Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why do we borrow money and give it countries that don’t need it?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why do we borrow money and give it countries that don’t need it?

The hidden cost of free congressional trips to Israel
Jan 27, 2008


Okay. I have to get something off my chest. This has been bugging me for a few days and I need to write about it.

piggybank.jpgThe U.S. supports Israel and we are all great buddies. I get that. It is good to have allies. They were a bit less of a drag during the Cold War. But still, I can see how these things drag on.

But then Mearsheimer and Walt (two highly respected political scientists)published a book titled The Israel Lobby. All of a sudden these two highly respected scholars are being called conspiracy theorists and fools. What is going on here? I had to get this book immediately. I have to confess, I have not read all of it yet so I will not try to recreate their arguments. A German TV show (posted to YouTube) summed up the controversy around the book very nicely.

Here is the thing about the U.S./Israel relationship that really chaps me. The U.S. gives Israel almost $3 Billion a year. Not loans. Grants. Free money. We don’t give that kind of money to anybody. And this has been going on for decades. This made some sense when Israel was just getting established after WWII. But now they are among the top 25 countries in GDP per capita. That is higher than Greece. Not bad for them.

Here is the break down from the January 2, 2008 CRS Report for Congress titled, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel.

Now, last time I checked we Americans have been running a pretty big deficit. That means the government has to borrow money to make up the difference. So we borrow money (and pay interest) so we can give it too Israel (not a loan) when they don’t even need it in the first place. Personally, I don’t like running a deficit for anything. If we happen to run a surplus, I would have no problem helping out a truly poor country. But to borrow money to give it to Israel makes absolutely no sense. We are on the verge of a recession and this is our policy?

So can someone please answer this question for me? Why do we borrow money to give it to countries that don’t need it?

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