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The Endless Pit of U.s. Foreign Aid

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Ben Spera

You hear politicians talk about U.S. foreign aid pretty frequently, but rarely do you hear them ever mention numbers. There is a reason for that. In 2008 we handed out a total of $50 billion dollars in foreign aid to just about every country on the face of the earth, minus North Korea, Iran and Syria. I can only imagine that in the 3 years since this report that number has only gone up. Now, there is a noticeable disparity in amounts between countries. Afghanistan is collecting a hefty $8.9 billion per year while Comoros only get’s a measly $2 million. Eritrea’s $3 million pales in comparison to Iraq’s $7.5 billion.

Those numbers might seem insignificant in the world of government spending, but take a step back. From 2000 to 2008, Iraq has amassed a total of over $51 billion in aid collected, Israel $30 billion, Afghanistan $26 billion, Egypt $19 billion, and even Russia made off with almost $11 billion in our democratic dollars. That’s just the top 5 of a seemingly endless list.

I’m not by any means familiar with the Foreign Aid conundrum so I imagine there are other programs, nooks and crannies in which money is being accounted for elsewhere. I would only expect so much from a government so proficient in half truths and white lies.

Now comes the million dollar question: does this foreign aid accomplish anything? I guess that depends on who you ask. According to The Heritage Foundation – no. They have a very in-depth report on this subject, but overall they claim “about 95 percent of U.S. foreign aid recipients voted against the U.S. in a majority of the non-consensus votes” brought before the United Nations. Yea, they said 95%. I think that number speaks for itself.

Source: U.S. Foreign Economic and Military Aid by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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