Realism as Policy

America has a long history of swinging back and forth between protectionist and more involved stances in the global community.  I imagine it would take a fair amount of work to come up with a comprehensive list of all the money that the United States currently (or in the last eight years) gives to various governments, groups and agencies in the international community.  As an average citizen, the net upshot of such massive government spending on overseas initiatives gives the impression that if we don’t do it, nobody will.

The reality is that there are other people out there, other nations even, who are willing and able to step up to the plate if they wish to see something happen internationally.  We don’t have to do it all on our own.  As proof of this, in light of Trump’s order to cut off Federal funding to any group that provides abortions or information on abortions the Dutch are stepping up to create an alternative fund for such operations.

Trump did not innovate this stop to funding for such organizations – it’s a conservative policy that routinely gets reinstated during conservative administrations and rescinded during liberal ones.  Considering the source of division that abortion is here in our own country, it strikes me as even more offensive that we are sponsoring it abroad through tax dollars.

I think that a critical examination of how our tax dollars are given away to other governments and international agencies and organizations is well-warranted.  Doubtless there are some programs that are necessary or even good to fund, but I also trust that there are plenty of others that really need to be scrapped as we seek to deal with issues here at home.  I’m not a hard-line isolationist, but if we’re truly facing the massive issues we are told we are in terms of infrastructure and health care, then we need to deal with these first before we spend our tax dollars elsewhere.

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