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Foreign Aid: Borrowing From Peter to Pay Peter

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Apr 12, 2008
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real world
According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, in fiscal year 2010 the United States' top creditor nations received millions of dollars in foreign aid from the U.S. government. China, the number-one creditor, holding $1.1 trillion in Treasury bonds, got $27.2 million in U.S. aid. Brazil held $193.5 billion in Treasury bonds and got $25 million in aid. Russia, with $127.8 billion in bonds, received $71.5 million in aid; and India, with $39.8 billion in bonds, received $126.6 million in aid. Other creditors receiving foreign aid: Taiwan ($575,000 in aid), Singapore ($500,000), Thailand ($16.7 million), Ireland ($17 million), Mexico ($316.8 million), Turkey ($8.1 million), Poland ($2.1 million), the Philippines ($128.1 million), Colombia ($461.1 million), Chile ($1.3 million), Egypt ($255.7 million), and Malaysia ($2.2 million).

The report, requested by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), did not include aid provided through the Foreign Military Financing account. Including such military assistance would significantly increase the total aid for several countries on the report. Colombia, for example, received $55 million in military aid in 2010, Mexico received $265.2 million, and Egypt received a whopping $1.3 billion. Why Coburn chose to exclude military aid from the report is unclear, but it would certainly be embarrassing for the U.S. government to have Americans find out that it is borrowing from repressive regimes only to turn around and provide them with weapons and training to continue oppressing their citizens.


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