US foreign aid bill rejects individual rights 

Geopolitical tensions have heightened greatly in the past few years, and the U.S. has been involved in all of the major theaters, doling out conspicuous amounts of aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Now, Congress is considering providing these countries with even more aid in a $95 billion bill that includes assistance for each of them. The legislation passed the Senate last month by a 70-29 vote, and it is held up, waiting to see daylight, in the House.

But we must ask: On which principles is the U.S. government justified in coercively taking money from Americans to fund these foreign conflicts? Certainly none that respect the rights and individuality of its citizens.

Former Rep. Ron Paul once argued that “foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country.” He was right.

U.S. aid must be funded by taxes, bond purchases, or debt monetization — that is, printing more money. Taxes coercively take money from citizens behind the implicit threat of fines, imprisonment, or violence; auctioning off bonds siphons money away from the private, productive sector and increases the national debt and, therefore, the future tax obligations of later generations; and printing more money increases the currency supply, reducing the purchasing power of each dollar.

So with all three methods of funding foreign aid, purchasing power is taken at least in part from the poor of today or of the future, and the aid goes to the elites of other foreign countries who then decide what to do with it.

This ought to be deeply uncomfortable to us as Americans, as our founding documents clearly enshrine our rights to our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Taking money away from U.S. citizens violates such rights and reduces prosperity by weighing on the economy.

Thus far, the U.S. government has already provided Ukraine with $75 billion worth of military equipment and cash since Russia’s invasion, and the bill under current consideration would add another $60 billion to the total.

First, we should ask: Does Ukraine need U.S. aid to continue to fight this war, as opposed to going to the negotiation table? The answer is likely yes. So then, what case can the government make for sending such aid? The reality is that politicians have not come close to providing any compelling justification for the theft of American dollars for Ukraine.

Even if the aid passes, this war is likely to end at the negotiation table, not with an outright Ukrainian victory. Furthermore, Ukraine does not serve a vital strategic interest to the U.S., and it is certainly no bastion of liberal democracy, despite the attempts of politicians and the media to whitewash the country’s record of corruption and abuse. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a reprehensible figure who illegally invaded a sovereign nation, but the American citizenry has no dog in the fight.

It is even easier to oppose the extra $14 billion in aid being considered for Israel simply based on fiscal grounds, as Israel is a rich country with an incredibly sophisticated and technologically advanced military apparatus. Unlike Ukraine, Israel does not need U.S. aid in order to fight its war. Additionally, Israel’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is just 60% compared to 123% for the U.S. Given the economic reality, there is no reason the American taxpayer should be on the hook for funding the conflict in the Middle East.

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Taiwan, which too is set to receive aid if the bill under consideration is passed, is also a very wealthy and prosperous country, boasting a large economy and a debt-to-GDP ratio of less than 30%. While China has adopted an increasingly aggressive posture toward Taiwan, the two are not at war, and Taiwan, as opposed to American taxpayers, could easily cover the $2 billion in aid it would be eligible to receive under this bill.

Americans who want to see their dollars go toward these foreign conflicts can donate their money in any way they see fit, including to foreign governments. But Congress ought to strike down this aid legislation and refrain from unnecessarily coercing billions from American taxpayers. Instead, the U.S. government should be doing all it can to promote peace and stabilize relations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Benjamin Ayanian is a contributor and human respect fellow for Young Voices, a PR firm and talent agency for young, pro-liberty commentators. Follow him on X @BenjaminAyanian.

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