The title of this article is akin to the often spoken maxim: “No good deed goes unpunished.” Specifically, America tries to “do good” in the world and gets a lot of grief in return.
We buy tons of foreign goods worth billions of dollars, but ask very little of others to buy our exports. We transfer billions of dollars in Economic Assistance, Military Aid and Grants to foreign countries, but get hate and disrespect in return. This ingratitude is amplified on TV; thus, need not be detailed here. The main issue is that our National Debt is now at an unsustainable $16 trillion, and this is partway due to America’s offertories in aid to foreign nations.
Certainly, the biggest chunk of our National Debt is tied to excessive government spending on “goodies” for domestic social programs that exceed tax receipts. However, an elixir is needed to stop the wasteful shelling out of billions of dollars on foreign Economic Assistance, Military Aid, and Grants that’s increasing our National Debt without any “quid pro quo.”
Goodwill and American dollars were the means by which many foreign economies expanded peacefully for a long time. However, there’s a deepening division in good relationships with some aid recipients who embrace a “Militant Nationalism” philosophy and hostility toward Western ideas and institutions.
America has been exporting billions of dollars in foreign aid and banally negotiates for friendship with aid recipient countries. However, that strategy hasn’t changed any of their negative attitudes or derisive political ideologies. In view of this, many American tax payers now want to withdraw foreign aid entirely and return to some form of Isolationism. That policy was favored during colonial times and continued up to the start of World War II.
Isolationism shuns foreign alliances, economic commitments and agreements; yet, it doesn’t mean disengaging from world affairs. However, a majority of economists reject Isolationism in favor of free trade and a global economy concept. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean America should continue being a benevolent “Uncle Sam” who gives free financial and military aid to every hostile country in the world.
Over the last five years the United States government borrowed $795.2 billion from foreign governments to provide economic assistance, military aid and grants to 16 other foreign governments. The amount and distribution of this aid is determined by a complexity of influences, mostly our Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Agency for Economic Development, and the House Appropriations Sub Committee working in collaboration with Foreign Aid Representatives, many of whom are shown in a picture at the top of this article.
For all and more of the reasons stated, the structure of America’s foreign aid policy needs a major overhaul. One plan already promoted calls for tying aid to the removal of trade barriers and foreign acceptance of U.S. investments in their countries. Another is “affordability” which means giving aid if we can manage it within a domestic balanced budget discipline.
Right now, the National Debt is increasing exponentially. It’s about as large as the entire value of all goods and services produced annually in the United States; i.e., $15.6 trillion. A big slice of this debt is owed not to ourselves, but to foreign countries, mostly China.
The problem with having a huge National Debt hanging over our heads is that eventually it must be paid off either with large increases in income taxes, gold shipments, government physical assets, or surplus foreign currencies earned by a positive cash flow in foreign trade. The latter payment possibility is highly unlikely.
The United States has accumulated a trade deficit of $3.0 billion over the last five years. This trade deficit is a part of our current National Debt. In fact, America’s negative trade balance is so persistent that for every dollar of goods imported, an estimated 24¢ represents an addition to our foreign debt.
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 Israel, Egypt are top recipients of aid followed by Pakistan, Columbia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Haiti and eight more countries.
 This hostility problem was recognized more than 35 years ago in an article by D. E. Kaiser and P.M. Kaiser, “Old Problems and New in International Relations.”
 Under President Wilson’s first term (1913-1917), Isolationism was abandoned by Americans, then renewed with the start of WW I.
 For 2012 an estimated $1.2 trillion will be added to the U.S. debt. Source: BEA
 Based on 2012 annualized import/export BEA data.