On his first trip to Israel, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that all U.S. foreign aid should be gradually eliminated, including the roughly $3 billion sent annually to the country he was visiting.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, a liberty-oriented Israeli think tank, Paul “acknowledged he was expressing a ‘minority opinion’ and doubted Congress would end foreign aid in his lifetime,” according to the Associated Press.
“It’s unlikely anything changes,” he said, “but I think it is worth discussing.”
Paul, who was recently appointed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, laid out the reasons why he believes winding down foreign aid would benefit both the United States and Israel.
First, he said, was the practical matter of whether the United States could afford to keep doling out aid when it is already running trillion-dollar annual deficits.
Although Paul stated “that the United States is and always will be a friend of Israel” (in the words of the Jerusalem Post), he expressed concern that “it will be harder to be a friend of Israel if we are out of money. It will be harder to defend Israel if we destroy our country in the process. I think there will be significant repercussions to running massive deficits ... you destroy your currency by spending money you don’t have.”
Paul added that he finds borrowing from foreign countries to fund foreign aid particularly irrational.
“To me it has always been about whether it makes sense for me to borrow money from China to give to Pakistan,” he explained.
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