This is something that’s been on my mind for many years. I’m not the isolationist type at all; far from it. With that said, I do believe that our country has enough inherent problems that need some extra dollars that could provide serious assistance to its own citizens without giving so much away to other countries.

Homeless woman with dogs
Creative Commons License Franco Folini via Compfight

Of course I’m also a very reasonable thinker on this topic. Whenever there’s a disaster in the world the U.S. is always on the forefront of offering assistance, both in dollars and manpower. I have no problem with that… as long as our government takes care of its own when the same type of thing happens here, and unfortunately that doesn’t always happen, or at least as quickly. There needs to be a separate entity for disasters in our own country that removes partisan bickering in determining who decides which disaster gets money.

However, if we take relief out of the equation, there are some significant dollars going to many countries, some of whom don’t even like us. Some of those countries are (per 2011 figures):

Iraq – $2.1 billion, although I suppose someone will say we destroyed their country via the 2003 invasion so we should pay, even though they have the wherewithal to make that much money and more if they could come together and protect their pipelines;

Pakistan – $1.7 billion, even though they’re harboring all sorts of terrorists, which includes Bin Laden, and they’re still mad that we took him out;

Egypt – $1.3 billion, with 90% of that going to the military that’s running the government now because they didn’t like the democratic process that put someone into office they didn’t like;

Of course the biggest amounts are going to Afghanistan at almost $13 billion (they don’t want us there) and Israel at $3 billion (I don’t have a problem with this overall though I don’t think they really need the money either), and with their volatility and fights against terrorism I kind of get it.

Overall, our country pays around $72 billion a year to other countries, offering either military or economic aid. When compared to many other things that seems like a drop in the bucket. But that money would feed a lot of families in this country, train a lot of people who need to find new careers, and cover every school in the nation that’s suffering shortfalls because of a changing dynamic and the complications of still fighting the No Child Left Behind Act.

Every other country in the world takes care of its own citizens first; isn’t it time for our country to think about doing the same thing?

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