U.S. Foreign Aid vs Migrant Horde

U.S. Foreign Aid vs Migrant Horde

U.S. Foreign Aid vs Migrant Horde

Central American nations used to seeing beaucoups bucks in foreign aid flow into their corrupt coffers may soon see the American largesse stream dammed. On Monday, President Trump made it quite clear that he is prepared to put a fence around the money tree, if the United States doesn’t see a return on its investment immediately. By that he means KEEP YOUR “MIGRANTS” HOME.

President Trump on Monday said that the U.S. will begin to cut off or reduce aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as citizens of those countries flee for the U.S. as part of a so-called caravan of migrants.

In a trio of tweets, the president escalated his rhetoric surrounding the group of migrants, declaring a national emergency as they approach the border and claiming that “unknown Middle Easterners” had joined the group.

Trump, in the tweets, did not offer any evidence for the charge that people from the Middle East were among those crossing the border.

“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them,” Trump wrote in a tweet.

“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National [Emergency]. Must change laws!”

Map: AFP

The AP added their own spin on the president’s threats, in reports on the burgeoning line of trekkers:

Trump for months has sought to use foreign aid as a cudgel more broadly, threatening to withhold humanitarian and other aid from “enemies of America” and using it to pressure foreign governments to bend to his will. On Monday, he said he would be making good on his threat.

…If Trump should follow through with his threat to end or greatly reduce U.S. aid, that could worsen the poverty and violence that are a root cause of the migration he has been railing against, critics said.

And then they list the critics, along with all their contrary, cautionary wisdom. All are against cutting any measure of foreign aid. None have any solutions for the invading force headed towards out border, nor, I believe, do they really want them stopped. JUST GUESSING.

The president points out that “we have been giving them so much money…for so long.” I got to wondering just HOW much money we’re talking about. They’re impoverished counties, right? Smallish populations, so couple bucks here and there, right? Little extra thrown in for those who help the narco-trafficking fight sounds good. Can’t be talking much in the scheme of things…

Then I heard this tiny factoid from Charles Payne:

Wait, WHAT?!!?!?

HOLY SMOKEROOSKI! Let’s make it even hurt worse, shall we?

Let’s play “How much per person do we spend per year in each tiny, third world country?”!

(All 2017 foreign aid info from USAid, so, like, OFFICIAL.)

Cosa Rica: $2.10 per person. WHEW. I thought this was gonna be bad.

Costa Rica

Next one. Lemme see. Let’s try Honduras.

Honduras: $18.62/person

That place is pricey. How about Guatemala?

Guatemala: $14.46/person

Last year, Nicaragua came in at $43,431,959, and El Salvador at $115,166,686 ($17.99/person). JUST LAST YEAR.

I don’t know that Charles is adding all the foreign aid we send under every guise, either. We’re dang up to his totals just in 2017 alone.

As you can tell from the HUMONGOUS numbers, we drop a pretty fair bit of coin on EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY in that region. It’s as if we’re supporting the whole damn place.

And it’s not like Mexico isn’t a huge siphon, making sucking noises as it gulps up dollars pouring over the border, even as it sends its biggest and neediest problems over our border. One well meaning program ALONE – the Mérida Initiative ( “quantitative and qualitative jump in support for the drug fight in the region,”) – has, since 2008, swallowed up $1.6 BILLION, out of a total $2.8 BILLION appropriated. Another $139M was allocated for FY2017. That’s on top of the $283,099,204 in foreign aid they got last year.

And they can’t stop a horde before it gets even bigger at any of those borders?

Leads one to ask, “Where is ALL this money going, George?”

A good portion of the answer is “it’s cultural.” SO much of the money sent to Mexico and Central America never makes it to alleviating the people’s suffering. For what we send, say, El Salvador, every single one of those barefooted “migrants” should have a closet full of Louboutins. And why don’t they? Or at least a living wage?

Endemic culture of corruption.

But this longstanding friendship can’t ignore the fact that corruption in the country is so widespread as to be referred to as México’s “original sin.” One Mexican police officer whom I completely trusted — as he had escorted me and other in-country FBI personnel on numerous forays into dangerous parts of Mexico’s hinterlands on fugitive hunts — sadly advised me:

“In my country, as it relates to the government and law enforcement, assume corruption, until proven otherwise.”

Cautionary voices are frantically raised against a punitive plan to cut aid.

We need to stop these countries from becoming failed states, because that’s what’s going to cause a tremendous exodus,” she said.

