In this post, I am not saying our nation should not borrow money from other countries (although I wish our money situation was not so pathetic that we have to borrow) and I am not saying we should not pledge money to other countries as aid – that is a deeper and more complicated discussion. I am only wondering in this post how we continue to meet our financial commitments. How long will countries lend us money and how long can we afford to give it as aid – both humanitarian and for national security purposes?
Let me give you a few numbers to explain my worry:
In anticipation of next week’s Presidential debate #3 on foreign policy, I am studying many things – including how much do we owe China …that number is $1.15 TRILLION….and how much we owe Japan…that numbers is $1.12 TRILLION. Of course we owe lots more than those two combined numbers because we borrow from more than Japan and China. We borrow from many countries. I post about China and Japan only because they are our largest creditors.
With the state of our economy, and we all agree it is dismal and sluggish, how are we going to continue to handle this growing debt to even just China and Japan?
Meanwhile we have money going out — commitments of aid and assistance around the world!
Our commitments are staggering! It is very important to spend money around the world – both for humanitarian reasons and to buy our friends who may be dangerous to us and the world – but where do we get that money to do that? Our economy is a mess!
I have been going through the numbers for fiscal 2013. We give a lot of money away – even to ‘so called friends.’ One of those so called friends, for instance, is Pakistan and in the fiscal year 2013, we are giving them $1.5 BILLION dollars.
Here are some other amounts for fiscal year 2013 just as point of reference for you to think about:
$2.3 BILLION to Pakistan ($1.5 BILLION plus an additional $800 MILLION called an OCO budget obligation)
$439 MILLION to Uganda
$488 MILLION to South Africa
$1.6 BILLION to Egypt
I could drown you in numbers but the above gives you the picture. This is why next week I think the Foreign Policy debate will have to include a vigorous debate about our domestic economy. Our Foreign Policy – and our national security - is a 90 % economic issue.