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September 19, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Start spending cuts with foreign aid

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In response to the piece Wednesday from a Boston Globe columnist, “What happened to the 20 percent?” may I offer a comment or two?

In the piece, it was stated that the “fiscal cliff” solution should include tax increases on the top 20 percent of wage earners or cuts to “entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.”

That may be so, but why is it never mentioned that we might also reconsider contributing amounts such as $1.3 billion to Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

And how about considering the extravagant amount of foreign aid we give to the other 17 countries in the U.N. that have voted against the U.S. over 88 percent of the time?

Why do we only seem to consider cutting domestic programs to our own citizens, when we fund countries, many of whose citizens celebrate our misfortune when airplanes destroy our buildings and kill our citizens?

Borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, and then gifting billions of those dollars to countries that couldn’t care less about our welfare seems to fall into the category of “fiscal insanity.”

As one of our freshman congressmen recently commented, “Why should we pay countries to hate us when they’ve shown they’re willing to do it for free?”

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  1. Letter writer is correct. Everything should be on the table for budget cuts. No exceptions. No exemptions. No waivers. Nothing, I repeat nothing is sacrosanct. All the budget money and categories get reset to zero at the beginning of the fiscal year and every taxpayer dollar budgeted and spent must be justified before added into the Federal budget. If there is a shortage of current revenue to budgeted expenses, start culling the waste until the revenue equals expenses. No deficits, no debts. If emergencies arise, like Katrina and Sandy, vote on their merits and include for supplemental funding [taxes] and or, additional borrowing with Congress and President approval.

    CarmineD

  2. Would cutting "foreign aid" include cutting aid to Israel? Or do we just give money to countries who "like" us. This isn't Facebook. Foreign aid is a miniscule amount of the total deficit. Sometimes you must spend money, an obvious part of international diplomacy, to "make money"; persuading other governments to take a more "friendly" tack towards US policy and goals for whatever region necessary. The US givith foreign aid, and can withhold it just as easily.

  3. The US spends about 50 billion dollars per year on foreign aid. I'm not arguing that the aid should not be cut, but our yearly deficit is running 1.3 trillion dollars, over 20 times that amount and we already own 16 trillion dollars. So cut all foreign aid.... and then what?

    It's been said a thousand times but the largest expenses the government has are in Medicare and other health related areas, Social Security and Defense. Any plan to address the deficits and the debt, and yes, it must include tax increases on all Americans.... MUST INCLUDE THESE AREAS.

    Math says there is no way around this. Our politicians lie and claim there is but there isn't.

    Michael

  4. This "furrin ade" you speak of....please describe more fully cause most of it is money in the pockets of us "Mericans. It is a canard that we simply pack up pallets of $100 bills and ship them willy-nilly all over the world....oh, wait....Dick Cheney and his puppetmasters already did that in Iraq.

    I now live in rural Eastern Washington. Driving to town for supplies the other day I noticed that the winter wheat crop is coming along well enough that if we don't get a week or more of below freezing plus some snow cover we're going to get stunted production. You'll find a number of our farmers getting good prices for their wheat [and barley and apples and canola and...] and quite supportive of "foreign aid]. American drug manufacturers use "foreign aid" to develop and produce and deliver vaccines and antibiotics while American manufacturers use "foreign aid" to supply construction goods and services. "Foreign aid" is spent in every sector of the US economy and, by law, it is often spent right here at home. Military aid has its own particular appropriations and rules.

    So let's see....we appropriate and spend a relatively small amount of money, much of which gets spent here in the US benefitting American business AND we get some goodwill out of it while we are living up to the ideals of our Bill of Rights and founding principles. That sucks, lets cut back on that.

  5. Wharfrat must benefit from all that loot going into the pockets of tyrants, dictators and worse. Time to let them go down the tubes as they will eventually, anyhow, and then we become the "Great Satan" for supporting them for decades. Another question is why we still have troops in Japan, Germany, Britain, etc? Let the European "Socialist Paradises" fend for themselves and pay their own way. We would save trillions in no time at all by making our military leaner, less costly and more efficient by doing so.

  6. We give Egypt about $50 B a year in military aid plus more for economic aid YET we don't have the means to FEMA super storm Sandy so that individuals can get back on their feet? Many countries "rely" on our aide because they know they can anticipate multi-millions and billions with no real strings. Oh, sure, the State Department talks them to dullness but no strings that can be "enforced" or even expected. We've fed so many Egyptians and look at the limited response after Benghazi. We've fed and carried Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Pakistanis will execute each and every American when no one is looking--just look at the hatred on their faces. We keep medicating aids patients world wide EXCEPT those that live in the U.S. Duh, go figure. We keep medicating for malaria, cholera....and everything else at OUR EXPENSE so these populations that cannot even feed themselves grow into vast multitudes of angry people with access to (Taliban ect.) weapons to use against us. We provide endless economic aid to Europe, Guam, Japan, Korea.... much in the form of thousands of American troops stationed permanent party in non-war zones and with no real mission and it's BANKRUPTING us--forget the federal government, it's destroying our economy be pulling out "discretionary" income that should be used for our home-buying, retirement planning, emergency funds. Many American seniors live in near poverty so that we can fund all the nice humanitarian things that politicians think are Politically Correct. Yes, let's cut foreign aid right now and let's cut a whole lot of other stuff. The federal government (and local governments) have NO BUSINESS TAXING us unless it is for ESSENTIAL ENUMERATED needs. (Enumerated in the Constitution as a REQUIREMENT of government.)

