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‘Bad political form’ or just one example of potential corruption?

$50 billion. That’s the amount of foreign aid the U.S. gave away to other countries in 2017. Using the median income of $46,800, that’s the average of over one million American taxpayers.

The United States also gives $10 million to the United Nations. There are also many other times that the U.S. “steps-up” to help countries that have suffered catastrophic natural events.

What should we expect for our “contribution” to the recipients? How about an alignment with democratic values or a culture that respects human rights? How is that measured? Who makes the call and sets the amount for a “deserving” recipient? If you believe that the Congress or Senate is counting the pennies wasted, you are probably wrong.

If anyone mistakes the fact that “getting” financial aid does not rely on “giving” something back, they are mistaken. Our leaders are tasked with ensuring that our aid is used for the intended purpose and not wasted through corruption. It’s pretty easy to lose track of money when there is so much at stake and we certainly can’t rely on the thieves to report their earnings.

In April 2014, Hunter Biden became a director of Burisma, the largest natural-gas producer in Ukraine. He had no prior experience in the gas industry, or with Ukrainian regulatory affairs. Basically, he lacked the credentials for the position, except for one, his unique position as the son of the vice president of the United States, Ukraine’s most important ally.

Was this just “bad political form” or just one example of potential corruption? Countries can be bought, we do it all the time and we don’t require receipts. $400 million in aid is a lot of cash to hand-off to a government that might want to divert it to other uses.

MARK F. BOHNE

Broadalbin

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