One of the Senate’s newest members has settled upon an idea to reduce American debt that’s likely to come off as highly controversial in the halls of power: ending all foreign aid, including the tens of billions dedicated to Israel.
Israel has been, by far, the largest recipient of US foreign aid anywhere in the world. Since the inception of Israel’s close diplomatic relationship with the US all the way through 2008, Americans gave Israel over $103 billion, according to the American Educational Trust.
President Barack Obama in late 2009 approved an additional $2.77 billion for Israeli foreign aid in 2010, and another $30 billion over the next decade.
That’s got to stop, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who told CNN host Wolf Blitzer recently that with such a crushing economic picture in the US, “we just can’t do it anymore.”
“What I’m concerned about,” Paul said, is that “if we do nothing — if we coast along as we’ve been coasting — entitlements and interest will consume the whole debt within a decade; will consume the whole budget. There will be nothing left for anything else. My fear is we could have a precipitous calamity where nobody gets any checks from government, so security fails, Medicare fails, unless we start making the difficult decisions now.
“I’m gonna propose a solution before we have a calamity,” he said.
In a recent proposal by Paul, a total of $500 billion would be slashed from the budget within a year, undercutting food stamps, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts and other programs that many hold dear.
It would also take five percent from the defense budget, chopping $16 billion out of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently announced two significant budget cuts at the Defense Department, starting with a $78 billion cut in spending over the next five years. The figure nearly topped the first-year maximum cuts proposed by House Republicans during the 2010 mid-term elections.
But even that was a mere “pin-prick” to a behemoth military-industrial complex that must drastically shrink for the good of the republic, a former Reagan administration budget director recently told Raw Story.
“It amounts to a failed opportunity to recognize that we are now at a historical inflection point at which the time has arrived for a classic post-war demobilization of the entire military establishment,” David Stockman said in an exclusive interview.
He warned that without massive cuts to the defense budget, reducing elective spending a bit here and a bit there would be “too little, too late.”
Short of that, he suggested, the United States had “reached the point of no return” with its artificial creation of wealth, and would eventually face a sharp economic decline.
Sen. Paul has been a leading conservative advocate of defense cuts, but his position was largely unsupported by fellow Republicans.
A Democrat-created commission dedicated to studying defense cuts recommended last year that up to $1 trillion be removed from the military’s budget. Recommendations from the Sustainable Defense Task Force, formed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and supported by Sen. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), were seen as largely unworkable, with Republicans standing nearly in unanimous opposition to cutting America’s defense budget.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress, played down any talk of cutting foreign aid payments to Israel.
“I’ve always said that any aid to foreign countries should pass the test of whether it helps support the security of the United States,” he recently told AFP.
Cantor added that it was “very clear” Israel was waging “the same war against radical Islam that we are in,” and therefore passed his test.
Cantor came under heavy criticism in November when, as House Minority Whip, he reached out to Israel’s prime minister and promised that Republicans would “serve as a check on the [Obama] administration” when talks turned to Israeli policy. When former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) traveled to Syria in 2007, Cantor suggested she’d committed a felony by violating the Logan Act, which prohibits conducting unauthorized diplomacy with a foreign country.
This video is from CNN, broadcast Jan. 26, 2010.
‘Get the hell out!’: Trump supporters freak out when protesters show up to Lindsey Graham event
A small group of protesters came to one of Lindsey Graham's latest campaign events, and they were quickly attacked by supporters of President Donald Trump chanting "four more years."
Graham's event seemed to have more support for Trump than for Graham at his own weekend event. It's unknown why the Trump supporters were not chanting for Graham.
"Get the hell out!" one Trump supporter can be heard shouting. He and another older man were seen wagging their fingers
At least one Graham protester could be seen holding up a sign with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The South Carolina senator is fighting for his political career and many other Republicans struggling to hold onto their seats. Graham is now being confronted with past comments he made saying that no president, regardless of the party, should make a Supreme Court pick right before his or her election.
Black man takes N-word spewing racist to school — and makes him promise to never do it again
When a racist White guy at a marina shouted out the N-word at a group of Black men, he probably didn't count on their response being a history lesson, but that's precisely what happened.
While President Donald Trump is claiming that Black community members are beating and killing White racists and responding with general violence, the two men showed a different reality.
"What made you say it?" the men asked.
The white guy shrugged.
"You that racist?" one of the men asks.
"Uh, no, I--" the White guy tried to answer.
"Then why would you call us a n*gger?" one of the men asks.
Lamar Alexander refuses to stand against Trump Supreme Court choice
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is an outgoing Senator but he is firmly supporting President Donald Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a statement released Sunday, Alexander claimed that the so-called "McConnell Rule" doesn't count because the Senate and the White House is ruled by Republicans. The "McConnell Rule" was never a rule until McConnell decided he didn't want former President Barack Obama to nominate another justice when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly.
"Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot," said Alexander.