According to U.S. government figures, for fiscal year 2017, $50 billion in foreign aid was obligated to 13,000 activities in 209 countries.
What that means in plain old English is the United States of America, via you’re elected representatives, has promised $50 billion of your tax dollars to foreign countries for things like the MCC Land Productivity Project, which aims to “transform the way the Government brings industrial land to market, from a state- to a market-driven approach through the development of a new model for industrial zone development.”
Grand total for that mouthful: $119 million annually.
According to figures from USAID, the U.S. Government agency for international aid responsible for reporting official U.S. Government foreign aid to Congress and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), $5.8 billion of that $50 billion is earmarked as unallocated/unspecified and as part of that fund of free US tax dollars, China gets $19 million.
China. You know, the country that owns $1.168 trillion of U.S. debt.
Meanwhile, according to a Bloomberg article from last year, U.S. student loan debt outstanding reached a record $1.465 trillion in 2018. Over 2.7 million borrowers owe in excess of $100,000, of which, about 700,000 owe $200,000 or more, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.
This is fact. No spin. No Fake News. Look it up.
And these are just a few examples of thousands of different scenarios where the men and women that you and I have put into office — that we champion from our lofty perches on social media — put America last.
It really is a swamp.
If you believe rich, entitled, entrenched politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell actually care about you and that’s why they do the things they do, and that they are worth defending at all costs, you’re drinking a very special brand of Kool-Aid.
One could spend weeks wading through the USAID facts and figures and marveling at the variety of ways the U.S. government has chosen to spend your taxes on anything and everything foreign but one needs look no further than Jordan to get an upset stomach.
Just last year, the U.S. pledged to give the Middle Eastern country nearly $1.3 billion per year for the next five years.At least $750 million annually will be economic aid, and at least $350 million is military assistance.
This is nothing new and isn’t the bi-product of one party or the other running Washington D.C. We’ve been giving Jordan money for a long time.
In fact, the jump into the billions actually started under former President Barrack Obama, whose administration approved an annual handout of $1 billion for U.S. fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 — up substantially from the $660 million level it had been at previously.
Meanwhile, the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, has an estimated net worth of $750 million dollars.
Think about that one when you send out your next student loan payment.
U.S. officials cite a number of different reasons for the cash flow going to Jordan — from its effect on jobs in America to stability issues in the region.
But this is the one that stands out to me the most: Some of that cash is meant to ease the effects of regional crises, most recently the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Considering the current political climate in our country, this is particularly interesting.
According to the Borgen Project, a non-profit that monitors poverty and hunger worldwide, U.S. aid “supports a bilateral relationship by helping Jordan temporarily absorb over 635,000 Syrian refugees and 52,000 Iraqi refugees.”
Officials with that group say, “The influx of refugees is a challenge for the Jordanian government.”
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
But then consider this: According to the organization Human Rights Watch, between 2011 and 2017, over 655,000 persons from Syria had sought refuge in Jordan.
However, in 2017, Jordan did not permit Syrians to enter the country to seek asylum. Jordanian officials stated that the country did not receive enough international financial assistance in 2017 to cope with the effects of the refugee crises on its public infrastructure, especially in the areas of public education and health. The UNHCR Jordan office, which coordinates the refugee response, said that by November it had raised only 42 percent of its $1.2 billion budget goal for 2017.
So what did they do? Jordan deported hundreds of Syrian refugees—including the collective expulsion of large families—without giving them a meaningful chance to challenge their removal and failing to consider their need for international protection.
According to the group, during the first five months of 2017, Jordanian authorities deported about 400 registered Syrian refugees each month. In addition, approximately 300 registered refugees each month returned to Syria during that time under circumstances that appeared to be voluntary.
Another estimated 500 refugees each month returned to Syria under circumstances that are unclear.
Yet, despite what some might consider an "amoral" attitude toward refugees by Jordanian officials, the U.S. government keeps on sending them money.