" their currency and talking of taking action that would instigate a trade war, a dangerously and economically disastrous isolationist attitude brought forth by blind nationalism.

All such actions should be reversed. There is no need to send money from the increasingly poorer middle class of the US to the rich dictators of third world countries. There is no need or sane argument in favor of deploying hundreds of thousands of troops to hundreds of various bases around the world while we also fund those countries' defense budgets. While our defense is managed by thousands of faceless bureaucrats who foam at the mouth at the mention of "terrorists" and have wasted 1.3 trillion dollars on the "war on terror" China has been buying up resources in the very nations we occupy and expanding markets to new friends. And all the while you have empty suits like Obama trying to persuade Iraqi officials to let us stay (when he's not going around taking credit for "ending" the war he tried to keep going but failed) and bloodthirsty warmongers like John McCain and Rick Santorum expressing their disappointment we won't be wasting billions more dollars and thousands more lives in a vain and useless occupation. So yes, cut where it makes sense-cut the bloated military budget in half and force our "leaders" to pursue intelligent diplomacy and trading partners rather than binging for global control.

-- Posted by jlees on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 11:00 AM

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Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective