Skip to comments.Should American Taxpayers Subsidize Israelís Defense?
Posted on 08/03/2014 12:52:07 PM PDT by Kaslin
I rarely delve into foreign policy and defense issues. And when I do, such as my post about the conflict in Ukraine, its usually because it gives me an opportunity to draw attention to a topic that is in my bailiwick (in the case of Ukraine, it gave me an excuse to write about federalism).
With this caveat in mind, lets turn our attention to the Middle East. Unless youre a hermit living in a remote cave, you presumably know that Israel is locked in another fight with Hamas.
Ive previously explained that Im very sympathetic to the notion that Israel has a right to defend itself.
But supporting Israels right to self defense doesnt mean I should foot the bill. Yet thats whats happening. According to Wikipedia, Washington sends about $3 billion per year to subsidize Israels military.
And now that amount will be even larger because Congress just approved another $225 million to help finance Israels missle-defense system.
Congress approved a $225 million package to replenish Israels missile defenses with its last order of business before a five-week recess The Houses 395-8 vote in favor late Friday followed Senate adoption of the legislation by voice vote earlier in the day. The money is directed toward restocking Israels Iron Dome, which has been credited with shooting down dozens of incoming rockets fired by Palestinian militants over 3½ weeks of war. Iron Dome has enjoyed strong U.S. technological and financial support. Throughout its history, the U.S. has provided more than $700 million to help Israel cover costs for batteries, interceptors, production costs and maintenance, the Congressional Research Service said. The total already appeared set to climb above $1 billion after Senate appropriators doubled the Obama administrations request for Iron Dome funding for fiscal 2015. Now it seems likely to rise even further.
But this doesnt mean everyone is happy about all this spending.
Some libertarian-leaning fiscal conservatives opposed the added subsidies, or at least wanted Congress to come up with offsetting cuts.
Despite almost universal support for Israel in Congress, the Iron Dome money appeared in doubt only a day ago as Senate efforts stalled after an effort by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to find cuts elsewhere in the budget to pay for the aid. Voting against the measure in the House were Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.
For what its worth, I applaud those four House Republicans.
Im motivated in part by a desire to limit the burden of government spending in America, but I also think that Israel easily could afford more military outlays if it pared back its overly generous welfare state.
If you look at the IMF data, government spending consumes about 43.8 percent of Israels economic output. And according to the CIA Factbook, Israels military budget amounts to about 5.7 percent of GDP.
Im not a math genius, but that certainly suggests to me that Israels government is diverting about 38 percent of economic output for non-military spending.
If national defense is important and worthwhile (and it is), then Israel should prioritize and reduce domestic outlays.
Heck, thats what Roosevelt did during World War II and what Truman did during the Korean War. If you dont believe me, look at lines 31-34 of this OMB spreadsheet.
By the way, some people accuse these GOPers of being anti-Israel, but I think that charge is grossly unfair. Im not personally close to any of the Republicans who voted against the Iron Dome funding, but Ive met and talked to all of them and Ive followed their careers. Suffice to say that Ive never heard even the slightest hint that any of them harbor any anti-Israel or anti-Jewish sentiments.
Indeed, heres some of what Justin Amash wrote back in 2012.
Israel is our closest friend in a very troubled region. Our national defense benefits from Israels ability to defend itself and to serve as a check against neighboring authoritarian regimes and extremists. Assisting with training and the development of Israels military capacity allows the U.S. to take a less interventionist role in the region. I am hopeful that American troops soon can leave the region and Israel and its neighbors can live in peace without U.S. aid or involvement.
The last sentence is a pretty good description of libertarian foreign policy: Be prepared to defend ourselves, but dont look for trouble outside our borders.
P.S. The government of Israel pays for people who do nothing but pray. Which means that my tax dollars are picking up part of the tab. Prayer is presumably a good thing. Just dont ask me to pay for it.
P.P.S. While Israels government does dumb things, the governments opposing Israel sometime engage in truly evil acts.
P.P.P.S. If you want to learn more about the libertarian approach to foreign policy, my Cato colleagues are the real experts. I also call your attention to these thoughts fromMark Steyn,George Will, and Steve Chapman.
That’s a dumb question.
We could stop paying a lot of countries. The order above is the order I would prefer we proceed.
How much did we give Egypt?
"We moved our base camp last night and were now positioned literally
within feet of the river. Have been sitting here watching the border
patrol patrolling in their riverboats all night and all morning..."
No. But there are a lot more that should go on that list.
(1 Tim 5:8)Until we take care of our own security [border problems], why should we be concerned with others's problems?
Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
It’s just petty cash compared to the Trillions Obama has Flushed down the toilet
Another way to say that is: Cut off the boys and girls who hate us before we drop the boys and girls who like us.
If the Balloon Head in Chief thinks we need to fund Hamas Spring, we need to give their target a fighting chance.
Obama has America funding and arming and training and protecting Israel’s enemies. This abomination must be corrected and Israel’s enemies (who are also sworn to destroy or subjugate their great Satan USA too) destroyed.
Agree with the article. Israel is a European socialistic state with its economy. She can certainly afford to cut back spending in other areas to bolster Her defense budget
I will support anyone who is fighting our muslim enemies, tax away.
My understanding is that continuing foreign aid to Israel was promised by the US at Camp David to convince them to give up the Sinai peninsula. I don’t there was or is anything particularly “pro-Israel” about it.
With all the strings that were attached, and setting the precedent for voluntarily giving up territory, and having given up so much territory, I don’t think it was a good deal for them. They would have been better off without the aid.
I don’t think you’ve kept up on Japan’s military power. They’re fine without us.
How about stopping the money trail to Hamas?
There are lots of twists and turns to this.
Number one is that the US subcontracts a lot of defense research to Israel. That is, we split our research dollars so that US companies can focus on some things, and Israeli companies can focus on other, complementary things.
Importantly, this avoids the endless efforts of the Democrats to derail, sabotage, undermine, and pork-up defense projects that they don’t want America to have.
This especially applies to missile defense projects, which the Democrats are adamant against. (Their only bizarre rationalization being that missile defenses are “provocative”. Which is just insane.)
It also makes sense to subcontract to Israel to create the Iron Dome system, along with the Arrow system.
Why? Because they have no choice but to have to test these programs against real enemy targets. This is a lot more certain than controlled range tests. They can now say without doubt that they work.
And the Israelis are motivated to continually improve these type programs as well. What isn’t said is that their technology is available to the US on rather short notice, if the US needs that technology in a hurry, in say, eastern Europe.
Next up, is that Israel propagates a lot of technology to other countries as well. Especially India, with aggressive China on one side, and aggressive nuclear Pakistan on the other. While China can effectively lean on the US to not oppose them in many things, they have little influence over Israel.
So, all things considered, $3 billion to Israel is very cost effective, especially when you think of how the USG squanders hundreds of billions of dollars on stupid stuff.
Yep. unequivocally and without hesitation.
We spend a lot of money on things I don’t approve of...like planned parenthood, welfare, and money to the cockroaches in Gaza.
At least the defense of Israel is money well spent.
Cut funds to the Muslim sh*tholes who hate us.
The average American hasnt a CLUE how much of our tax money Obama has sent down Muslim sh*t holes while he plans to slash the military, CUTS MEDICARE and threatens to withhold seniors social security checks!
BILLIONS FOR JIHAD! Obamas 2009 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Pandemic Flu was revised and passed by the full committee. It gives billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to countries and entities that support Sharia law and/or harbor, hide and support those who want to destroy the U.S. and our allies. http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2009/05/1...
Read the summary from David Obeys office that was quietly released last week with nary a word from any media.
$3.6 BILLION, matching the request, to expand and improve capabilities of the Afghan security forces
$400 MILLION, as requested, to build the counterinsurgency capabilities of the Pakistani security forces
AFGHANISTAN: $1.52 BILLION, $86 MILLION above the request WEST BANK AND GAZA: $665 MILLION in bilateral economic, humanitarian, and security assistance for the West Bank and Gaza
JORDAN: $250 million,$250 million above the request, including $100 million for economic and $150 million for security assistance
EGYPT: $360 MILLION, $310 million above the request, including $50 million for economic assistance,$50 million for border security, and $260 million for security assistance
PAKISTAN:$1.9 billion,$591 million above the request
IRAQ:$968 MILLION,$336 million above the request
Oversight: $20 million,$13 million above the request, to expand oversight capacity of the State Department, USAID, and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan to review programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq
International Food Assistance:$500 MILLION,$200 million above the request, for PL 480 international food assistance to alleviate suffering during the global economic crisis
REFUGEE ASSISTANCE:$343 MILLION,$50 million above the request, including humanitarian assistance for Gaza.
Funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency programs in the West Bank and Gaza is limited to $119 million (Note: Gaza = Hamas)
Disaster Assistance: $200 MILLION to avert famines and provide life-saving assistance during natural disasters and for internally displaced people around the world, including Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, the Middle East and South Asia
Peacekeeping:$837 MILLION FOR UNITED NATIONS peacekeeping operations, including an expanded mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a new mission in Chad and the Central African Republic
Department of Justice: $17 million, matching the request, for counter-terrorism activities and to provide training and assistance for the Iraqi criminal justice system
OBAMA GIVES YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO REBUILD MUSLIM MOSQUES AROUND THE WORLD! http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/... #
ACCORDING TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WILL GIVE AWAY NEARLY $6 MILLION OF AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS TO RESTORE 63 HISTORIC AND CULTURAL SITES, INCLUDING ISLAMIC MOSQUES AND MINARETS, IN 55 NATIONS. See the State Department document here. http://exchanges.state.gov/media/pdfs/office-...
And THATS just the tip of the iceberg.
THIS will blow your mind!! http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/ They should have 2010 up, but they dont. Thats where youll find Obamas largesse towards Muslim countries really go off the charts.
http://www.foreignassistance.gov/DataView.aspx charts: http://gbk.eads.usaidallnet.gov/data/fast-facts.html .
Obama Increased Foreign Aid 80%; Spent 76% More on Foreign Aid Than Border Security cnsnews
CNSNews.com) - From fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2011, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government increased spending on foreign aid by 80 percent and, in fiscal 2011, spent 76 percent more on foreign aid than it did securing the borders of the United States.
In fiscal 2008, the government spent a total of $11.427 billion in international assistance programs, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. In fiscal 2011, according to the statement, it spent $20.599 billionan increase of $9.172 billion, or 80 percent, from 2008.
Take the money we give to the corrupt and corrupting UN and give it to Israel!
They are, at least, killing the right people!
BTTT to both your posts
Stop funding the various Islamist nations, groups and their allies first, and that include paying for imports from them.
A dead terrorist is dead, whether killed by an Israeli, or an American, and the world is a better place.
Very well said
We should have never given them any money
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Interesting question. It's Israel's business, but many people aren't thrilled by the aid because of the restrictions placed on Israel. Both in terms of the requirements to buy American rather than Israeli, but also the impact of technology sharing and restrictions on Israeli sales. I can't assess it, but I wouldn't be surprised if the financial impact of giving up aid would accrue to Israel's benefit. Distancing relations wouldn't, though under this administration I'm not sure that's an issue. Administrations change.
Why not? We’re subsidizing the Palestinians.
"IF" Bush Sr, Clinton, W, and especially Obama, had kept our State Department out of Israel's business much of the M.E. mess would have been resolved by Israel years ago. Remember Saddams first attempts at WMD's and who set him back? In a matter of hours Israel resolved the issue. Who was our POTUS then? Look at the explosions in Iran and the problems Iran has had in it's nuke weapons program. That also likely happened thanks to Israel.
Perhaps those who complain should read about this son of Israel who thanks his efforts and even his own private funds provided for the Revolutionary War.
A nation blessed by a son of Israel. I do believe in the principle blessed are those who support Israel. Our government as of late however has taken the opposite stand and we are seeing the results which aren't good at all.
If I were Bibi, I would have wired the money back and told Washington to pound sand up itself a long time ago. The current administration in particular just might be more trouble to them than the money’s worth.
Fedzilla gives tax money to the bloody paleostinian savages.
Only an idiot or ignoramus would have difficulty seeing that investment in Israel is a better idea.
No, we should be paying for every MS13 gang banger from Central America that are doing the crimes that real Americans refuse to commit.
Your love for Hamas is sickening.
Ask why Jews continue to vote 85% democrat in the elections if they don't want us to defend Israel?
It seems to me the Jews are answering the question, NO We do NOT want America to defend Israel.
1. The First Care Emergency Bandage (also known as the Israeli bandage), invented by an Israeli military medic, is used to stop bleeding from hemorrhagic wounds in trauma situations. Credited for saving the life of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a 2011 shooting, the bandage is widely used by military medics and civilian first-responders the world over.
2. A fatal car crash can happen in a split second. Thats why Jerusalem-based Mobileye technology for identifying and alerting to driving hazards is being built into virtually every new vehicle in the world. Mobileye is the largest private high-tech company in Israel and the worlds largest R&D center for artificial vision.
3. SensAheart a product made by the Israeli diagnostic technology company Novamed, can be used at home and in the hospital to detect a heart attack coming on.
4. Tel Avivs Cheetah Medical invented the NICOM non-invasive cardiac output monitor to prevent sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection that causes one in four hospital deaths and is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Using a patented technology, the NICOM monitors hemodynamics the movement of blood from the heart to the bodys organs via four sensors and enables medical professionals to better diagnose and treat the patient.
5. The adjustable, disposable Lubo Airway Collar by Inovytec is a novel airway management and cervical collar device for cases of severe trauma to the neck and spine. It is the first-ever non-invasive device that can open an airway by imitating a jaw-thrust maneuver while protecting the cervical spine en route to the hospital.
6. The Agilite Instant Harness, the worlds smallest Class II rappelling harness, saved the lives of South African miners trapped underground in 2013, The same Israeli company also makes the Injured Personnel Carrier, a novel hands-free device that allows one rescuer to carry an incapacitated person like a human backpack.
7. The Babysense breathing monitor by HiSense alerts parents of respiratory cessation (apnea) in babies. The Israeli breakthrough technology has helped protect more than 600,000 babies from crib death around the world, and has been copied by numerous other manufacturers.
8. XSight Systems award-winning FODetect advanced runway sensors keep runways around the world safe from foreign object debris (FOD), birds and wildlife with a unique hybrid optical-radar remote-sensing technology. Direct damage to aircraft caused by FOD is estimated to cost the aviation industry some $4 billion each year. FOD-related damage caused the supersonic jetliner Concorde to crash in 2000, killing 113 people.
9. Hyginex makes a smart bracelet to be worn by every staff member in a hospital to make sure that all personnel wash their hands after contact with patients. Clean hands can practically eliminate most hospital-borne infections. Nurses, doctors and even candy-stripers know it, but Hyginex enforces it.
10. When the iMayDay iPhone app senses that your car has been in a collision, it sets off an alarm and emails five pre-determined addresses (or generates up to 50 SMS messages) to inform emergency workers and/or loved ones about the accident. It works anywhere in the world.
11. PerSys Medicals Blizzard Survival line of products, including blankets and jackets, leads the market in hypothermia care. The Blizzard Jacket was pivotal last March in the rescue of a mother and son by the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team in Wales. The lifesaving wraps withstand temperatures as low as -4 F/-20 C.
12. Micromedic Technologies specializes in developing and commercializing novel and innovative cancer diagnostic kits enabling early intervention. The companys portfolio spans cancer and cancer-related indications including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, and diagnostic tools for personalized treatment.
13. It started out as a rescue spider in 2005, and today the Israeli-made Skysaver is deployed to help evacuate skyscrapers in emergency situations. The device is worn like a backpack and includes a fire-resistant cord that can rappel rescued people to safety.
14. The NowForce smartphone app uses GPS crowd-sourcing tech to rally first-response teams quickly. NowForce was developed jointly with United Hatzalah, a Jerusalem-based non-profit that trains thousands of neighborhood volunteers to respond to emergencies on foot or ambucycle before ambulances arrive. United Hatzalah teaches its model of community-powered call centers throughout the world.
15. Wearable devices are becoming the rage for doing everything from counting calories to counting reps at the gym. The Oxitone watch is a wearable device that could save your life by measuring blood oxygen levels and alerting to a potential heart attack well before it happens. Its expected on the market within a year.
16. Autotalks maker of the worlds first automotive-grade chipset for series-production for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication aims to keep drivers and passengers safer by allowing cars to exchange data. The technology analyzes data transmitted by the on-board processing units of nearby vehicles and warns drivers of any imminent danger. The Israeli company expects all car manufacturers will integrate its systems by 2015.
17. BiondVax has completed trials of its universal flu vaccine first developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Pending commercial agreements with governments around the world to continue development, the vaccine could be in the market within two years. Influenza can be deadly. Between 1976 and 2006, flu-associated deaths in the United States alone were estimated to be in the thousands, possibly as many as 49,000. The 1918 flu pandemic killed three to five percent of the worlds population at the time.
18. Wherever disaster strikes in the world be it natural or manmade Israel is always among the first to send medical and search-and-rescue teams and supplies, even when it lacks diplomatic relations with the country in crisis.
Governmental and non-governmental agencies (including Israel Flying Aid, IsraAID, Israeli Humanitarian Aid-Latet, Israel Trauma Coalition, ZAKA, Magen David Adom, Tevel BTzedek and many others) have been among those on the scene saving lives after disasters including:
The 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka; Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005; the 2007 earthquake in Peru; the 2008 cyclone in Myanmar; Philippines typhoons in 2009 and 2013; the Haiti earthquake in 2010 ; a 2010 hospital fire in Romania ; the Japan earthquake and tsunami and the Turkish earthquakes in 1999 and 2011 ; and Hurricane Sandy on the US East Coast in 2012.
Israel also set up a field hospital on its border to treat victims of the Syrian civil war, and continues to provide without charge lifesaving treatment of wounded Syrian civilians at its northern hospitals.
Should be “Should US aid the only reliable ally we have in theiddle East - an Island of progress, stability, sanity, and tolerance in a sea of Islamic insanity?”
Phrased correctly - IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!
Yea, hath God said... [Genesis 3:1b (KJV)]
Cut funding to all nonAmerican entities.
I am not sure how saying Israel can afford its own defense (in particular with the new natural gas fields that are about to go online in Israel) equates to loving Hamas. That is quite a reach there my friend
Stop aiding Israel’s current and future enemies. Stop paying subsidizing Hamasistan with foreign aid and paying Hamas salaries with UNRWA. Then we can talk about a fiscally responsible libtarian position on ending aid to Israel, when they are fighting Al Qaeda’s sister organization.
I agree with ohioman.
IBTZ Pail lover!