Taxpayers’ Money at Work

Staying on the subject of Donald Trump’s tweets, these don’t upset me too much either:

Yes, I know that diplomacy is about not stating the bleedin’ obvious, but if everyone else in a position of power is going to go along with the charade then someone has to say it. That person might as well be Trump.

And this is pure trolling:

It’s going to be hard to go back to listening to an ordinary politician after his time in office is up.

Share

18 thoughts on “Taxpayers’ Money at Work

  1. Trump isn’t a diplomatic and needn’t do diplomacy, he is a politician and should and does do politics.

  2. It’s going to be hard to go back to listening to an ordinary politician after his time in office is up.

    This. Though, maybe Trump’s antics will spur some more outspoken characters into politics.

  3. I would love to see him say “No money to Pakistan until they stop persecuting Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. If Asia Bibi is not released ASAP, we put sanctions on them”.
    He could save an innocent woman’s life and upset the left at the same time.

  4. One of my chief sources of joy for the last year has been to have been openly enthusiastic about President Trump. He is the bumper bottle of fig syrup in the constipated body politic of the west.

  5. It’s not quite as simple as all that — the USA doesn’t give all this money out of the goodness of its heart, it does it at least in part because without it these places would collapse into anarchy, and if a Pakistan which has to at least pretend to be interested in helping fight terrorism while allowing the jihadis to hide out in its border regions is bad, a totally lawless Pakistan where the jihadis could move absolutely freely would be a thousand times worse.

    A bit like how Beijing doesn’t prop up North Korea because it loves the Kim dynasty, but for eminently practical reasons like avoid an influx of malnourished refugees and maintaining a buffer state between its own borders and a US ally.

    So, while it is worth pointing these things out from time to time, it’s not like he can just turn off the tap like that without bad consequences for the USA in the medium to long term.

  6. It’s not quite as simple as all that

    That’s true insofar as Pakistan goes, but IMO it does no harm to remind the people there that they are given vast quantities of cash by people they hate. Regarding the Palestinians, that’s a little different: the money is given as a reward for them engaging in a peace process. Why the US taxpayer is forced to continue paying for a Hamas government in Gaza I don’t know.

  7. the USA doesn’t give all this money out of the goodness of its heart

    Rather, out of the sheer stupidity/corruption of its politicians.

  8. “It’s not quite as simple as all that”

    Absolutely right, plus the relatively small value of US Aid to Pakistan (was reduced to $100m earlier in the year) has always been criticized for falling into the wrong hands and in this case their military generals and their mafia overlords and doing SFA for the Pakistanis. The US are infamous for not getting a real return on investment of this kind, unlike say the British in their days of empire where the colonies performance were always measured by their ROI. I have never quite figured that one out about the US that and their inability to win wars remain a mystery.

    Then there is the huge and growing Pakistan Chinese relationship and funding at now near $100b and instead of them giving it to the generals, the Chinese build economic stimulating infrastructure, big time, yes they do send their nationals to do it and there are some strings attached but when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of the locals then the Chinese are definitely better at it than say the yank drone squads are. Chinese direct investment in the new port of Gwadar alone pales any US aid or withdrawal of aid amounts in significance.

    I don’t suppose that Pakistanis nervous neighbor and US ally India are that happy and are cheering on the Trumps tweets on this matter either.

    There always is two sides to a story. Even if you don’t like the other side you would be a fool to ignore it.

  9. The collapse into anarchy argument doesn’t wash. These places are spending loads on arms and offensive capabilities and even space rockets. The US money, and our money as well, goes to schools, healthcare and infrastructure. All those things could be funded if those Trump is calling out cared about their people rather than themselves.

  10. Out of curiosity I just looked up the actual spend of US Aid on Pakistan.

    It was $0.8b for 2016 and is forecast to come in at $0.5b for 2017 so its definitely on a downtrend from its peak of $2.9b in 2010. It is the second highest recipient of US Aid in the region, miles behind the highest which is Afghanistan at $5.1b for 2016. The biggest spending undertaken which came in at about 50% of the their Pakistani budget was in the local “Conflict, Peace and Security” sector.

  11. Donald Trump comes across as a bombastic blowhard, but he’s upsetting all of the right people and what he does tends to make me snigger, so definitely an improvement on the previous occupant of the Whitehouse.

    Also…still not Hillary.

  12. Maybe China will pick up the slack if the US cuts aid to Pakistan? After all $US33 billion over 15 years is probably nothing to China, the world’s largest economy (according to the PPP model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)).

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/message-to-pakistan_b_863518.html

    Then again maybe not, seems the Chinese put a lot more thought into who they give aid to and how much.

    There’s always Russia? It’s nearby. Putin hates the USA. Of course with the price of oil still down Russia’s broke.

  13. “Maybe China will pick up the slack if the US cuts aid to Pakistan?”

    They already have by a country mile, plus if the US drops down to $100m then its at an all time low and pre-war on terror levels anyhow, a kind of normal funding level. The tweets aren’t exactly breaking news as these reduced US numbers and holding off on other payments were signaled by them early in 16. How low could the Washington – Islamabad relationship go? much lower, they could go for zero aid, start sanctions and revoke their major non-NATO ally status. So there is still plenty on the table right now to stop anyone from doing anything silly.

    Delhi will be watching developments closely though.

  14. Maybe China will pick up the slack if the US cuts aid to Pakistan?

    Oh, I hope so and Bardon’s response is music to my ears, barring the fact that the US still gives way too much, i.e. more than $1. Personally, I think China’s increased involvement in places like Pakistan and the whole African continent is excellent news, and they should be encouraged as much as possible. Let someone else carry these places for a while.

  15. Then there is the huge and growing Pakistan Chinese relationship and funding at now near $100b and instead of them giving it to the generals, the Chinese build economic stimulating infrastructure, big time, yes they do send their nationals to do it and there are some strings attached but when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of the locals then the Chinese are definitely better at it than say the yank drone squads are.

    More please, and faster. I look forward to the subsequent reduction in Western aid to Pakistan as a result of them finding a new sugar daddy.

  16. “More please, and faster.”

    Never fear, its baked in, this huge long term Chinese investment in Pakistan has been compared to the Marshal Plan so it’s no wonder that India are worried about it.

  17. it’s no wonder that India are worried about it.

    That ranks somewhere on my list of concerns below a possible shortage of carbon paper.

Comments are closed.