Sunday, November 23, 2008

To Help Or Not to Help ?

That is the question. After trying to balance the many pro and con ideas of why the U.S. tax payers should or should not loan the Big Three automotive industrial complex more money in order to save them from total collapse. Well for me to arrive at what I think is a thoughtful answer I had to look at the big picture of government spending. I will attempt to include certain data that is pretty much fact in order for you to make your own conclusion. So lets start with foreign and military aid that we the taxpayers pay for via the administration that happens to be calling the shots at the time they are in power. I will concede that I will not be able to recount everything perfectly but I will use only the numbers that I have done the research on.

I think the Mideast is a good starting point so here we go. More than one hundred countries, though a small handful of them receive the largest share. Israel and Egypt have traditionally been the single-largest recipients of U.S. aid, dating back to the 1978 Camp David peace accords between the two countries. For both countries, the majority of this is military aid—$2.4 billion in military aid is requested for Israel in 2008 and $1.3 billion for Egypt. Afghanistan and Iraq, involved in massive U.S.-led nation-building efforts, and Pakistan, an important ally in the war on terrorism, also receive huge amounts of foreign aid. Separate from the aid disbursed by the State Department, the Defense Department also has a growing role in post-conflict situations, providing billions of dollars in reconstruction aid in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I will give you those 2009 budgetary numbers in a bit. In the meantime lets go right to Israel. Since 1949 the U.S. has given Israel a total of $83.205 billion. The interest costs borne by U.S. tax payers on behalf of Israel are $49.937 billion, thus making the total amount of aid given to Israel since 1949 $133.132 billion. This may mean that the U.S. government has given more federal aid to the average Israeli citizen in any given year than it has given to the average American citizen. Since the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan has become one of the largest recipients of US military aid – reportedly more than 10 billion dollars. Since 1950, the US government has provided over 91 billion dollars to militaries around the world from a single fund. There are a number of additional funds, so the total is substantially higher. Most of the money comes from the Defense and State Departments. Pakistan rocketed from receiving 9 million U.S. dollars in military aid in the three years prior to Sept. 11 to receiving 4.2 billion dollars in the three years after the terrorist attacks, going from 56th on the list of U.S. military aid receivers to No. 3. Israel and Egypt retained their positions on the list at first and second. Jordan retained its fourth place on the list and Afghanistan moved from 64th place to fifth.

Bush released a $3.1 trillion budget, "We all understand that there is a level of unpredictability with such budget estimates, but it is critical that we attempt to plan for expenses we know are coming," said Rep. Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee. So lets get back to those 2009 numbers and the current numbers to date. Bush has already asked Congress for $70 billion to pay for the wars, and more money will be sought later this year. Last year, the Pentagon asked for $189 billion in war spending. For all of the 2009 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, the Bush administration said it planned to spend $651.2 billion. That includes the $515 billion request and anticipated supplemental spending bills.
The request will allow the United States to maintain its "technological advantage over current and potential enemies," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

So folks by citing just a few of the situations that we humble tax payers are already spending trillions of our hard earned dollars on foreigners and some of which really hate us is not a pleasant feeling, any way for me it is not. Now really I only mentioned a few things here to put a little perspective to the money coming out of your pockets and being well you know redistributed, by the way the last I heard that was a dirty word if your from the right. Let me mention the other agencies that redistribute your money, there are many, including the departments of agriculture, commerce, defense, homeland security, justice, labor, treasury, transportation, health and human services, and interior. Separate permanent authorizations exist for foreign aid programs such as the Peace Corps, the Inter-American Foundation, and the African Development Foundation, as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. If I were to include all of the cash we give out without preconditions from all of these other agencies of redistribution, well I think you get the picture here. I haven't even mentioned the money that you and I give to all these countries for just plain old economic foreign aid, that's another story in itself. What galls me the most is that while all these trillions are going out of our pockets to spend on military budgets, we still have not taken care of the victims of Katrina and Ike, and the victims of the floods this year in the Midwest. This money that our government seems to give away without accountability is so enormous that they have already tapped the pocket of your children and the pocket of their unborn children. So armed with this information I say if helping the American auto industrial complex actually keeps three million Americans working then do it. Compared to the trillions that we give to dictators and our enemies the world over what's the big deal when it comes to helping American workers ?


Thunter November 23, 2008 at 7:44 PM  

Amen Brother Joseph! And while we are at it, lets not forget the 300 Billion already spent on the Banks and Insurance Companies that got themselves in a bad situation. Also lets not forget the Repugs won't let any of that 850 Billion already approved for TARP, go to the Auto industry or to help out individuals. It's always the same... help the rich out, help the foreigners and don't help normal everyday Americans! Or, as Marie Antoniette so eloquently said, "Let them eat cake."

Kevin November 26, 2008 at 10:46 AM  

Rich always stay richer, only the poor suffer in all the measures. You should also post the article in allvoices to raise your voice.

Digital SLR July 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM  

To help or Not To help? I think it's depending on situation

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