U.S. Needs To Increase Aid Significantly For Pakistan To Help W/ Flooding Disaster!

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by JimofPennsylvan, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    The country of Pakistan has been devastated by monsoon rains, what is equivalent to going on there is if ten percent of America’s cities and towns were hit by a hurricane as destructive as Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans. America must do significantly more than currently planned to help Pakistan deal with and recover from this catastrophic natural disaster. The stakes are really huge for America here, ultimately the consequences of these monsoons could be the rise of a Taliban or Islamic theocracy government in Pakistan and the Taliban prevailing in Afghanistan. Many public commentators heavily criticize the current Pakistan government but the truth of the matter is that America is very fortunate to have this government in power in Pakistan. This is a secular as opposed to a theocratic government which is the only type of government that offers a good and stable future for a country, theocratic governments inevitably suppress portions of their people and significantly deny human rights which eventually results in violent rebellion which ain’t good for a nuclear armed country like Pakistan and Pakistan faces a big danger of being a theocratic government because it is a poor country and Islamic fundamentalism pervades it. Further, the present Pakistan government is a good partner with America and other countries in the war against Islamic terrorism despite what the critics say. The Pakistan government’s campaign against the Taliban in the Swat Valley during the past two years was phenomenal – a valuable victory for good. The Pakistan government likewise is doing an excellent job in taking on the Taliban in the south west part of the country. Much criticism has been leveled against the Pakistan government for not taking on the Taliban in the Northwest part of the country (the Haqqani Taliban), but the Pakistani Army doesn’t have the resources for such a war considering the India border and the war in the southwest commitments. Critics have been having a field day saying that the Pakistan government is not taking on the Haqqani Taliban because when the U.S. leaves Afghanistan there will be a political power vacuum in Afghanistan which will likely result in the Taliban’s (including the Haqqani’s) return to power in Afghanistan and the Pakistan government wants to have a friendly relationship with this government. This is bunk because the Pakistan government is smart enough to see if the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan they will strengthen the Taliban movement in Pakistan and it will only be a matter of time before they install a Taliban/Islamic theocracy government in Pakistan; certainly the long-term goal of the Pakistan government is to see the “total and complete” demise of the Taliban movement in Pakistan and Afghanistan because this movement is a threat to them. Correspondingly, America should make an outstanding effort to support the current government in Pakistan which means America should make an outstanding effort to see Pakistan recover from these monsoons because otherwise the disillusionment, hardship and frustration of ordinary Pakistanis from the monsoons could move them to turn to an Islamic theocracy/Taliban-like government in Pakistan for relief!

    The American government should commit an additional $300 to $400 million dollars to help Pakistan recover from these monsoons. If America figures that it will spend approximately $83 billion to finance the approximately 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan from now through June of 2011, it is peanuts to spend this amount making a real and vital difference supporting the current Pakistan government so it doesn’t collapse and provide an opening for the Taliban to significantly increase in strength and make the U.S. military’s job much tougher in Afghanistan, it really is a no brainer decision! These monsoons have wiped out large swaths of Pakistan’s economy which means no or reduced income for many Pakistanis which means they won’t have the money to buy food so in part what Pakistan needs from the world community is help with this “food” problem for the next two years, the time period Pakistan President Mr. Zardari estimates his country needs to recover which is reasonable. A population going hungry can sow discontentment with a government in a big way and quickly, America’s current government quite prudently recognized this connection when last year it significant increased the food stamp subsidy for low income American families in response to the Great Recession. A couple hundred million dollars from the U.S. to help Pakistan feed its people could make a big difference.

    The following idea is offered with some big caveats meaning that if the caveats aren’t satisfied the idea should be completely scrapped. America’s crop yields look very good for this year; indications seem to be God has blessed America greatly in this area this year! Why doesn’t the U.S. government create a program for Pakistani food relief facilitating U.S. farmers selling a small portion of their crops to this program for the farmer’s costs this way these Pakistani aid dollars could really be stretched for maximum benefit. Farmers like most American businesses have a social conscious and one would have to believe they would help the Pakistani people here if given the opportunity. The caveats here are this is only a good idea if there is not high overhead for this program. I am not knowledgeable how crops from an individual farmer get to the point where they become cargo on a cargo ship going to a foreign country but I would think that there must be big wholesale-like distributors that directly or indirectly buy from local farmers and sell it to big end users like governments. So, and this is another caveat, the program would need these distributors and any middlemen to agree to handle these “program participating” local farmers crop sales and pass on the low purchase price to the U.S. government and when these distributors and middlemen add their overhead cost it needs to be at their costs or at a modest profit. Members of Congress need to insist that if the U.S. commodity industry doesn’t give the U.S. government a great deal here like proposed the food monies will be given directly to the Pakistani government to locally buy food for their people. U.S. agricultural “lobbyists” will be drooling at the prospect of having the U.S. government spending a couple of hundred million dollars increasing demand and thus increasing prices of U.S. grain commodities and lobby heavy for mandating the monies be spent buying U.S. grains, Congress must say to these lobbyist no great deal “go to hell”. America has a history of mandating foreign food aid be spent on U.S. crops and it misses an opportunity to bolster local farmers in foreign countries where it could do a tremendous amount of good, Congress should say not this time! If this program is a go, the U.S. government should try a novel approach in delivering this food aid in Pakistan. Ordinarily, the U.S. government would run the aid program through USAID; this agency through no fault of its own has a reputation for fueling corruption in aid countries in implementing its mission to disperse foreign aid. Why doesn’t the Congress try to avoid this problem with monsoon food aid by mandating the U.S. military delivery system for Afghanistan be used to deliver the food aid. Media reports are that the U.S. military delivery system already has a system in place where they dock cargo ships at Pakistan’s Karachi port and move supplies by truck caravan through central and then western Pakistan; so they go through or close to areas of Pakistan affected by the flooding. Give this group running this military transportation system the locations of “good” relief facilities feeding the victims of the monsoons and they should be able to deliver the food aid to these facilities, the monsoon food program will likely only be in existence for eighteen months, probably much less considering that large amounts of food want to be purchased and delivered early in the program’s existence when the need is greatest in Pakistan resulting in the program’s funding being used up earlier than the planned time frame, why create a new delivery system from scratch when a good one already exists!


