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Your tax dollars overseas.

ITEM: Foreign aid is "likely to suffer" in President Bush's proposed budget, worried a feature on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website on February 4. The article claimed such aid has long been used successfully. Now, however, "considering its record budget deficit, expensive military campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the ongoing war against terrorism, the U.S. is looking to trim traditional foreign assistance programs."

BETWEEN THE LINES: How much foreign aid does the U.S. government provide? It is worth a brief review.

Though U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the United States (at Notre Dame in 2000) "one of the least generous" nations in the world, that is laughable. During the four decades or so after World War 11, the U.S. supplied more than a trillion dollars in bilateral aid. Washington still provides more foreign aid than any other country. (Keep in mind, however, when governments hand over other people's money, that isn't generosity--it's theft.)

President Bush, singing a different tune than in pre-election days, has pledged a 50 percent increase in ODA (Official Development Assistance) by 2006, not counting $15 billion aimed at AIDS and other diseases primarily in Africa.

Foreign aid also fuels corruption. British economist Peter Bauer often said that foreign aid represents taxing poor people in rich countries to benefit rich people in poor countries. And there's always another rat hole into which to toss money: Recent reports indicate that Washington may start aiding Muammar Qaddafi's Libyan dictatorship.
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Title Annotation:Between The Lines
Author:Hoar, William P.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Previous Article:Chinese take-out market.
Next Article:Reality isn't optional.

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