  7. For the lame Posters who are fixated on Repubs versus Demotards, please note in the above post that I am NOT Republican as you so often accuse.

  8. Michael 5:16: The SS / Medicare issues are up front right now because the wealthy know that they will be taxed (pun intended) to cover SS and Medicare. They seem to think the Middle Class will wise up as soon as they can comprehend that the Middle Class WILL PAY FOR everything else.

  9. Comment removed by moderator. Name Calling

  10. Roberta,

    This is what makes me hate both parties and politics in general. Democrats have taken a popular stand in calling for tax increases on the rich. They won that battle in the election so they should be able to call for that... and they have.

    However, they know as well as we all know that unless they are willing to call for much, much higher taxes on the wealthy, higher taxes on the middle class and or cuts in the entitlements (and they are not), we can't fix our financial problems. But rather than propose even higher taxes or entitlement reform as part of a big deal, they go silent and tell the Republicans that they should propose the unpopular and painful parts of any deal.

    Now, before I am jumped on by Progressives, let me stipulate that Republicans would do the same if positions were reversed. However, to me this is what has changed from the past. Now, instead of putting country first, at least some of the time, with political advantage a very close second, for both parties it is now POLITICAL ADVANTAGE always first and COUNTRY always a distant second.

    Come to think of it, ME FIRST is the attitude of many Americans today, so maybe that just reflects our society today. How very sad....

    Michael

  11. Michael, your comments usually offer rational and reasoned approaches but asking that in politics is like asking the NHL to adopt no punching, hitting, spitting rules. Politics has always been, if not a blood sport, then as close to it as we can get without fisticuffs on the Senate floor or political assasinations. OK , so we have had some of that, but relatively few considering. I'm a partisan Democrat although the current bunch is decidedly conservative in my view. I want to see the Republicans eat crow and I hope they choke on the damn bird. They should have to come up with the cuts that they want to make....Romney wouldn't, Ryan wouldn't, Cantor wouldn't. Personally I think that Simpson-Boles [Bowles?} is a good place to start. During my political time I met Senator Simpson, had the opportunity to work with his staff on a couple of bills and he's about as straight a shooter as they come.

    The point is that what you believe is in the best interest of the country may not be what I believe to be in the best interest. Better to have these guys and gals fight it out in a setting with rules and procedure and a modicum of decorum. Of course it's frustrating, but it works.

  12. Pat,

    I don't expect cooperation 24/7 and I understand partisanship, but.... in the past when things threatened America, the two sides compromised. We are under threat... economically this time... and it's still partisanship first, country a distant second. That will kill us if it continues. I'm OK if you, as a partisan, non elected American, want the R's to eat crow. I expect much more than that out of the people we elect...on both sides.

    Michael

  13. I'm in full agreement that we cut foriegn aid to our enemies,such as Egypt,Pakistan,etc. Which I might add are responsible for the deaths of Americans in both Afghanistan,and Libya. We should continue to give Israel foreign aid as this is our strongest friend an ally in that region.

    We don't give foreign aid to Cuba which is 90 miles off the coast of Florida.Which some say we should do.I would feel better if we had a stable peace and made Cuba an ally, rather then say Libya or Pakistan, and some other radical countries not mentioned who hate us.

  14. "Would cutting "foreign aid" include cutting aid to Israel?" @ Gary Lind

    What part of my statement didn't you understand?
    "Everything should be on the table for budget cuts. No exceptions. No exemptions. No waivers. Nothing, I repeat nothing is sacrosanct."

    CarmineD

  15. "We don't give foreign aid to Cuba which is 90 miles off the coast of Florida." @Sam Speaks

    Yes and No. We pay rent every month to Fidel Castro for Gitmo. He never cashes the checks.

    "The United States assumed territorial control over the southern portion of Guantanamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted it a perpetual lease of the area. The United States, by virtue of its complete jurisdiction and control, maintains "de facto" sovereignty over this territory, while Cuba retained ultimate sovereignty over the territory. The current government of Cuba regards the U.S. presence in Guantanamo Bay as illegal and insists the Cuban-American Treaty was obtained by threat of force in violation of international law. It is the home of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which is governed by the United States."

    CarmineD

  16. Carmine.

    "Yes and no. We pay rent every month to Fidel Castro for Gitmo.He never cashes the checks".

    Are there any other countries that don't cash U.S.checks from our treasury? I don't think so. They (countries) probably run to the bank to make sure the get the green backs that they all want. We give foreign aid to some of the most corrupt countries in the world.Some of these same countries will take our money, and soon as our backs are turned they will stick it to us.Time to determine who is friend and who is foe before dishing out foreign aid money.

  17. Sam:
    The Gitmo rental fee is $2000 a year. It was set at that amount in 1903 for life. Nice deal if you can get it. No wonder that Castro doesn't cash the checks?

    CarmineD