President Barack Obama signed off on $85 billion in Sequestration cuts on March 1 and opened the door to cuts in Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits for Americans the next week.
Still, the sum is paltry compared to the $4.1 billion per year commitment by NATO to Afghan security forces from 2015 to 2017, also largely funded by U.S. taxpayers.
Other countries are far more frugal with their contributions since the perpetually unstable government of Afghanistan stands accused of massive fraud and corruption and there is little accounting for U.S. foreign aid dollars.
To put U.S. foreign aid in perspective, the U.S. government gave away $47 billion in 2012, not including forgiving debts owed by foreign countries and making massive contributions to NATO and foreign military forces.
This year, as Washington whacks $85 billion at home in a belated, watered-down effort to contain endless runaway trillion-dollar deficits, it plans to be more generous than ever abroad where it will donate $56.1 billion in foreign aid, much of it to countries like Egypt who are not even proven allies.
The U.S. has announced plans to pull out of Afghanistan by 2014, and despite the sacrifice of 2,077 American lives (including intelligence agents) and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the country remains corrupt and neutered by political turmoil and its fragile economy is in tatters.
Opium crops and employment related to coalition forces are top economic engines, and the latter will be shutting down over the next couple of years even though foreign aid from the U.S. will continue to pour into Afghanistan's corrupt government.