President Trump was elected in large part on his promise to get better “deals” for American taxpayers, to review costly international agreements and determine what is best for the nation.
He has raised the idea of cutting foreign aid where it does little or no good, reducing the burden on American taxpayers.
After all, the U.S. in 2015 handed over more than $8 billion to 47 sub-Saharan countries, and USAID runs 27 regional and bilateral missions in Africa. Over the decades, since President John F. Kennedy pledged to help “peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery,” the aid to the continent has been massive, in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
This is at a time when an estimated one-fourth of the continent’s annual productivity is lost to corruption.
Al Mariam, a professor of political science at Cal State-San Bernardino, made a case earlier this year for cutting aid to Africa.
“Political correctness aside, the best way America can help Africa is by letting Africa help itself, and by making sure the culture of panhandling on the continent is permanently ended.”
“The Trump administration should provide aid to African regimes only if they meet stringent conditions of accountability and transparency,” he said.
The concept of letting Africa be responsible its own affairs now has earned the ringing endorsement of an unexpected source: the head of an African nation.
“We do not want to remain the beggars of the world, we do not want to be dependent on charity,” Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, said recently, according to Reuters.
The president, who was elected not quite a year ago, said during a visit to London that foreign aid is both unsustainable and harmful.
“We can and we should be able to build a Ghana with use of her own resources and their proper management as a way to engineer social and economic growth in our country,” he said.
His nation exports gold and oil and is one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa.
He called for an end to corruption and closer trade ties with his neighbors and it set out a vision.
“We are painfully aware we are nowhere near where we should be,” he said in speech. “After 60 years, it is obvious that the aid bus will not take Africa where it has to be.”
Herman Chinery-Hesse, a Ghanaian entrepreneur often called the Bill Gates of Ghana, said: “We have to stop the aid, it messes up our economy, it messes up our markets.
“We do not want to be pitied,” he said, according to Reuters. “We do not want to be pawns or victims.”
The globalist group Council on Foreign Relations reports that in 2015, the U.S. spent $49 billion on foreign aid, about 1.3 percent of the federal budget.
The organization said: “Aid funding levels are at their highest since the period immediately following World War II, when the United States invested heavily in rebuilding European economies. In the 1990s, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, aid levels were cut to barely half of what they are today, falling to less than $20 billion in 1997, or 0.8 percent of the overall budget. Aid rose again in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, surpassing 1.4 percent of the budget by 2007, which analysts say was driven largely by assistant to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as President George W. Bush’s global health programs.”
More than 200 nations get help from the U.S., with the top five being Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, the report said.
The U.S. “by far” is the largest single source of foreign aid around the globe, outspending the next, the United Kingdom, by more than $10 billion a year.
“Nobel laureate Sir Angus Deaton argues that aid gives a lifeline to corrupt governments, insulating them from the political pressures that would create a better functioning state,” the CFR report continued. “Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo writes that more than $1 trillion in aid has flowed to Africa in past decades, but real per capital income on the continent has not improved since the 1970s.”
Just weeks ago, MSNBC reported Trump wanted to cut foreign aid by about 40 percent, consistent with his “America first” agenda.
In a stark illustration of how Trump is fighting not only his political enemies but those in his own party to pursue his agenda, lawmakers subsequently passed a spending bill rejecting his call for a cut in foreign aid and adding $11 billion above his request.
Democrats proposed most of the changes, but members of both parties supported them.