I have an idea how we as a nation can better cope with the financial burden that nature has imposed upon us in this post-hurricane environment of devastation on the East Coast: Assess and then cancel various programs that U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Trade & Development Agency currently are carrying out or are planning to implement across the globe.
For the sake of full disclosure, I say this not only as a concerned taxpayer who continues to advocate streamlining (not the elimination) of foreign aid, but as a human being who lives one mile from the beach on the battered New Jersey coast -- someone who is doing significantly better than many of his Shore neighbors, but who is temporarily displaced nonetheless.
Before I continue, also keep in mind that this is less political -- insofar as partisan politics -- than it appears. Yes, the Obama Administration currently is executing the following initiatives. But as I've said before, it's a power thing, not an Obama thing. Such endeavors took place under Clinton and Bush, and in various forms will continue under future presidents.
Here we go:
Cancel the planned development of Ph.D. and masters degree programs for which USAID intends to fund in a Ugandan university. Use that money in schools across New Jersey, New York, or Connecticut.
Cancel the nearly $1 billion in construction projects that USAID has planned for the Palestinians. Use it to rebuild homes, businesses, and infrastucture destroyed during the hurricane. OUR hurricane.
Those business start-up projects in The Philippines? Cancel them. Most of the businesses in my area are closed, hopefully just temporarily. many, presumbaly, will go under. Tell the Filipinos they have to wait.
The groundwater cleanup projects in for which USTDA paid the cost of U.S. industry reps to fly to China to boost that sector? Stop such subsidies, damnit. I'm guessing the groundwater between Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant (among other locations) could use some ameliorating.
The list is seemningly endless. There are bigger and even more controversial projects, I am sure, the billions is no so-called "drug war" contracts among one of the more insane categories.
Oh, okay, just one more example (out of many). I know it amounts to peanuts, but the $322,000 that Department of State just spent on a 10-animal dog kennel in Iraq could have been used to rebuild damaged animal -- and human -- shelters here on the East Coast instead. Just sayin.' -- Steve Peacock