When we look at America’s budget, there are so many facets that seem completely ridiculous. Just think about it… we borrow money, because our appetite for spending exceeds our income. Then, we take it a step further and spend that money on nonsensical programs. In particular, we have a foreign aid program. This means that even though we don’t have enough money to pay our own bills, we borrow money so that we can give it to other countries. Here’s the kicker… one of the countries which receives American foreign aid is China — the country that is loaning us our extra money.
You read it right. We borrow money from China, then send them foreign aid. This just goes beyond insanity. As Fox News reports, “China is one of the biggest economies in the world and grew at more than 9 percent over the last year. It also has loaned more than $1 trillion to the U.S. to fund its deficit-spending.”
“Why in the world would we be borrowing money and then turn around and giving it back to the countries that we’re borrowing it from?” Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said. “If they have enough of a surplus to loan us money, they have enough of a surplus to take care of their own needs.”
Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia asked the same question in a recent appearance on Fox News: “Hey, in the crisis that we’re in right now, should we really be continuing to send American taxpayer dollars over to China for these purposes?”
I’m sorry, no disrepect to Sen. Webb, but did he really need to phrase that in the form of a question? The answer is obvious: NO! The idea of China receiving foreign aid is like America receiving foreign aid. Oh wait… we do… but it’s in the form of loans.
“I think the Chinese are just laughing whenever they receive a check,” said Dan Ikenson, a trade economist at the CATO Institute. “How silly this is of the United States to be subsidizing the faster-growing, second-largest economy in the world.”
This astonishment over aid to China is not exactly new. A story published in September 2010 in The Economic Times notes that “China spent tens of billions of dollars on a dazzling 2008 Olympics. It has sent astronauts into space. It recently became the world’s second largest economy. Yet it gets more than $2.5 billion a year in foreign government aid.”
Compared to countries like Japan, Germany, France, and Great Britain, the U.S. doesn’t give much to China (a mere $65 million in 2008), but why are we giving ANY money at all?
It is said that the true sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, America keeps spending and spending and spending, yet our leaders in Washington just expect the debt to magically disappear. No, stopping foreign aid to China and other countries will not solve our debt crisis. We need BIG changes for that. But at least by doing so, maybe we can appear less stupid than we are now.