Twitter is awash today with conservatives railing against the huge outlays on foreign aid found in the funding bill bundled with the pandemic “relief” bill.
Some of the hashtags are kind of fun, like #VetoThePorkulus.
But, it’s hard to tell if conservatives and other US taxpayers realize how foreign aid works as corporate welfare, mostly benefitting weapons and “security” manufacturers. Some in Congress clearly get this and don’t go along to get along. From last year but just as applicable today:
Let’s say Israel, one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, gets $500 million in “aid” this time around. Here’s how that vast sum breaks down in the bill the president is expected to sign:
The bottom line is that Israel and many other countries are told they can order weapon systems and the US taxpayer will pick up the tab. A jobs program for the US, no? Well, no, not if the weapons systems are actually manufactured in Israel. But that’s a special feature of our special relationship with Israel. Not the case in “aid” to Sudan, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan and the others.
To tweet that #CongressIsBroken in response to business as usual begs the question, Did you not think it was broken before?
Because none of this is new. Or maybe people are still clinging to the notion that the job of Congress is to represent the people. This may be true on paper but the facts are completely different in 2020.
Congress represents its corporate campaign donors, the fat cats who will enrich them in a multitude of ways if they remain loyal servants.
Corporate media work overtime to make sure that this fealty to wealth seems inevitable. It’s not, but it is extremely profitable for media. Big ad buys translate to vast amounts of “earned” media that favors the wealthy candidate over the ordinary citizen seeking to represent the people by serving in Congress.
Many corrupt systems that seemed inevitable came crashing down because they weren’t sustainable. Our current system is not sustainable in the face of a public heath crisis and climate emergency bearing down on us all.