    SEE PART TWO
     
  2. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    Part Two


    The big question is how to pay for this monsoon relief for Pakistan? Why doesn’t Congress look at getting some of the money by mildly reducing the farm subsidies for U.S. farmers where it won’t hurt the U.S. farmers at all. Because of weather calamities in many parts of the world, US crop prices will be significantly higher this year than anticipated, U.S.D.A. projections. Why not shave back the farm subsidies a little to account somewhat for the increase in crop prices not fully but to a small degree. This could be easily done and American farmers would still be left with having a very good year!

    Why doesn’t Congress look at getting some of the money by reducing the ethanol tax credit the Federal government provides to help U.S. ethanol producers! The credit is a $.45/gallon tax credit for every gallon of ethanol used in the mixing of ethanol into motor fuel. This tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year anyway and many members of Congress are saying that this tax credit can’t go on indefinitely it is not right to the American taxpayer so it is almost a certainty that at minimum it will be reduced to some degree beginning in 2011, why doesn’t Congress do it now! This tax credit doesn’t even go to the ethanol producers it goes to the blenders who blend the ethanol into gasoline, reducing this tax credit will have no significant impact on the volume and price of ethanol sold in America one reason being that blenders have Federal mandates, Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandate how much ethanol the blending industry must blend into gasoline and the RFS mandates for the present time mandate ninety-five plus percent of the volume of ethanol being sold today by the ethanol industry to the blending industry. The corn farmer and ethanol industries are pushing hard to continue this credit and apparently have many friends in government including one could say in the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO put out a report on this issue in July of 2010 where they emphasized that if this tax credit was discontinued it would result in a reduction of ethanol consumed in the U.S. of “32%” which public commentators have picked up on to drum up public support for continuing the tax credit; waving this “32%” figure around is ridiculous because this number is conditioned on the Congress doing away with the RFS standards and the tariff on imported ethanol which the Congress is not going to do considering environmental concerns, America’s trade imbalance, unemployment rate and the fact that Brazil the by far dominant foreign ethanol producing country in the world protects its ethanol industry – the CBO pursuant to explicit representations in its study says it relies on a University of Missouri Study referred to as “FAPRI” for its analysis and if one looks at this FAPRI study and goes to the section where only the $.45/gallon ethanol tax credit is eliminated the effect on U.S. ethanol consumption is only a drop of 2.5 % (Table 7A) [common sense would indicate a reduction not an elimination would have a less effect on consumption]. The corn and ethanol industries would be much smarter and do a much better job for themselves if it focused its efforts not on maintaining this tax credit as is but on increasing the EPA limit of 10% ethanol permitted to be blended into a gallon of ordinary gasoline and took steps to insure automobile manufacturers were making cars and retrofit packages for cars that could take higher ethanol concentrated gasoline than E10!

    Another means Congress could use to get the money is to reduce the amount budgeted, $500 million, for the Education Department’s program “Invest in Innovation” for Fiscal Year 2011 or redirect some of the $650 million in this program for this year that has been promised to proposal applicants but has not been delivered because they have to meet final program requirements (assuming grant recipients fairly fail to meet the conditions of the grant program). A lot of the projects this program is planning to sponsor are something that academics in a University setting would come up with they have little practical benefit, that is, improving learning in America’s classroom is minimal from some of these projects. An example is the “Teach for America” program, a $49 million dollar I3 program grant recipient, the purpose of this program is to get and train recent college graduates and professional to teach in low income communities schools; America has an unemployment rate of 9.5%, much higher for recent college graduates; due to these circumstances the education systems across America should not have a problem getting talented and capable recent college graduates and professionals to teach in their schools and any such teacher should have the self-motivation and ability to on their own get the training and assistance necessary to be a good teacher or they shouldn’t be hired for the job. In America where were experiencing $1.4 trillion dollar yearly budget deficits such attenuated education spending, like this $49 million grant, is lavish and unnecessary!
     
  3. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    Sorry! We're all tapped out. Please notify rich Saudi King. Thanks.
     
  4. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    Hand over Osama Bin Laden we can talk. Take all the time you need. We can wait.
     
  5. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    And our requirement to help the citizenry of another country is in our constitution where?
     
  6. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Cliffs! I ain't readin' all that shit!
     
  7. jswiftproposal
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    jswiftproposal Registered Baby-Cannibal

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    agreed!!!!!!
     

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