So, Who Comes to America’s Aid?

The United States of America is the best country on earth. I believe that with all my heart, despite its flaws, hiccups and aberrations in judgment. As a wealthy nation, we have felt that it is our duty to help others in need, and while it is usually a good thing, at times that aid to other nations has bitten us in the butt.

We give aid to other nations for a myriad of reasons: help after a natural disaster, military aid to countries that are being bullied or present an opportunity to protect our own interests, economic aid to countries that can become better world citizens with our help. Not all aid to foreign nations is a bad thing, but after four years of difficult economic times the question we should be asking is if we should be spending billions of dollars helping others when so many of our own are hurting?

Super Storm Sandy is a perfect example of what I mean. In 2010 there was a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The US sent more than $712 million dollars in various forms of aid relief from our government (not including the millions that we Americans gave in private donations to the Red Cross, Catholic Charities and others). We were the biggest contributor of aid to Haiti, and in my opinion we were because the rest of the world expects the US to step up and pony up.

Did the Haitian people need the help? Desperately, and I am proud that my country stepped in during situations like this. Flash forward to September. Super Storm Sandy hit and the most recent estimates of damage to US property on the East Coast is $50 billion. That’s BILLION. Will there be any worldwide governmental donations to help the US? Don’t hold your breath. So we give and give, and are expected to give and give, and when we are in need…

Ok, so aid in other forms that comes from the US to the world is in the form of military and economic aid. We give billions of dollars all over the world. A chart of where and how much we gave through 2010 can be found here: http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/politics/us-foreign-aid.htm

If you look through the list of countries, many of them are countries where terrorism flourishes. Countries like Egypt ($1.5 billion in 2010), Jordan (per the Jordanian government from 2007 to 2011 reached 2.4 billion), Pakistan ($855 million in fiscal year 2011, not including emergency humanitarian aid), Gaza/West Bank ($500 million annually over the past decade), Not to mention that countries like Jordan and Egypt, as well as other middle eastern countries that receive US aid, are rich in oil, so why are we sending them more money? I know I’ll get the “the oil money doesn’t get down to the people” reasoning, but what makes you think our aid money does?

Now let’s take a look at the US economy and how those billions could help at home. Let’s start with the housing crises. According the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, the average foreclosure costs $77,935 while preventing a foreclosure runs $3,300. There were 918,000 foreclosures in 2009, 1.05 million in 2010, 1.2 million in 2011 for a total over 3 years of 3.17 million homes foreclosed. It would take trillions to bail them all out, and doing so isn’t the issue. The issue is the trillions that it cost the US in lost tax revenue and lower property values, not to mention programs that then had to be burdened with the then homeless.

How about feeding hungry Americans?

Feeding America, a food relief agency in the US (for the US), did a study in 2010. They found that Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children. One in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America, or charities like them, for food and groceries, and 36% of the households served by food charities have at least one person working. This charity serves the working poor, who most likely don’t qualify for food stamp programs. Speaking of food stamps, 46.7 million Americans were using them in June of this year, the highest number ever, and food stamp benefits cost a record $71.81 billion to US taxpayers.

Should we even mention the fiscal cliff? Money to be cut and tax hikes will affect the working middle class. Businesses hit the hardest will layoff or close down. Jobless numbers will be astronomical. It will throw us into another recession, possibly a depression. Yet we continue to spend and pledge billions overseas, when cutting programs here will throw millions of Americans into financial ruin. Why?

Why are we sending billions of dollars to other countries when our own people are jobless, homeless and hungry? The aid that bothers me the most is the aid to places where they foster US hatred and attacks against us, places where terrorism flourishes, but any aid given with US tax dollars (meaning all of it) over helping US citizens is questionable at best.

We are the place that the rest of the world looks to for help. Where do our own citizens look when they are hungry, homeless or affected by a natural disaster? Where can they when we are spending it all overseas?

