The U.S. government currently spends about $40 billion a year (roughly 1% of the total Federal budget) in non-military foreign aid. Should we be giving more, or less?
The last 5% would be invested (and untouchable) as a continuous revenue 'trickle'.
25% would be set aside as untouchable, which absolutely, positively, in no way shape, or form could be used for anything other than fending off an invasion by a foreign army (not fighting "terrorists" abroad).
Acceptable uses would include up to 10%/year (50,000,000,000) that would be available for loan (at 10% interest) to states and foreign nations solely for the purpose of natural disaster relief. Another 10% would be available as aid for trade at the same 10% interest...
The remaining $3T would then pay off the debt in 6 years. At that point, I would cut revenue by ~62% to $1.5T, while maintaining the $1T budget. The extra $500,000,000,000/year would then be set aside with absolutely draconian restrictions on its usage.
I could reverse the trend. "If I were king for a day", I would raise revenues (on a guaranteed, time-limited, non-extendable basis) to match our current 'budget' at $4T, then cut the spending to $1T total.
Or severely reduced cost vacations.
I'm all for getting other countries' infrastructure and technology up to date, but we should be getting something (say, natural resources, or cheap labor) out of the deal.
And I say less, because it surely shouldn't be more without a very, very good reason. Food for starving children is fine, but anything beyond basic life-sustaining aid should not be aid, but rather trade.
@Tony, That's actually closer to .1%. 1% of ~$4,000,000,000,000 would be ~40,000,000,000.
No, it is not a bribe. It is our investment in action 'there'
that is of mutual benefit. It is not a bribe.
Run the debt as a percentage, @truth1. Hey, I don't like the debt either, and of course Government spending, entitlements and defense spending need to be reined in. But in the grand scheme, neither our debt nor our foreign aid spending are proportionately that great.
Some of our problems 'here' may actually originate 'there'.
How many people do you think is full employment at the State Department? I think 50,000 is a lot of people. Perhaps they could be a little more efficient and not understaffed.
My point is that we have a bloated government and nobody discusses employment and overhead costs.
So...we should just slash an already understaffed DoS? Not following your point here
It's fine where it is now. It's needed to head off problems that would otherwise cost us more down the road, but 1% is about right. It's still the most of any country in the world and doesn't count remittances.
We have to take care of ourselves before taking care of others, otherwise we're no help to anyone.
No, don't. The homeless need charity and frequently mental health care.
Stop saying we're rich. We are trillions in debt.
@ziplock- that doesn't refute what I said. And besides, have we solved all our problems here?
I will grant that there is an irony in borrowing money and giving it as aid. I also believe we could cut a WHOLE LOT of military spending, and use a SMALL PART of the savings as overseas development assistance, and actually RESULT in with more global stability and higher esteem for the US abroad.
The funds are voted on through our representative democratic process. You should write your congressman. You might also consider whether foreign aid might affect you - stemming deforestation, stopping global scourges like HIV, bolstering stability in 3rd world trouble zones.
You obviously have no idea how much auditing of foreign aid really goes on.
Hey libs, you want more foreign aid but less military presence? Sounds like a great idea to give away money but not see how it's used
Amazing how generous people are with OTHER people's money, isn't it?
Should we be "GIVEN" more!?! Do you mean should we give the government more or borrow more from other countries? No. Someday we're going to have a year in the black.
Hmm so we barrow money we don't have to give to other countries and we get the debt. How about they barrow the money and take the debt.
We are borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. We gotta stop that craziness.
But that's not what foreign aid does. It creates power struggles to be the ones in power to get the loot. It removes the incentive of governments to be obliged to the prosperity of their own people for theor survival.
And we shouldn't be invading countries either.
That is NOT the proper role of government. Even it is was, we are $16 tril in the hole and monetizing our own debt at a rate of $85 billion/month with no end in sight. It is completely ridiculous to continue spending this way. Our dollar is being devalued. It's not going to turn out well.
We're not broke. We would need to find $16 tril in change in our collective couch cushions to reach "broke."
We're so deeply in debt (and still spending) that there isn't any way we're ever going to reverse the trend, let alone pay any of it off. We may as well give away money we don't have.
Then don't call it aid since it does not go to aid call it a bribe
Fast & Furious,Benghazi,Solyndra, AAA downgrade,Did nothing on Oil Spill Disaster for 30 days,6.5 tril new debt, unaffordable health care,blames Bush and everyone else for his failures but takes credit if its good, more lavish vacations than any other pres, no spending cuts, what else can we ask for
We give money that we borrow from China back to China. we should end all foreign aid we do not have any money and being charitable with money you take from your people under the threat of a loaded gun should not be given away.
Why are we giving away money we don't have?
Again, we are BROKE. What part of that do some people not get?
The state department employs over 50,000 including over 30,000 in other countries.
Somehow government employment is never discussed and is irrelevant to the overall cost. When you consider their travel expense and pensions it may add up to be some real money.
You would think we could make a cut.
Yes. Germany, Holland, Belgium and Japan all were big recipients of U.S. assistance under the Marshall Plan. In so many areas, former recipients have cooperated with the U.S. (or paid back loans). They have worked with us on the war on terror, the east-west struggle, to promote free enterprise.
Sure, let's make ourselves an irrelevant super power.
After Katrina, several nations offered assistance. We were however better positioned than most to solve our own problem. This is not so for a Haiti, a Bangladesh or a Mozambique. I believe the U.S. does have cooperative allies that cooperate on global struggles: Britain, Canada, most of Europe,
The U.S. did assist Japan after the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown. It was a mutual interest. The Japanese showed dignified appreciation for our assistance in the disaster. Let's also mention our assistance to Japan, Germany and others after WW2, which made enemies into allies.
When America was a struggling nation, aspiring to independence, we received aide from France, from Prussia and Poland. Now we are a superpower. We rich nations, the U.S., Japan, the Nordics, Europe, China, we all can and should support mutual and bilateral interests through development assistance.
Foreign aide is another form of national defense. It costs us much less than the military to operate, and gets us more goodwill. This is not to deny we need military defense as well. The two forms should co-exist. Top brass at the Pentagon usually support robust foreign aide. For good reason.
Foreign Aide can be in the U.S. interest. It can promote stable governance in strategic regions. Stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Promote human rights/thwart human trafficking. Improve conditions in countries we invaded, incapable of fixing themselves on their own. Relieve instability after disasters.
I AM AN AMERICAN. PERIOD.
Excuse me, but what the hell ever happened to SOVEREIGNTY??? It's one of the core reasons that this country was founded, so you can take that commie Globalist BS, and shove it!
Then do it on your own, stop putting a gun to my head forcing me to give my earnings to countries who hate us.
If you think that is an exaggeration, go ahead and stop paying your taxes and see how long it takes for your home to be surrounded by armed swat.
Borders are arbitrary. We have a responsibility not to our country but to our planet, and we should help wherever we can.
Why aren't we getting American citizen aid? Don't I pay all sorts of taxes to a government that wants more? More for who?