American Taxpayers Should Demand More From Foreign Assistance Recipients

If we can America should come to the support of friendly nations with humanitarian assistance such as in Venezuela. That is what good neighbors do when someone is in need. However, there are food crises in the United States too. For example in Virginia, a state with a population of over 8 million people, there is no reason whatsoever for approximately 900,000 to be struggling with hunger. Of this number, 250,000 are children.

U.S. taxpayers recently sent to South America $20 million in humanitarian assistance without seemingly blinking an eye. That is a lot of food and medicine and American taxpayers paid for it. That money could’ve been put to good use right here in Virginia to do things such as expand rural broadband access to improve economic security for communities hardest hit by the economic downturn. There are other economic development projects that could use a reinfusion of U.S. taxpayer monies.

A lot more Congressional oversight needed of U.S. foreign assistance programs. To learn more about where some of your tax money is sent, visit this U.S. government website, ForeignAssitance.Gov.

America is investing in liberty in Venezuela, not socialism lite. Or at least we should be. The transition leaders have a murky political past closely aligned with the international socialist movement and they have failed to state what they plan to do when, and if, they regain control of their homeland. America should not be seeking accommodation with Russia, China, or Cuba in Venezuela either. Americans are providing foreign assistance to a neighbor in need; however, the Venezuela transition leaders should also do their part and promise to advance liberty.

U.S. policymakers should focus only on advancing U.S. national and security interests when handing out our hard-earned tax money. They should demand more from aid recipients. A stable Venezuela is in the U.S. national and security interest. A peaceful Andean region will help stem the flow of illegal drugs to the United States, for example. If they succeed the Venezuelan opposition could turn out to be a strong partner in Latin America that will serve as a check on Russia and China.

The same arguments used by some U.S. policymakers to send humanitarian assistance to Venezuela can be made for many other nations in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and even Asia. If the Venezuela opposition, including its leader Juan Guaido, is unable or unwilling to help America advance liberty in the Americas by embracing a liberty agenda – an issue that is in the US national interest – we should keep our tax dollars at home where that money could be put to better use right here in Virginia or other states.

For decades, U.S. taxpayers spend billions of dollars to rebuild other nations. From the Marshall Plan after World War II to less ambitious programs used today, but no less effective in most cases, American taxpayers pay good money to solve complex problems in other nations. Here in Virginia politicians from both political parties have debated for decades how to deal with economic development in the rural parts of the state. As is the case with foreign assistance work, there is no one size fits all approach to helping all parts of the state prosper. There will need to be compromising and placing aside political purity tests. The key ingridient in all cases is the political will to make it so.

The United States gives away every year a lot of your hard-earned tax dollars to foreign nations. There seems to be a lot of political will to send our money overseas. Some of that money is put to good use, but a lot of it wasted. The Trump administration has started to take a closer look at how U.S. foreign assistance money is spent and is also demanding equal treatment from trade partners. It is a good first step. Now the Congress should do its part as well and start by taking a closer look at how our money is, or is not, advancing U.S. interests around the world.