Even in times of austerity, some spending is inviolable

From the New York Times article “Foreign Aid Set to Take a Hit in U.S. Budget Crisis“:

The House appropriations subcommittee, controlled by Republicans, proposed cutting the administration’s request by $12 billion, or 20 percent, to $47 billion, with $39 billion for operations and aid and $7.6 billion for the contingency account for Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan . . .

The Republicans also attach conditions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and the Palestinians, suspending the latter entirely if the Palestinians succeed in winning recognition of statehood at the United Nations. However, one of the largest portions of foreign aid — more than $3 billion for Israel — is left untouched in both the House and Senate versions, showing that, even in times of austerity, some spending is inviolable.

About Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter is a contributor to Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Arabist.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 20 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Ellen says:

    “However, one of the largest portions of foreign aid — more than $3 billion for Israel — is left untouched in both the House and Senate versions, showing that, even in times of austerity, some spending is inviolable”. …

    Yet the article does not explain why aid to Israel is “inviolable.”

    • crone says:

      Perhaps you could explain to this dense old woman who doesn’t understand why social security and medicare are threatened, why teachers have been laid off, along with firemen and highway patrolmen – all across America… while, Israel – which can well afford to pay its own way… gets $3bn. Do you know how many teachers we could rehire, how many seniors barely live on the little social security they now get (while Congressmen, with their pockets bulging from the largess of the Israel Lobby, are only too happy to continue paying. It’s similar to a protection racket, imho.

      Please, explain to me why another country needs our tax dollars more than we in the USA do.

      • Real Jew says:

        All good questions my friend. Let’s see if u get a response. 3 billion is just the tip of the iceberg. That doesn’t include the military gifts we constantly give to our “most important ally in the world” (according to abe foxman).

  2. Whizdom says:

    it is a moral choice. Clean water and schools for Africans, or bunker buster GBU-28′s for Israel.

    We are known by our actions

  3. seafoid says:

    Presumably Congress has been told there’ll be another 9/11 in the event of noncompliance. With nukes or something.

    And there is no money to support small business.

  4. That the authors felt no need to explain is a testimony to the grip the israeli lobby has on the American legislature; any senator, congressman or congresswoman would fear for their job if they even discussed cutting aid to israel as a possibility.

    • Looks like I read it differently than others.

      I took the lack of explanation for the “inviolable” spending as reflecting the fact that the reasons are so well-known for that inviolability that no explanation was necessary.

  5. seafoid says:

    in times of austerity – the phrase always brings me back to this song .
    link to youtube.com

    I was a miner
    I was a docker
    I was a railway man
    Between the wars
    I raised a family
    In times of austerity
    With sweat at the foundry
    Between the wars

    I paid the union and as times got harder
    I looked to the government to help the working man
    And they brought prosperity down at the armoury
    “We’re arming for peace me boys”
    Between the wars

    I kept the faith and I kept voting
    Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we knew
    Between the wars

    Call up the craftsmen
    Bring me the draughtsmen
    Build me a path from cradle to grave
    And I’ll give my consent
    To any government
    That does not deny a man a living wage

    Go find the young men never to fight again
    Bring up the banners from the days gone by
    Sweet moderation
    Heart of this nation
    Desert us not, we are
    Between the wars

    and when he sings

    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man

    he sings about the difference between Zionism and decency

  6. gingershot says:

    Our foreign aid to Israel is more like an organized crime kickback.

    The Israeli Lobby has an ironclad grip on American political campagins these days and every candidate is visited by AIPAC and asked one simple litmus test question … ‘Will you or will you not vote to continue the billions in year to Israel?’

    It is financial intimidation and AIPAC makes it very clear that they will launch an all out support of one’s political challenger is the answer is not in the affirmative

    The Israeli Lobby selects out Congressional candidates that will vote Pro-Israel and then uses these individuals to vote all things Pro-Israeli. This is a rigging and corrupting of our political system

    It is an organized crime scheme

    • lysias says:

      The intimidation only works because our politicians are so attached to their jobs. They regard keeping those jobs as infinitely more important than keeping their self-respect.

      There’s something wrong with the whole system of electing our leaders. The ancient Greeks regarded election as an aristocratic system of rule, whereas the democratic way of choosing leaders was by lot, randomly, from among the body of adult male citizens. In Athens, only the highest executive office — the 10 generals — and certain financial offices were filled by election. For all other offices, including the upper house of the legislature, the boule, or Council, the members were chosen by lot. (The lower house was the Assembly, the ekklesia, which all adult male citizens could attend and vote in.)

      • yourstruly says:

        yes, representation by lottery

        provided there’s a mechanism for instant recall

        • lysias says:

          In something like a legislature, why is there any need for recall? Any nuts will be counterbalanced by all the other legislators.

          Remember, choice of legislators by lot means that every segment of the population is represented proportionately to its representation in the general population.

        • yourstruly says:

          \lysias, you’re right, no need for recall mechanism

    • john h says:

      And in the event that doesn’t work, there are always those evangelical nuts at Congress’s heels with their fear-mongering intimidation tactics:

      if we don’t “bless Israel”, we will be under God’s curse.

    • thetumta says:

      Yes, a long running RICO conspiracy. Ask the FBI. Sad to say the national democrats are it’s longest victims and then us. Now it seems the republicans are on board, except one? Seems like we’re going to have to hit bottom first and then see if there is anything salvageable. It’s going to get ugly. Oh well.

  7. iamuglow says:

    Exactly. exactly.

  8. Taxi says:

    I strongly encourage all American zionists to really shove israel down the throats of American voters. Please I beg them to place israel above the millions of starving American children (1 in 4 children in America go to bed hungry).

    The more Americans start seeing how israel is more IMPORTANT than their dying neighborhoods, the better. For the approaching backlash.

    • RoHa says:

      Now there is an idea for a series of posters. Make them simple.

      “1 in 4 children in America go to bed hungry.
      America sends $3bn to Israel every year.”

      “n,000 teachers have been laid off for lack of funds.
      Israel gets $3bn of your taxes every year.”

      “n,000 firefighters have been laid off for lack of funds.
      $3bn of your tax money goes to Israel every year.”

      And so on.

      Try it.

      • iamuglow says:

        “We’re so far in debt that we’re never going to get out of it unless we look to each other around this table and say, ‘It’s time to sacrifice,’ ” Sen. Lindsey Graham

        “There are people in my party, in the Senate, who are talking about eliminating aid to the state of Israel—over my dead body!”
        Sen. Lindsey Graham


        link to politico.com

        link to dailypaul.com