Republicans had hoped that mandatory sequestration cuts would force Democrats to limit excessive spending; and a 5% reduction across the board would have in theory allowed departments to eliminate programs that had been labeled wasteful. American’s are now three weeks into the sequester and even though Obama’s administration has since withdrawn their apocalyptic government warnings, questionable spending cuts continue to persist.
Earlier this week Fox News reported that the administration had approved $37 million in foreign aid for Pakistan at the expense of a tuition assistance program for veterans. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, plans to introduce a bill that will stop foreign aid funding until military tuition is restored:
“Why are we funding education programs for [Pakistan] when we can't fund -- or don't fund -- the education for our military? And to Pakistan of all places, where hatred for America is at its highest. Washington should watch its spending and prioritize.”
Poe went on to defend the program, claiming that:
“The cost of the program is .1 percent of the Defense Department's budget, and one that has helped graduate 50,000 individuals. The Marines spent roughly $47 million from the program last year”.
Veteran unemployment already hovers around 9.4%, almost two points above the national average. And despite the president’s assurance last year that “no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job”, the elimination of this program tells a contradicting story. Various departments have already made multiple cuts to make Americans feel the effects of the sequester, though as previously reported, the reasoning is purely political.
The news comes two weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry announced another foreign aid package of $250 million for Egypt. These promises of foreign aid are particularly complexing when factoring in the results of a Pew Research Poll conducted a week before the sequestration deadline, which found that “[f]or 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels. The only exception is assistance for needy people around the world.”
Unfortunately it appears as if Democrat spending will continue to go unchecked. Money that could be allocated towards supporting troops is being spent on countries that haven’t always had America’s best interest in mind. Yet another example of how far the government is willing to go to fabricate sequester pains.