Kerry defends foreign aid

| February 21, 2013

Yeah, wipe that shocked look off your face. John Kerry, an especially bad Senator and presidential candidate demonstrates that particular trait will carry over to the State Department. Yesterday he defended the amount that the government spends on foreign aid. From the Washington Post;

Politicians too easily make a bogeyman of American foreign aid, said Kerry, who was a politician for more than three decades, while the payoffs of engagement abroad are badly misjudged by many ordinary Americans, he said.

“I can tell you that nothing gets a crowd clapping faster than to say, ‘I’m going to Washington to get them to stop spending all that money over there,’?” he said.

In truth, the foreign aid budget, as well as the entire State Department budget, is a pittance, Kerry said, just about a penny on the total U.S. federal budget dollar.

The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development budget request for 2012 was $51.6 billion. Although Kerry did not make the direct comparison, the Pentagon spent an estimated $115 billion on the Afghanistan war in the same year.

Yeah, I wouldn’t make the comparison either, if the facts directly contradict my point as they do in this case. Us “ordinary Americans” don’t see the point of propping up failed states and folks who will someday kill Americans, or at least celebrate the deaths of Americans as we’ve seen in recent years. They’re going to hate us anyway, so why pay them to hate us, while we could probably get the same result for free? At least then they’d have a reason to hate us.

“Deploying diplomats today is much cheaper than deploying troops tomorrow,” Kerry said to applause.

Yeah, well, as we saw in Benghazi, we have to deploy troops along with the diplomats, so what’s your point?

Category: John Kerry

Comments (20)

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  1. E6 type, 1ea says:

    “just about a penny on the total US federal budget dollar.”

    Not a penny, not a sixpence, motherfucker.

  2. ROS says:

    What budget?

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    I have a budget. Right now, I have a small but real surplus. Just don’t tell anyone.

  4. fm2176 says:

    “In truth, the foreign aid budget, as well as the entire State Department budget, is a pittance, Kerry said, just about a penny on the total U.S. federal budget dollar.”

    I like viewing things in a manner I can easily understand. “just about a penny on the…dollar” is 1/100th. So, take defense, social programs, education, federal salaries and pensions, and everything else the notional budget should cover and add them up. I don’t claim to be the most informed or the best educated, but all those pennies combined equals a deficit year after year. America is overburdened as it stands, and we don’t need to continue shelling out money to third country states that have little to no appreciation for it.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    The reason behind foreing aid used to be to help other countries move away from their leaning toward communism, which was constantly marketed by the USSR. Unfortunately, many of the governments that received US foreign aid were as corrupt as you can get, the best example being Ferdinand Marcos’s government in the Philippines, which received billions in US aid, most of which went to Imelda Marcos’s parties and wardrobe: 3,000 pairs of shoes, for example.

    Basically, we were buying the good will of those governments in exchange for military bases around the world. Things have changed a lot since 1989 and Gorbachev’s announcement that the USSR was broke. But Putin’s Russia is slowly returning to the Russia of the Soviet Union — he’s such a spoiled brat. I don’t know how much he’s spending on his version of foreign aid, but he does like to make grandstanding displays, like those Bear bombres that flew around Guam a few days ago.

    I guess we are in for some very interesting times.

  6. Ex-PH2 says:

    Here’s an interesting little tidbit on Russia and its money:

    I think they have more money than we do.

  7. Fen says:

    “Deploying diplomats today is much cheaper than deploying troops tomorrow,” Kerry said

    Not really. Diplomats usually create the need for deploying troops. Witness April Glaspie greenlighting the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Or all the bumbling idiots that enabled Hitler by telegraphing weakness.

  8. Fen says:

    /off topic

    Do we have any Air Force guys here? I’ve got a poser trying to present himself as a an operator because he has a “Combat Crew” medal. I’m a former Marine with no knowledge of the Air side, but from what I’ve researched, Combat Crew is just a training designation? Lil help please? The perp fits the profile of a stolen valor braggart.

  9. kp32 says:

    Since the stated goal of Osama, Kerry, Pelosi, and friends is to turn the United States into a Third World country, shouldn’t we start receiving handouts? And move the UN to Saudi Arabia, or wherever it is that Osama receives his orders.