Image: Rainer Knäpper, License: artlibre; (http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en)

About the author: Suzanne Olden

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne has written for the online publication, The Beacon Bulletin.

View all articles by Suzanne Olden
  • Wes Walker

    Some excellent points, Suzanne.
    You could add the people having their hours slashed due to Obama(s)Care to the list of people in dire straits.

  • fliteking

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy off topic, great video about Walmart Hatred by Penn and Teller.

    http://youtu.be/W92gM_NMAbk

    • Stan

      Maybe the author is trying to make it easier for us to comprehend what shes talking about, this is not Shakespeare! .

  • 1JBRice1

    This is the reason that the United States should stop ALL foreign aid. Once they realize they don’t have a bailout, they will just have to help themselves – just like America does. No one rushes to help us and the trillions of dollars that we send overseas every year does not “buy” us love. Our politicians (notice that I didn’t say representatives) want to be “loved” by someone, it doesn’t matter who, so they send money that we should be using right here at home to foreigners. What a total waste. Those people laugh at the United States and make fun of us and our incompetent politicians every day until they need another handout.

  • VeeDub57

    I’m sorry to say that, thanks to the policies pushed by the liberal/socialist/democrats, (and allowed to pass by spineless liberal/Republicans) I will no longer be making my normal donations. I’m limiting what I give to specific charities so I know where the money will go like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where I am a partner in hope. The bell ringers and those who set up tables in front of stores like wally world, shouldn’t expect anything from me any longer. I can only give so much, and liberal/sociaist policies have severely limited me. If you voted for obama, then you better ask him for the “change” you “hope” he’ll throw you.

  • Really???

    I don’t disagree with anything that you wrote in this blog, but you have the writing style of an 8th grader. I am not kidding.

    • phunyfarm

      The literary police pot calling the kettle black. That comment was rude & pointless.
      I am not kidding.

    • Dean

      Did you think this was a novel?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christine-Ulferts/100001440049720 Christine Ulferts

    I will not give a single dime to charity! They voted to live off the govt. tit, so let them! A big thanks goes out to the stupids and the leeches who voted this racist fascist anti Christ back into power. He’s already talking a third term. Unfortunately by the time he’s done with 4 years, there will be no constitution, only half of the population, and no country left for him to lord over!

  • aray

    First give to your neighbor who lost their job & making sure the family have something to eat, then the senior down the street who can’t find enough money to make ends meet, to your local churches food pantry, to your county’s homeless& abused shelters, to the bell ringers who help others. In this time of need, there’s no time to have a closed hard heart, for there is much to do and many here at home to help. No quit complaining & get to work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Young/100001630951601 Mike Young

    You raise a great point Susanne, on that point I have been talking about for many years now. But apparently is is very difficult to get our Senators and House of Representative Membership to stop old habits of continuously voting in favor of Foreign Aid programs.

    It would be nice to get all of the current Members of the House of Representatives and Senate out of office and out of power and totally replace them all with members that look out for the best interests of the American taxpayers first and foremost, then once we get all of our financial problems solved, then and only then can we consider providing Aid of any type to Foreign Nations providing they also give is something of value in exchange. This would not be charity, this would be an even exchange of something of value they have that we would need or want.

    As I believe it was Danial Boone that once said “to give taxpayers money away to people for any reason is nothing but theft, if Congresspeople wish to give money to Foreign Nations on their own, out of their own pocket, that would be fine, that is their choice, and true charity, but to give taxpayers money away to a Foreign Entity is nothing but theft, The taxpayers weren’t asked for their permission for their money to be given away.

    • Stan

      Thats the problem. We the people are not asked about these things…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Dolyniuk/100000227939189 Steve Dolyniuk

    In addition to NOT give out any more foriegn aid, we should also get out of the United Nations. Over 70% of the countries vote against the USA over 70% of the time, & guess who is the largest contributor. Our politicians have sold this country out, & if the voters had any common sense, we would recall 90% of the jerks.

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