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Comments about ‘Letter: Stop foreign aid to Egypt after Morsi's outrageous power grab’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 29 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

We're bankrupt?

When did this happen?

Sooooo what's going to happen now?

I will agree, lets cut all foreign aid. Why are we asking our own people to make cuts before asking those from other nations? Why do we keep handing out foreign handouts?

David King
Layton, UT

I agree with the letter. It makes little sense to send borrowed money to other countries, especially when that money is supporting governments that oppress and abuse their people.

Interestingly enough, a Gallup poll last year found that of all the items on the budget, including Social Security, Medicare, defense spending, and all the rest, foreign aid was the only thing that a majority of us would like to see face any cuts. And it makes up less than one percent of our budget. So think about what that means. We haven't been able to get Congress to cut anything from foreign aid when they have voter approval and when those cuts would not impact the average American in any significant way. How on earth are we going to get people to support cuts to defense or the entitlements, especially as these things often have a direct impact on people's lives?

Until we have the understanding that we can't fix this problem just by raising taxes or just by cutting programs we don't like, we are headed toward a painful wake up call.

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

If our government traced all of the foreign aid given we would see how much ends up enriching tyrants, criminals and just plain waste. We don't receive much value for our generosity.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

David King is correct; foreign aid is massively unpopular. I'd like to gently suggest that perhaps the public doesn't understand what foreign aid accomplishes. Rather than cut foreign aid to Egypt, for example, I'd like to suggest that foreign aid gives us a valuable pressure point for a new Egyptian President apparently on a power grab, a way, perhaps, to encourage him to modify his behavior.

David King
Layton, UT

@Eric Samuelsen

You make a fair point that the public may be unaware of the net benefits of foreign aid, but I have to admit that I look at it from an idealistic standpoint. To me, giving money to a nation only in the hope that they change certain behaviors seems like bribery. In the $68 billion we have given Egypt since 1948 we may have purchased some desired goals, but did we not also legitimize leaders like Hosni Mubarak in the process? Could he have stayed in power for so long without our help? For example, in 2009, of the $1.5 billion we sent to Egypt, 86% was military aid. I think foreign aid that focuses on humanitarian efforts is easier to justify than military aid to dictators in hopes that policy will change.

But the larger issue which I think we need to address is that in a fiscal situation like ours, I don't believe anything can be declared as untouchable. I believe every tax cut, spending program whether entitlement or defense or whatever the case is, has to be looked at as a potential sacrifice in order to eliminate deficits and control our debt.

DougS
Oakley, UT

Foreign aid should be only for our allies. The only ally we have in the middle east is Israel. They never asked for any and are being threatened by those we have given it to.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

I kind of like the idea of stopping aid to countries that hate us. That way we don't have to pay them to hate us.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Why rob the people of the United States against their collective will to give to other nations against their will.

Ron Paul had it right: eliminate foreign aid altogether, and keep out of other people's wars too.
As for "allies". Let's end the favoritism. Was it George Washington who advocated: Friendship with all, alliance with none.

wrz
Ogden, UT

@David King:
"It makes little sense to send borrowed money to other countries, especially when that money is supporting governments that oppress and abuse their people."

You got that right. If a country needs money let them go to China and borrow it. Why do we have to borrow the money and give it to them? Makes absolutely zero sense.

@Eric Samuelsen:
"I'd like to gently suggest that perhaps the public doesn't understand what foreign aid accomplishes."

I can assure you of one thing it accomplishes... a larger national debt for Americans. If we had money to give, then OK. But our treasury is dry, empty, nada. In fact, our $16 trillion national debt is scheduled to grow to $20 trillion or more by the end of His Nib's term.

"I'd like to suggest that foreign aid gives us a valuable pressure point for a new Egyptian President..."

I'd like to suggest that Egypt go to China for their financial needs.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

David King,
I appreciate the clarification. And yes, of course it looks like bribery to offer foreign aid to someone in the hope that he'll modify his behavior. That's because it is a bribe.
Rather than point to foreign aid for budget cuts, though, I'd much rather look at cutting spending that's large enough to make a real difference. And that means taking a long hard look at military spending. The Cold War is over; we don't need military bases in Germany, or indeed in Europe at all. We don't need military bases in Japan. We don't actually need to maintain five military golf courses in Guam, or indeed to be in Guam at all. We could cut military spending in half without endangering national security. And that would add up to real money.

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