Rand Paul: End All Foreign Aid, Including Aid To Israel

Alex Knapp has already written about Senator Rand Paul’s plan to cut $500 billion from the Federal Budget. Part of that plan includes an end to all foreign aid, a topic which Wolf Blitzer grilled Paul on earlier this week:

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul wants to end all foreign assistance, including aid to Israel.

Paul, a Republican newly elected in Kentucky, was on CNN Wednesday outlining where he would cut the $500 billion in government spending he says is critical to sustaining the U.S. economy. His focus was on the departments of energy, education and housing.

Interviewer Wolf Blitzer then asked about foreign assistance, asking if he wanted to end “all foreign aid.” Paul said yes, and Blitzer asked him about aid to Israel.

“Well, I think what you have to do is you have to look,” Paul said. “When you send foreign aid, you actually [send] quite a bit to Israel’s enemies. Islamic nations around Israel get quite a bit of foreign aid, too.

“You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as a, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East.”

Blitzer pressed, “End all foreign aid including the foreign aid to Israel as well. Is that right?” he asked.

Paul answered, “Yes.”

It certainly strikes me as a conversation worth having at the very least, because the only people that win in this situation are the people in the U.S. defense industry. Moreover, as the events unfolding in Egypt show us clearly, foreign aid also tends to force us to ally with despotic regimes in the name of regional stability to the determent of the people who live there and, some might say, our own long term interests.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Democracy, Middle East, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Perspecticus says:

    I think Paul’s and your opinion on foreign aid is extremely shortsighted, ignores the many aspects of our foreign assistance that exist outside of military concerns (such as clean water and health intitiatives, family planning, development of educational and commercial interests, etc.), cl;early ignores the fact that our foreign aid exrtends all over and not simply in the Middle East, and glosses over the fact that even if we eliminated all foreign aid, to the detriment of our relaitonships with nations all over the world, that it will do almost nothing to address the deficit. You also miss the fact that political, corporate, and military interests are what place us in alliances with despots and dictators moreso than the relatively small amounts of other aid that are given out. Elminating foreign aid is a terrible idea that will only adversely affect our standing and influence in the world.

  2. ALP says:

    I also agree that we need to take a good hard look at who we give military aid to. I believe we still need to support our allies somewhat. However what’s wrong with “Selling” some to other countries like Saudi Arabia. and some other OPEC nations.? They can afford it. They could give us a discounted price on oil for example. Also, if we don’t sell them military items, Russia and China, and North Korea surely would!. We also, I believe, should get some compensation from countries we have spent BILLIONS on defending them against outside attacks. as for Afghanistan, LET IT GO. It is a waste of money and American lives. They will never have a central government, and will continue to fight with themselves as they have for centuries. We need to spend most of our military monies on our own developed weapons to insure we stay ahead of others to insure our self protection

  3. sam says:

    Which makes Rand a very, very interesting politician. Just when you want to reach over, grab him by the stacking swivel, and unload, he says something like this, and you go, “Wha…?”

  4. michael reynolds says:

    If we end foreign aid, wil the Chinese do likewise? Of course not. In fact since the overall bidding will be lowered more nations will be able to gain more influence at bargain prices. Iranian foreign aid?

    This is of a piece with Paul’s suggestion we cut funding to the CDC so it can stop studying “foreign” diseases.

  5. wr says:

    Next up: Rand Paul calls for eliminating the FBI. Why do we impose government ideas of good and bad on the people? Why are we picking winners and losers? Let the free market decide who should be punished!

  6. Stan says:

    Hell Yes WE CAN!

  7. Robert Wilson says:

    Since much of the federal budget is “borrowed”, I would ask -“can we afford to continue borrowing money to give to other countries ?” I believe we are long past the time when we can afford such foolishness. As for the “national security” argument, I believe the main threat to our national security is national bankruptcy.

  8. magoo says:

    Its about time someone wants to really do something for AMERICA.
    End Globalism now!!!