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Comments about ‘Letter: Foreign aid’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

At one time Germany and Japan were our sworn enemies. I suppose Mr. Bender would have objected to giving foreign aid to help rebuild those countries after WWII.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Some actual facts: Less than 1% of our budget goes to foreign aid.
By far the largest recipient of our aid is Israel.
President Eisenhower once said that foreign aid is the cheapest way for us to influence events in foreign countries. It's certainly far cheaper than sending in the troops.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

The amount of what we traditionally consider foreign aid is a pittance compared to the subsidies we have given to corporations to stash their cash. I wonder if Mr Bender considers the tax loop holes we gave them to move jobs overseas "foreign aid"? The average Joe making $50K donates about 4 grand a year to help the Exxons, GE's etc.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

This reads like a typical Russell Bender letter. No substance, no facts, no proof, no citations, no references, just complaining. I like his anti-climate-science rants better; at least those letters are humorous.

Also, I'm sooooo happy Mitt Romney didn't fool too many people or we'd be on the brink of another Trillion Dollar Republican foray into Nation Building and Freedom Spreadin' Bush/Cheney style.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Russell is completely correct here. He should be commended for pointing out the fallacy of the left-wing foreign aid program.

George Washington himself stated that America should avoid all foreign entanglements unless national security is directly impacted. Washington knew that any attempt to impose democracy on unwilling nations would inevitably end in disaster.

For decades, America has attempted to pay Egypt and Pakistan to become peaceful democracies. This has resulted in the wasting of billions upon billions of dollars, which were only used to build up militarists who massacred their own people.

It is time for the left to recognize that foreign aid is an abomination. George Washington would roll over in his grave if he knew what the left-wing administration was up to.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Foreign aid makes perfect sense to politicians in Washington. They're not after love or even friendship. They're creating dependency. It's all about control. It's about making the world safe for corporations that own our politicians. Now do you get it?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Our dependence on oil imports puts far more in the pockets of foreign tyrants than so called aid does.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Here are some realities the Founding Fathers never had to deal with: WWII, nuclear weapons, 9-11.

As we learned the hard way after 9-11, we'd better at least know what's going on, and have ways to counteract potentially lethal adversaries, or at least keep them contained.

Or, to use a 2nd Amendment analogy, how do things change if every house in the neighborhood has nuclear tipped stinger missiles? It's no longer about just keeping burglars out of your house. It's about protecting your house from complete destruction, from afar.

A related questions might be - how did we get to the point where so many people are stuck in 1776 thinking? Some fundamental assumptions have changed since then, folks.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Other than the aid to Israel, foreign aid is used to purchase favorable business conditions for American business.

A list of specific forms of foreign aid might start with military installations of American soldiers. Americans spend more money at higher prices than any other set of consumers in the world.

Next is military equipment usually for the maintenance of the current government in power. It is important to note that every dollar of military aid, other than the spending of soldiers, ends up in the pocket of American businessmen back in the USA.

Some foreign aid may actually reach the people, but from the attitude of the general population of that nation we don’t think it amounts to much.

As long as business rules our government we can expect that every action of government will be business based.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

To John Charity Spring: Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. all spent as much on foreign aid as any of your "left-wing" boogeymen.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihiuahua, 00

10CC

"A related questions might be - how did we get to the point where so many people are stuck in 1776 thinking? Some fundamental assumptions have changed since then, folks."

I would think in 1776 than in Maoist China, Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany. Most people are so brainwashed that they can't even see the race baiting, divisive, fake unifiying, propaganda right in front of their faces. All the mass media does is race bate. they talk like they are for civil rights but it's a lie. They just want it reversed so they can have their totalitarian take over. If we had civil rights in this country, there would be no TSA, no government spying, no word police, no gun confiscation against 100% law abiding citizens.

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihiuahua, 00

Roland Keyser

"Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. all spent as much on foreign aid as any of your "left-wing" boogeymen"

And they are no better than those on the other side of this fraudulent political aisle are. People can call me a right winger all they want. But I have never registered as a republican or democrat. I have more in common with anarchists than I do with republicans or democrats.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

The question is not one of humanity, it is of efficacy. Waste and graft, common as they are, should not be ignored as the cost of doing business. Better oversight for the greater good and not discontinuation of foreign aid should be the goal. Generically throwing money at a problem may assuage America's conscience, but it is seldom maximally effective.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@Roland Kayser:
"Some actual facts: Less than 1% of our budget goes to foreign aid."

Yes, and much of the aid is borrowed money. If foreign countries need money they can go to China and borrow it. It's plain stupidity to borrow money and turn around and give it as aid to another country.

"By far the largest recipient of our aid is Israel."

We give it to our friend and ally, Israel, and also to Israel's enemy. Go figure.

@ugottabkidn:
"The amount of what we traditionally consider foreign aid is a pittance compared to the subsidies we have given to corporations to stash their cash."

Wis up, ugatta... The so-called 'tax loopholes' are eventually passed to the consumer in the form of lower prices for corporate produced goods and services that we all purchase.

"I wonder if Mr Bender considers the tax loop holes we gave them to move jobs overseas 'foreign aid?'"

Jobs are moved overseas primarily for business survival. American corporations have foreign competitors they must try to beat... which is difficult in the US with American (union) labor sky high.

CLM
Draper, UT

Buying love and friendship? Au contraire! Foreign aid is blood money. US Foreign policy is based on what Noam Chomsky has named the "Mafia principle." It's all about power, control, and obligation. Defiance cannot be tolerated. If the dictators (often put in place by the CIA) become defiant and/or no longer serve US purposes, they are deposed. This has been the strategy since government officials first formulated plans for US global domination in the early 1940s.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

wz, you again overstate. They moved not for taxes but for cheap labor. That's fine but to state it was for survival is a line that's a flat out lie. Unions are not the cause of their demise and you know it. Even if unions needed to come back a step you now have a major drain in the economy because big business and the 1% are paying little to the operation of the nation. The pendulum swung the other way and until it swings back there will be no real recovery. It's vitually all on the back of middle America to the tune of little improvement in wages over 30 years and watching the middle class fade into serfdom.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

Based on the letter and some of the comments, it seems to me that to even have this discussion, we need a common understanding of how much foreign aid is spent, what forn it takes (military? humanitarian?), and where the money is sent and why. To make blanket statements is futile in trying to assert a cost/benefit analysis.

As a result, the letter is little more than additional evidence that the 'muscular' foreign policy of the neo-conservative movement after 9/11 has faded, and traditional conservative isolationism is re-emerging.

Commodore
West Jordan, UT

@ Roland

You said, "President Eisenhower once said that foreign aid is the cheapest way for us to influence events in foreign countries."

I raise the question of whether it is in short term and long interest to try and influence events in foreign countries via foreign aid? It is time to isolate ourselves from the pockets of the world that trouble us. The radical Islamists will leave us alone if we stop putting our nose into other people's business. Let Israel negotiate her own peace with the Muslims. It is not our job to police the world.

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