Foreign policy is outside of my wheel house, but as with other policy decisions that should be changed, this one could use a giant dose of common sense. Since it is in the news, look at the $40.0 Billion dollar aid package recently authorized by Congress for the Country of Ukraine. I have not read the bill, but the snippets suggest there is little, if any, oversight as to how it will be spent. It is like a huge slush fund. If that does not make you mad, remember it will be managed by politicians.
I believe Sen. Rand (R-KY) gave some examples of just how much money $40.0 Billion represents, but one of my favorite analogies with money is time. One million seconds is about 11.5 days and one billion seconds is almost 32 years. One billion dollars is a lot of money. Since this analogy is fun, we can extend it to the national debt. One trillion seconds is, no surprise, almost 32,000 years. People can’t fathom it.
People don’t have to understand it, they just have to go along with it.
Foreign policy, and aid, has been around for a long time. Some of it is put to good use and some is used for graft and is pure waste. When discussing foreign policy, think about all the Embassies around the world and the expenses generated to keep them up and running. Who benefits from these stationary junkets? In some respects, it is a proverbial cost of doing business for any country, but it too has become a lesson in corruption. This is another policy that has not evolved over time. It does not suggest an isolationist agenda to put a skeleton crew in a modest home to represent the embassy. It is not required that it be the largest house on the block, and a fortress, with a military presence. Once upon a time, it was necessary, but with global communications and other monitoring hardware, it is now unnecessary. If the host country is unable to protect the embassy, perhaps we shouldn’t be there.
We can send postcards with a phone number.
Another policy gone wrong is the United Nations (UN). We fund this endeavor at a huge expense to the US taxpayer. We provide countries with greater leverage to defy reasonable policies in the name of fairness. In some cases, one country can vote no and stop any action. Countries don’t pay their bills, won’t allow access to investigate criminal behavior (and in some instances blatantly cover it up), and use it as a way to push agendas (policies) that are not only in clear conflict with our Bill of Rights, but deny basic human rights.
I applaud providing a place where representatives from all the countries of the world can come, but creating policy to govern the world is insanity. For starters, too many countries are run by religious zealots while others prevent any religion from being acknowledged. This endeavor is also overstaffed with too much money doing too little, if anything.
The U.S. is up to its eyeballs in debt and the end game is unknown. At some point, which I think is long gone, the game is up and the currency must be reorganized. A country can’t come back from a debt burden this large. The economics (it would make a good dissertation thesis) suggest it is unlikely with the government being the largest employer and largest supporter of many (if not most) businesses. It can’t spend its way out of the debt hole by printing more money (issuing more debt), so something has to give, but since Congress has shown it has no ability to stop spending money, the currency will continue to erode. It seems a small step would to be to stop giving it away to other countries.
We can’t afford it.