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Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin

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Cutting Foreign Aid and Drill Baby Drill
By Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin
Last edited: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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Karin A Fleischhaker-Griffin

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Why is the Government not listening to the Public? Forget assisting the world and concentrate on the United States Citizens.




I recently attended a meeting where one of the guest speakers was a congressman.  Like many who are long term elected officials, he was very politically correct, trying to remain in the middle of Democratic and Republican issues, not taking a stand for what is in actuality is a concern by members of the public in my opinion.


Although the congressman was happy to state that he was on the board to reform Medicare and Social Security, my question was and still is, “Why are we citing what we may cut domestically, especially relating to senior benefits, when we are spending outrageously on foreign aid?  Why are we sending money to people who dislike the United States?”.


Let’s look at the recent summary of the 2010 Trustee’s report by Timothy F. Geithner Secretary of the Treasure and Managing Trustee, Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Michael J. Astrue , Commissioner of Social Security, all Trustees..

It was stated “The outlook for Medicare has improved substantially because of program changes made in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the "Affordable Care Act" or ACA). Despite lower near-term revenues resulting from the economic recession, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is now expected to remain solvent until 2029, 12 years longer than was projected last year, and the 75-year HI financial shortfall has been reduced to 0.66 percent of taxable payroll from 3.88 percent in last year’s report. Nearly all of this improvement in HI finances is due to the ACA. The ACA is also expected to substantially reduce costs for the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) program; projected program costs as a share of GDP over the next 75 years are down 23 percent relative to the costs projected for the 2009 report.”

The reasoning cited for the improvement in Medicare finances was because the ACA reduced payment updates for Medicare goods and services other than physicians’ services and drugs by measured total economy multifactor productivity growth which is projected to an increase at a 1.1% annual rate on the average. .It is stated however that the provision is premised on the assumption that productivity growth in the health care sector can match that of the economy overall rather than lag behind. at payment and health care delivery systems be made more efficient than they are currently. The ACA has established a broad program of research on innovative new delivery and payment models.  What you are not being told is that currently there is no way to determine Medicare Fraud and payments are being made to those who should not be receiving those payments because there are no checks and balances.

While the financial outlook for Medicare in the 2010 report is substantially improved further reforms will be required because it is expected that the “HI Trust Fund balance will fall below one year’s projected expenditure beginning in 2012, which means the test for short-range financial adequacy is not met. And it is projected that SMI will continue to put increasing pressure on the federal budget and beneficiaries in the years ahead”, Over the next 75 years, SMI costs are expected to average 3.3 percent of GDP, which is 1.4 percentage points higher than the SMI cost share of GDP in 2009.”

The financial outlook for Social Security has worsened by a deeper recession than was projected (Trustees Report), but “the overall 75-year outlook is nevertheless somewhat improved primarily because a provision of the ACA is expected to cause a higher share of labor compensation to be paid in the form of wages that are subject to the Social Security payroll tax than would occur in the absence of the legislation. The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund, however, is now projected to become exhausted in 2018, two years earlier than in last year’s report. Thus, changes to improve the financial status of the DI program are needed soon. “

The Trustee’s report further states “Social Security expenditures are expected to exceed tax receipts this year for the first time since 1983. The projected deficit of $41 billion this year (excluding interest income) is attributable to the recession and to an expected $25 billion downward adjustment to 2010 income that corrects for excess payroll tax revenue credited to the trust funds in earlier years. This deficit is expected to shrink substantially for 2011 and to return to small surpluses for years 2012-2014 due to the improving economy. After 2014 deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation’s retirement causes the number of beneficiaries to grow substantially more rapidly than the number of covered workers. The annual deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets in amounts less than interest earnings through 2024, and then by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to pay about 75 percent of scheduled benefits through 2084. The projected exhaustion date for the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds is unchanged from last year’s report.

The long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and those that remain for Medicare should be addressed soon. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options will be available and more time will be available to phase in changes so that those affected have adequate time to prepare. “

In my opinion, I find that the funding for these programs should not have been utilized to balance the budget but rather should have been retained in a separate fund so that there would have not been a deficit.  Separate funding is what the younger generation desires in being able to invest such funds as they see fit so they may be provided some retirement benefit in the future.  For now it is bleak, indeed.  Instead, these earmarked funds have been used to balance the budget for all overall programs. 

