Foreign aid Essay

Submitted By jgrajed2
Words: 2486
Pages: 10

Before extending aid to other countries, we should focus on our more prevalent domestic problems. Patrick Buchanan said, "The idea that we should send endless streams of tax dollars all over the world, while our own country sinks slowly in an ocean of debt is, well, ludicrous. Almost every American knows it, feels it, and believes it." The topic of United States foreign policy is greatly debated, and a decision on how to handle is very hard to come by. It seems as if we are finally leaning towards less aid to foreign countries, as we try to cut wasteful spending. The American government is finally opening its eyes to the realization that all of the aid we are giving out may not be worth it. Our priority should be to help our homeless, instead of other countries' poor.
Each year, the United States of America pours billions and billions of dollars into its foreign aid program. We are a rich nation, and also very generous. We are willing to sacrifice American lives to save those of other countries. Doesn't this sound like a nice thing to do? I didn't think so. It is simply a matter of getting our priorities straight, and getting back onto the track of making our country the best it can be; the right track. Our country is the country of, for, and by the people, and yet we aren't doing enough to help ourselves. More and more people are moving out of their houses and into the streets every day; people are getting addicted to drugs; men, women, and children are dying from violence. Yet we still insist on helping others. Obviously there are enough problems here for the government to worry about, and we are need focus on these problems which need to be solved.
Throughout our history, we have needed many countries as friends and we have also been friends to many countries that needed us. If we feel today that we have to keep up these friendships simply to maintain tradition, then we are completely wrongly. WE NEED TO HELP OURSELVES! In 1995, the United States government cut Medicare, a program aimed at helping needy Americans, by $252 billion; yet, we only cut foreign aid, a program aimed at helping other countries' needy, by only $1 billion (Reese 5). There is something really wrong with this. One would think that the money and other resources we invest in foreign aid, would help solve every problem in the world. However, we do not give aid to where it is needed most. Not enough aid is given towards basic assistance. Only 2.5% of all of our foreign aid is given to health and education. Only 4% is given towards helping with water and sanitation and 7.5% is given to help agriculture. These should be our priority, especially the 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty - people with an annual salary under $370. If we are going to be so generous to help others, we should give it to where it can to the most good.
Even when we give aid, we have no idea whether that country is using the aid wisely or correctly. They could be using the money to buy drugs or, even, to buy the weapons that are used against us. For example, Israel uses arms we give them for offensive incursions into Lebanon, which is completely against our principles. Israel even sells U.S. technology to third parties. Nevertheless, we still give them whatever they ask for. Foreign aid is a very important program, but why so much? Obviously, if there is a country recovering from a natural disaster, e.g., a hurricane, tornadoes, floods, or famine, they need our help. However, we need to distinguish between the times when a country is amidst a crisis and needs our help and when it is just struggling. Since our country is struggling as well, we cannot help other suffering countries before we help ourselves. "I would phase out foreign economic aid completely and retain only funds for humanitarian aid in the event of calamities and other crises." (Buchanan) We are a world power, and we have the resources to help others, but not all the time and not to such a high degree.. We…