If you take that money away or you make it unpredictable, you’re actually going to foster the very conditions that are driving people toward migration,” said O’Brien, who accused Trump of “essentially seeking to use migrants as a political chip.”

But if we can’t annex all these countries we’re paying for, shouldn’t we expect something in return besides another hand out for cash? Shouldn’t we DEMAND it? For instance:

With a homicide rate of 43 per 100,000 citizens, Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world, according to a Honduran university study.

US aid to the region had already been on the decline.

It went from $750 million in 2016 to $655 million last year, and is on track to fall to $615 million this year, according to the Washington Office on Latin America.

Still, it is vital money for countries such as Honduras, which received $181.7 million last yeara sizeable chunk for a nation whose government budget is less than $10 billion.

We provide an additional 2% of the national budget, but have no expectation of any cooperation? No expectation that these countries get their act together, at least in one aspect, if they intend to keep the handouts flowing their way? It’s about time that changed.

Nothing is going to move these corruptocrats in these countries like a squeeze on the funds. The amount the United States sends, if impacted significantly by a Trump action, would have that wall damn near finished in no time.

I think it’s high time we started getting OUR money’s worth. Uncle Sam’s not your Sugar Daddy now, kids.

Feature Photo: Beege Welborn

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6 Comments
  • GWB says:

    part of a so-called caravan of migrants
    Yeah, can we stop using this term, please? Because a “caravan” implies something to trade, and a return to origin.
    No, this is a column of invaders. (As someone else mentioned battalions, it’s now up to about 2 divisions of infantry worth.)

    use foreign aid as a cudgel
    Hell, we shouldn’t be giving anyone foreign aid, imo, unless they are a significant, unwavering ally, and in dire need of said aid (perhaps Israel, maybe a little to Japan and Korea on the military side, nobody else really). Or, specific humanitarian events.
    Those countries don’t have any more right to my hard-earned cash than Billy Bob does to it through a welfare check.

    end or greatly reduce U.S. aid, that could worsen the poverty and violence that are a root cause of the migration he has been railing against
    No, as long as we have more, they’ll envy us and want to come here to share it. But, it’s not our job to take in all our poorer relations. If they want to be like us, then they have to actually act like us (well, like we used to) and think like us. Until then, any funds we send them merely go to the kleptocracy and to enabling their poverty.

    Let’s see…. 838 million plus 887 million plus 1.4 billion… equals… more than 3 billion dollars. Which would at least pay for 1 day’s military spending. And that’s just 3 rinky-dink countries. (BTW, if you look at those pie charts that show defense budget as this whopping 20% section of the American gov’t pie, guess what’s included under “defense spending”? That’s right! “Foreign military aid” and “Foreign economic aid”!)

    Endemic culture of corruption.
    And, we shouldn’t be sending them any money until that is fixed. We also shouldn’t expect anything but a swing between marxism and military juntas until that cultures gets fixed. No free, prosperous democratic republics anytime soon.

    We need to stop these countries from becoming failed states
    Too late!

    Honestly, we need to quit enabling our alcoholic* brother-in-law, by letting him crash on our couch when he’s on a bender and hiding out from his landlady. He’s never going to get better unless we force him to stand on his own two feet.
    (* Oh, get a grip. I’m not saying Latin Americans are all alcoholics. It’s a metaphor.)

    (BTW, I also think we should cut off federal aid to places like Chicago. They really aren’t a much better culture, all things considered.)

  • Beege Welborn says:

    #endorsed , GWB.

  • Jim says:

    How much of the funds donated to charities for ‘relief’ and given by taxpayers via their governments actually gets past the sticky fingers of bureaucrats in the UN and the higher ranked bureaucrats of third world countries? I no longer give to charities as it became clear that most of the funds donated never got to the people in need.

  • Beege Welborn says:

    TOO true, Jim. I always check a charity out to see their rating and what percentage of donations goes to “overhead/salaries” and how much actually makes it to the needful. We should means test foreign aid, too.

  • Foreign aid is not spent on poor people in less developed countries. It is one government passing funds to another government, which means bureaucrats on both sides, plus well connected contractors and private firms and NGOs who help administer programs. A fair amount of USAID money goes to Americans. Foreign aid money can be useful for influencing policy decisions – and it is sometimes used that way – but the idea that it it important for alleviating poverty is silly. Government to government aid helps entrench bureaucrats, politicians, and policies that tend to block entrepreneurship, free enterprise, and economic growth – the things that actually alleviate poverty.

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