This won’t be the comprehensive response and analysis that I’m planning: that will have to wait until after I’ve gotten some sleep. Thanks to a horrendous fever that has so rudely kept me up all night, this initial reaction is also much, much later than I was hoping it would be. Oh well, that’s life. But there are a few things that I at least want to touch on as soon as possible, while I’m still in the initial reaction phase.
First off, I’m going to have to check the rules, but does anyone remember any VP debate in the past where – at the same time – each candidate was asked a completely different question? There was at least one specific instance where the moderator, Gwen Ifill, presented one question to Biden, while simultaneously presenting a separate question to Palin. Um, granted, I’m not exacty an expert on debate rules, but I don’t remember seeing a single debate where that has ever happened. Besides being seemingly unfair, it was also extremely confusing.
Thankfully my Tivo was working this time, so I’ll be able to provide video later on about the instance (or instances..) I’m referring to, after I’ve gotten some sleep.
Second, beyond just the strange dual questioning, Ms. Ifill was just plain not very good about allowing for rebuttals. She was unfair in both directions, I felt, as on several instances, one candidate was allowed a rebuttal, while the other was completely snubbed. And this happened to both of them fairly equally, as far as I could tell. Still, not very professional, and it seemed fairly shoddy to me. Again, I’ll provide video later in my full comprehensive analysis.
And lastly, addressing something specific that one of the candidates mentioned: Mr. Biden, you stated that you and Barack Obama wanted to “double” the amount of foreign aid the United States is currently doling out.
Really? Seriously?! This is definitely a specific policy issue that I was completely unaware of, and quite frankly, I’m utterly shocked. I cannot fathom that in the midst of our ridiculous national debt, this insane economic crisis, and all the major issues we need to address right here in our own country, why Obama would even think to double what we’re already sending overseas! Do Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama realize exactly how much we’re already spending on foreign aid? Well, I’ll tell you.
$700 billion dollars. Billion. $7,000,000,000. That’s a LOT of zeros; a LOT of money. OUR money. A significant, huge, massive, behemoth, gargantuan butt-load of taxpayer money.
And they want to double it. Double it.
Now, I could probably understand not reducing the amount of foreign aid – after all, we do a lot of good work with that money. But, um, doubling it? Seriously? With everything that we’re dealing with right now, right here at home, you want to send $1.4 trillion American taxpayer dollars overseas? Let’s put those zeros on it, that’s $1,400,000,000. That’s a LOT of money!!
And where’s that money going to come from? If you don’t want to increase our debt, where are you going to get it? On top of the additional $1 trillion dollars in new spending your ticket is proposing, how are you going to spend another $700 billion – in addition to the $700 billion we’re already spending – on foreign aid, without raising taxes on everybody? Sorry, but even the wealthy 1% you so despise can’t shoulder all of that on their own.
This baffles me. Normally I’m pretty good about understanding where people are coming from with their opinions on policies, even when I disagree. But this? I seriously do not understand this at all. I do not understand why any politician would propose doubling it, I do not understand why anyone would vote to support it. Is it because Obama thinks that we can somehow restore the respect of nations that don’t like us through buying their good will? That would seem rather naive to me – they can’t possibly think that respect can ever be purchased, can they? It doesn’t work on a person-to-person basis, it sure as hell doesn’t work nation-to-nation. I’m sure those nations would take our money with a smile, but you just can’t buy respect. It just doesn’t work that way.
Or do they think this will solve our problems with terrorism? Do they really think that radical Islam has initiated a jihad over money? That would be downright laughable and just plain sad. Seriously.
I really don’t get this. I could understand not lowering it, although I wouldn’t agree with it. But given the mess that we’re in, seriously, why? We need that money here, desperately! $1,400,000,000… wow. I find it so hard to believe that on top of all the new spending their proposing, and now this, that they won’t end up raising everyone’s taxes. I don’t just mean income tax, because there are so many other ways in which your taxes can skyrocket without your income tax ever being touched. It’s just nonsensical to see such elaborate proposals for enormous new spending and not think that the taxpayers won’t feel it. It just makes no sense to me.
Well, that’s my initial reaction. Got a bit longer than I thought, but man, that foreign aid thing… blows my mind. For me, that was the biggest shocker of the night and I hope more people paid attention to it, because that’s a big freaking deal.
Anyway, I’m off to sleep for now. I’ll try to provide a much more comprehensive analysis later on after I’ve gotten some rest. If you have any light to shed on Obama’s whole foreign aid policy, I’d love to hear it.