  10. PintoNag says:

    @8 Fen, you might want to contact Jonn using the Contact Us link at the top of the page. He’ll help, also.

  11. DaveO says:

    The US of A has no friends. It has allies who are allies out of their own self-interest, or for rent.

    There are personal relationships, but between Hillary’s unquestionably disasterous execution of foreign policy and Obama’s personal insults of western, freedom/capitalism-oriented foreign leaders, the personal relationship at the highest levels are shot.

    America’s top diplomats are platoon leaders, NCO, and corporations.

  12. streetsweeper says:

    You left out his climate change speech, ya know.

  13. Fen says:

    Thanks Pinto!

  14. Cobrakai99 says:

    @8. The combat crew badge went away with the coldwar. It meant that you were mission ready and assigned to a “combat” flight crew, bombers and tankers in the nuke mission mostly. If he is trying to claim he is current operator with this he is a fake.

  15. David says:

    Wonder how many furloughed Defense Department folks could be retained if we weren’t giving away millions in F-16s and M-1s to Egypt? That 1% he throws around is still a buncha money we don’t have to spare.

  16. DaveO says:

    #15 David: all of the furloughed will be retained. We’re only talking 1-2 days off per month. At worst, it’s 1 day off per week, so 4 days per month.

    Tempest in a thimble.

  17. NHSparky says:

    Meaning that Navy civilian admin assistant I heard was fuller of shit than a Thanskgiving turkey. If she’s going to have to take a part-time job just to cover her rent, sounds to me like she isn’t exactly frugal with her money.

  18. martinjmpr says:

    I think one of the big misunderstandings about foreign aid is that there seems to be an assumption that “foreign aid” simply means that Uncle Sam writes the nation of Zambonia a check for $20 brazillian and drops it in the mail.

    Some of that happens but what happens much more often – particularly “military aid” – is that a US company, General Dynamics, for example, manufactures a bunch of F16s or other expensive $$, and then Uncle Sam writes GD a check, and then GD sends the planes to Whackistan or wherever, maybe along with a small army of technicians (who are paid by GD with money they got from the US treasury.)

    So Kookistan gets the hardware and the maintenance, gratis, (which keeps their own defense budget down), the US gets the gratitude of the government of that country, and a US company gets a big chunk of taxpayer dollars. Everybody wins except the US taxpayer.

    So “foreign aid” is not so much sending of money overseas, rather it’s a form of what the lefties like to call “corporate welfare” and what anybody else would probably call “Pork Barrel Spending” like building a highway nobody wants because somebody’s brother-in-law owns the local concrete paving company.

  19. martinjmpr says:

    Whoops I hit the “send” button too early.

    Anyway, my point with the above is simply to state that any attempt to “cut foreign aid” will be opposed much more strongly by people right here in the US than it will be by anybody overseas for the simple reason that there are a lot of folks here in the USA who depend on their livelihood for the existence of “foreign aid.”

    As with so many other thorny issues – balancing the budget, cutting spending, raising taxes – after all is said and done, what it all boils down to is the question of “who is going to lose their job as a result of this?”

  20. DaveO says:

    #17 NHSparky: Yep. If she’s so close to the edge that losing 5-20% of her pay per month is a death sentence, she needs a Dave Ramsey intervention.

    By way of perspective:

    $85 billion is 2% of $4.1756 trillion ($3.796 trillion in 2012 ( + 10% growth). If you go with just the deficit ($1.327 trillion in 2012), the cut still isn’t noticeable. (cross-posted over at

    “Does this sound familiar?

    1) There is an important problem that requires Congress and the President to act. (entitlement reform, viable budget, sequestration, fiscal cliff, debt limit hike, etc.)

    2) House Republicans propose and pass a bill with what they consider a good solution to the problem.

    3) President Obama and Senate Democrats realize it is easier to attack the Republican plan than propose their own, so they refuse to propose a real bill.

    4) President Obama delivers several campaign-like speeches filled with strawmen portraying Republicans as unreasonable, uncaring and somehow responsible for a lack of solution.

    5) No permanent solution is achieved.

    It should. This cycle has been repeated on every major issue that has come up since Republicans took over the House in 2011.”