Thus now with the advent of baby boomers retiring, some of which have been forced to retire early because of an inability to secure employment, there appears to be a deficit.  For years these baby boomers were paying in funds to the system which should have increased exponentially.  Now we are told there is a deficit.  Let’s face it, the parents of baby boomers, because of a lower wage years ago, are not receiving the average $1200 a month in benefits but many live on small amounts of $300 per person to supplement other income they may have earned through pensions and the like.

It is also inconceivable that the Government has no checks and balances to determine fraud and that needs to be changed. Currently money is being paid to people who are dead or even those who are in prisons.  That is aside from Medical fraud.

As those of the Tea Party have stated, our government policies have definitely gone amuck with our spending policies and we appear again to have Taxation without representation.   We have now gone to War again in Libya, expending millions of dollars we do not have on missiles being used in the area. Whether with NATO or providing weaponry to rebels to whom we are unfamiliar as to what type of government they represent, we are spending millions, with the Executive branch not even requesting permission from Congressional branch.

Years ago, prior to long range cuts, the private sector wined and dined clients by including special trips or nights on the town including strip clubs.   This enticed the client to remain with the business or salesperson.  Today business in the private sector is strictly that of selling goods and services without the frills.  Yet our government is still being wined and dined by special interest groups and lobbyists instead of making decisions on principle.   It is still a “If you scratch my back; I will scratch your back mentality”.  To those long termed politicians who are not benefiting the country, perhaps it is time that you are voted out.  Spending must be cut. And the executive branch is not royalty.

And why has virtually all drilling stopped.  It is realized that we must move to greener energies.  Whether it is solar, nuclear or other forms of energy, it is necessary to be rid of our dependence on fossil oil from the Middle East.  Without our dependence we would not have to place our troops in unnecessary peril.


The Department of Energy’s report on Fossil Energies cites the following: “The Office of Petroleum Reserves manages programs that provide the United States with strategic and economic protection against disruptions in oil supplies. The programs include: 

The 727-million-barrel U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve. “

  • Although I do not have information on the actual author of information received by e-mail, it was stipulated the United States has a thirty year supply of fossil fuel based upon the current consumption of the United States.   And although the DOE requires reserves, why have we stopped offshore drilling or drilling in States such as Texas, Alaska and North Dakota.  In fact the Oil Producing States include:    AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NM, NY, NV, ND, OH, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, and WY.   


Utilizing our own sources for fossil fuel would eliminate our need to send foreign aid to many countries.


A US Foreign Aid Summary cites one-third of all US Aid goes to Israel and Egypt.  Neither of these two countries are “Developing” countries and the majority of the aid sent pays for armaments.  Israel received $400.million in Economic Aid and $2,775.million in Military Aid whereas Egypt received $250.million in Economic Aid (another site stated $1,556 million as the estimate per the State Department/F Bureau) and $1,300 million in Military aid in 2010.  Israel has been our friend and partner throughout the years and I do not object to assisting Israel.  But we also pay Jordan $458 million to leave Israel Alone.  We provide funds for Drug abatement to Columbia of $561 million, $136 million to Peru and $122 million to Bolivia.  We pay Indonesia $159 million for its Oil reserve; Kenya $437 million of free money if you are a Christian.  We also give foreign aid to the Ukraine, India, Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, Iraq, West Bank/Gaza, Liberia, Bangladesh and Bosnia    (Reference:



Afghanistan received $2,624 million in Aid and Mexico receives almost $583 million in Aid  (


Some Foreign aid is necessary in conjunction with our Military efforts, but each should be on a case by case basis in lieu of expending a lump sum from year to year.  We need to cease all unnecessary foreign aid.  Yet we could move everyone out of the Middle East if we were not so dependent upon fossil fuels.  We need to use our own resources until research and development may bring forth cleaner greener energy.


We do not need to be the major military power of the world.  Instead if we are required to use our military in defense of another country we should be paid to do so.  We need to protect our boarders and to defend our own country against terrorism and acts of war against our own country.


We need to protect our businesses against trade agreements that are unfavorable and to not allow certain large businesses to not pay taxes while the small businesses and entrepreneurs take a full tax brunt.


Health Care reform needless to say must be repealed.


Something is wrong with a government which does not operate for the benefit of its people.  We need new blood in all branches of government which not only are responsible for our military but which believe in facilitating business through competitive enterprise and who know how to budget.  It is the private sector which provides jobs, not the public sector.


Although I am a centrist, we need the brilliance of those individuals such as Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Marcus Rubio, and Donald Trump.


We no longer may afford those who prefer being the defenders of the world at the expense of the United States of America.  We citizens are tired of games and do not wish our children and our children’s children footing the bill for those who are unwilling to make cuts.




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