My Note –
I was looking for something about Libya and found this instead which I think might not be very good –
It is a chart from the CIA Factbook which says this about it at the beginning and then the last entry #190 on the list is the United States –
This entry records a country’s net trade in goods and services, plus net earnings from rents, interest, profits, and dividends, and net transfer payments (such as pension funds and worker remittances) to and from the rest of the world during the period specified. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.
Needless to say, but China is on the other side of this chart – at #1 –
Maybe my opinion doesn’t count with anybody – but I think this is really, really bad.
This was the google search I had been making – when I found it –
U.S. Government’s 150 Account
(from the earlier two posts I had been doing about who made the decisions that put military weapons and training in the hands of horrible nightmares of brutality including Mubarak in Egypt and Qaddafi in Libya.
In looking for that information originally, I discovered that some of the experts and decision-makers were serving a different agenda than human rights, democracy, and freedom despite the positions they were given both in the government and in career opportunities thereafter.
On the post I made about it (yesterday and the day before) there is a bit of the information that really started me thinking about it and what I discovered online. This information from the CIA Factbook was on the bottom of the third page into the google search about one funding source that funnels out of our country using our tax dollars, called “U.S. Government’s 150 Account.” There are so many other sources of our tax dollars being sent out of the country to serve everyone but us, that it is staggering. And, it is wrong.
And, I still haven’t figured out how our nation could be spending fully 17% of our nation’s entire budget on military spending while at the same time cutting $78 billion from the military spending, closing hundreds of bases and having a pay freeze on personnel. And, military spending was just voted a 2% increase as part of the budget “cuts” demanded by the Republicans for the remainder of this year, which are likely to pass with this increase included.
However, I did find out that the foreign military aid grants come from our military spending budget (for some of it,) and for some of the training programs. My daughter mentioned that the FBI budget is actually part of the military budget since the J. Edgar days, but I’m not sure if it is still the case with Homeland Security budgeted for so many things. It is true that the military requested and will have the amount for the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq to be in the State Department budget rather than their own from now on and the State Dept. budget does have mention of it. The other thing is that continued support of the Afghan security forces is not coming from the military any longer either, (in a budget sense.)
Congress enacted the Foreign Assistance Act in 1961 which separated military from non-military aid and created the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to administer non-military assistance.
The act also states that countries violating the human rights of its citizens will not be eligible for any type of aid.
So, it was still my question – who decided to use our tax dollars to put sophisticated killing machines in the hands of regimes who were known to be abusing their citizens, torturing them, killing them, maiming them, viciously and arbitrarily attacking them, keeping their citizens impoverished, and commonly sponsoring terrorists, as well?
And, why would anyone in our government get to do that when the law states unequivocally that no aid is allowed to be given to countries that violate human rights (using our tax dollars of any kind or variety.) That is what the Act says, authorizing such military aid, foreign aid grants, grants to other governments, financial and business pacts with such governments, and military training to such governments.
Why would it be so – this isn’t 1947 –
At a time when every state budget is in trouble, when the Republican conservatives have taken over the House of Representatives with every intention of cutting every program to help the American people while increasing funding to the same foreign aid outflows listed above, and at a time when our national economic foundation is in dire trouble – how could this be?
And, as we watch across the entire world – the horrors that Egyptian government ministers under Mubarak perpetrated on Egypt’s people and the horrors of the Libyan government under Gaddafi (Qaddafi) with his family’s ruthless perpetration of violence on the Libyan people – it looks like the principles by which America’s decisions were to be made properly – were plainly cast aside when military equipment, money and training financed or given by grants from the US taxpayers enriched them.
It didn’t enrich the citizens of these nations. It never gave them human rights, human dignity, freedom of choice in their government, freedom, democracy, security, assurances of economic opportunity or in fact, anything of a good and secure life for themselves and their families.
The decision-makers in the United States who gave our money to horrific dictatorships, did what? Did it really secure for us cheaper fuel or did it simply delay the question of what to do about it in general which leaves us with the problem of fueling our entire transportation system right now (and as we go forward,) at a time when our national economy can least afford to figure it out and implement it?
And, just to tie this all together right quick – the above note on this post about the US current account balance means something very significant – far more than the “budget deficit” and far more than our current interest payments on our national debt and far more important than our national economic indicators within our nation (like number of foreclosures, business bankruptcies, corporate bankruptcies, bank failures, state and local budget deficits, unemployment numbers, etc.).
The fact that we are still going to spend 17% of our entire revenues coming into the Federal government for military spending with such a significant part of it being used to arm the world’s nations including those with horrific records of human rights abuses – is important. And, that our nation is sending over $50 billion of our tax dollars overseas into programs for every other nation while children are hungry in America is pathetic.
When the Republicans had finished changing things around during the Reagan – Bush – and Bush Jr. years, at their insistence that so many cuts be made to programs to help the American people saying the “faith-based” community would take care of those things – that is not what ended up happening. What did happen is that churches and other charitable groups pooled their resources and then gave huge amounts of it to conservative think tanks and other conservative special interest groups and lobbies. That money was consequently not available to the community nor to those in the community who needed a helping hand. The food banks are broke. Homeless shelters are broke and overwhelmed and underfunded. Affordable housing doesn’t exist. Help with tremendously priced heating bills and electric bills is nearly non-existent and the little bit from the government is being cut to nearly nothing. Employment in many places simply doesn’t exist.
The community services organizations who would receive donations do not give them directly into the community nor are they required to do so – they can give whatever they choose to their own salaries, to their own overhead, to think tanks and lobbying firms, to other special interest groups, to projects, to having fancy high-rent offices, to junkets and seminars and conferences they attend, to advertising, to marketing their call for donations and then give about 80% of whatever is remaining to somebody somewhere. And, they can use any exclusionary process they choose (or their board of directors choose) for giving the money or excluding people from receiving any of the money.
So many people think that the US foreign military aid consists of a few old tanks and planes we’ve already used that are being given to these other nations. It is not true. That is a separate program, which is done also. The money is given in grants, financial aid, financing, economic development and infrastructure grants, other payments, military training and security forces training and counterinsurgency training. And, our money is paying to provide training for foreign government officials on how to force people in their own nation to get business permits before starting a business or be beat to death by the security forces that our money paid to train.
The money goes to bridge projects and setting up banking systems, for government offices and to provide staff for those offices – which leads me to surmise that the stranglehold of bureaucracy created in Egypt and Libya and elsewhere might be the indication that they’ve learned how to simply keep getting more of our USAID and foreign aid money by making another layer of government offices to satisfy the paperwork to get the grants for it.
Okay – but these funds by the billions of dollars from the US and other nations across the world have been going into these nations for the last fifty years or more – at what point can we say they already have a banking system now – and the other infrastructure projects satisfied?