When most people think of "foreign aid," they think of relief for the starving masses of Biafra. There are two problems with this picture.
First, most "foreign aid" which comes out of your paycheck and is controlled by bureaucrats in Washington D.C. never leaves the hands of bureaucrats and sees the starving children.
Foreign aid fails in part because of pervasive corruption. A 2003 report from a leading Bangladesh university estimated that 75 percent of all foreign aid received in that country is lost to corruption. Northwestern University political economist Jeffrey Winters estimated that more than 50 percent of World Bank aid is lost to corruption in some African countries. President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria announced in 2002 that African leaders “have stolen at least $140 billion from their people in the decades since independence.”
An African Union study pegged the takings at a much higher rate, estimating Africa’s toll from corruption at $150 billion every year. Lavish automobiles are so popular among African government officials that a word has come into use in Swahili – wabenzi – for “men of the Mercedes-Benz.” Investment guru Jim Rogers, who recently drove around the globe, declared,
If you had your choice between making a charitable contribution to a starving victim of a Marxist dictatorship, or giving your money to a Marxist dictator, would you have to think very long before making your decision? The federal government gives your tax dollars to oppressive governments -- "government-to-government aid" -- money which too often never sees the hand of the starving and oppressed.
The world would be a better place if you contributed your money to Christian and humanitarian relief organizations which are streamlined, efficient, make use of volunteers who are motivated from the heart to serve and minister to others, and work directly with those who are in need, rather than giving your money to bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., who keep some of your money and give the rest to foreign governments who promise to be "pro-American" -- and break those promises immediately after they redecorate their palaces with your money.
But Second, this is not always an accident, or a problem of "inefficiency."
The greatest scandal of U.S. "foreign aid" is the fact that the right hand of Washington D.C. does not always know what the left-hand is doing, and vice versa. The right hand of government is propping up right-wing dictatorships around the world, while the left-hand is using your tax dollars to promote communism and Marxism.
See our Iraq page for the evidence nobody denies that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein with money that came out of your paycheck.
Probably the greatest scandal of the 20th century -- which nobody denies because nobody talks about it -- is the fact that fascism and communism are "Made in the U.S.A." For fascism's American roots, see our Fascism page. The story of the U.S. role in birthing and raising soviet communism is told in the following books: