Mr. Obama has now been President for a month, but it seems like a lot longer. However much your staunchest fiscal conservative might have feared an explosive growth of government spending, he would have been accused of fantasy had he suggested that the new administration would propose a fraction of what they have actually passed.
The astonishing graph shown here looks like the sort of preposterous spending accusation ginned up in back rooms by rabid political operatives and partisans for an election-eve attack ad; in fact, it's based directly on data from the professional, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
With our national finances plunging lower than Paris Hilton's morals, it may seem silly to carp at a paltry few hundred million here or there. If the bank is about to foreclose on your house, it's not going to make a whole lot of difference if you swing by the drive through for a Big Mac; similarly, the past thirty years' worth of far-left tax-and-spend frustration has been explosively released from its bottle, and one little item isn't likely the specific straw that broke the camel's back.
But there's wasteful spending, and then there's suicidal spending - not suicidal by amount, but by where it's going. As terrible as Obama's "budget" is fiscally, it is made all the more horrific by the billion dollars which has been allocated to support murderers and terrorists. Reuters reports:
The United States plans to offer more than $900 million to help rebuild Gaza after Israel's invasion and to strengthen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, U.S. officials said on Monday.
Americans are rightly famed as the most generous people on Earth. You name the needy cause worldwide, and there is an American holding out a checkbook to offer succor.
However, like anyone else, Americans do get tired of seeing the same folks come back time after time with their hand out. Such is the case in Gaza. How many times, exactly, have we paid to rebuild that stinking hellhole?
By way of recollection, in 2005 the Israeli government forcibly removed all Jewish settlers from the Gaza area. Like any other modern people, the erstwhile residents had made significant capital improvements for their own comfort, well-being, and economic success. Notable among these was a great many highly productive and sophisticated greenhouses, used to produce millions of dollars worth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers which were exported to customers in Europe.
The idea being that the Palestinians could use some capital plant, American donors stepped up to buy the equipment from its Jewish owners and ensure its orderly transfer into the hands of new Palestinian operators. If the Palestinians are ever to live in peace, it would make sense for them to have jobs and a productive income; this would provide not just jobs, but actual ownership of a productive asset.
Economic sense the plan may have made. Alas, it reckoned without the destructive nature of the Palestinians. NBC reported:
Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.
American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.>
Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.
Not only did the Palestinians provide looters instead of workers; their own police merrily helped destroy the expensive and useful gifts.
This was not a one-time occurrence; in fact, as Palestinian venality goes, it was relatively mild. This episode wasted money, but didn't actually hurt anyone.
Far more typical is the misuse of other humanitarian gifts. You may have seen complaints on the news that poor innocent Gazans must do without water and proper sewerage? That's true, as far as it goes.
What isn't considered worth reporting is exactly why they have no water and sewer pipes: rather than use donated pipe for its intended purpose, the Palestinians use it to manufacture rockets to shoot at Israel.
As all the world knows, the United States has long supported the nation of Israel in its national defense to the tune of billions of dollars every year. It's perfectly legitimate to wonder whether this money is well-spent, or whether the geopolitical costs of this support are appropriate to bear; on the other hand, Israel, alone among Middle Eastern nations, is a free democracy which believes in individual human rights and something akin to traditional American freedoms.
What sort of a country should we stand with - one which believes much the same as we do, or one which chops off the hands of thieves and shrouds its women in thick dark robes, entirely removed from the public space? It's traditional for great powers to give money to support friendly lesser powers; America is no different in this than any other world power across the millennia.
What is new, though, is that America is not sponsoring only one side. Through this so-called "humanitarian" aid to Gaza, which will inevitably be turned into weapons against Israel as always happens, the United States is sponsoring both sides - an idiocy unique in history.
It would be one thing to sell arms to both sides - at least that way we'd be making a buck. But no; your tax dollars are going to fund fighters on both sides of the line, providing the steady supply of gasoline that has kept the Middle East ablaze for a half-century.
At least one person in the Obama administration understands this; Hillary has said that Hamas won't get one penny of our $900 million.
"We have worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands," she said.
The whole world knows how utterly the UN failed to keep Iraq's "oil for food" money out of the hands of Saddam's thugs - the UN bureaucrats were too busy stealing it themselves to worry about a little thing like funding torturers. Fatah is even more corrupt; what makes Hillary think she can keep money away from Hamas when the Hamas people point guns at the people supervising the programs and tell them to hand it over?
Fatah couldn't even keep Hamas from stealing leftover Israeli explosives. 900 million is a lot of dollars to steal. Hamas may not get all of it, but it'll certainly get a lot.
The first rule of proxy wars is: pick a side, or stay out. We can't even accomplish this simple common-sense requirement. Is it any wonder that the war goes on forever, at our expense, while we wring our hands?
There's only one way to end a war: for one side to lose, and lose conclusively. The sooner that happens, the sooner the killing will cease.
By throwing your tax dollars to the residents of Gaza, ruled by the monstrous murderers of Hamas, we are simply allowing them to fight another day, no matter what the safeguards claimed by the infamously corrupt UN agencies in charge of distributing our largess.
Finish the job; end the war in total defeat for the terrorists; and then start the rebuilding. Or does our government have so much of your money to burn that it doesn't matter?