Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) announced August 1 his attempt to do something that, for more than half a century, many liberty-backers and constitutionalists might have hoped a D.C. politician would try. He has introduced legislation to abolish the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which, as he notes, pushes “radical, leftist ideology abroad.”
It is a noble endeavor, and Gaetz’ focus is on the tax-funded bureau’s leftist ideology, but he and his co-sponsors could have gone further, citing its anti-constitutional origin during the Kennedy Administration, with the passage of the “Foreign Assistance Act” of 1961.
In fact, he and his co-sponsors -- Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) – could have, and should have, noted that there is no provision in the Constitution allowing the feds to hand out cash or spread ideology abroad, regardless of the political orientation of that ideological content. However, this is a positive move, given the sneering face of leftist activity in which USAID and its head, Samantha Power brazenly have displayed to all the world.
Notes the Gaetz press release:
“American taxpayer dollars are being wasted to fund radical leftist propaganda in foreign countries. The American people will not tolerate government-funded degeneracy at home, and we certainly will not accept its force-feeding abroad under Old Glory.
USAID does not serve a meaningful purpose. It is used as a slush fund for international wokeism. Therefore, serious lawmakers in Congress should support its complete abolition…”
Gaetz also offers details – about USAID’s actions and about his legislative attempt to end the bureaucratic unit.
“Among these programs were those supporting abortion, gender equity programs, and climate alarmism. The legislation will make no federal funds available for USAID to further carry out any of the functions, duties, or responsibilities assigned or delegated to the agency. The legislation will also rescind the unobligated funds made available for the agency and transfer all other assets or liabilities to the Secretary of State."
None of which likely will please current USAID head Susan Power.
Many Americans recently became familiar with Power in April, when she repeatedly obfuscated, parsed, and seemingly attempted to deceive when grilled by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) over whether USAID had funded “Coronavirus research in Wuhan, China,” and as he asked if USAID had “awarded funds to the Academy of Military Sciences in China.”
They might also know her because she was the former Obama Ambassador to the toweringly unconstitutional UN, and has been an evident booster of thuggish former CIA Chief John Brennan.
But many Americans might not be familiar with what Power has been doing via USAID and what USAID already has done in its ignominious history.
Most recently, Power and USAID shoveled nearly $10 million into one specific plan in Ukraine to usher in a digital-wallet-precursor the bureaucrats call, “Diia.” And, not only does “Diia” act as a government-run repository of all citizen information, including money and trading, it monitors travel and “allows citizens” to report suspicious activity by their neighbors, as well as providing heartwarming “video-games” to help young people become familiar with war and military fighting.
She and other one-worlders recently got together in DC, to show off videos all about it. This being a conference at which hardcore left-wing journo Kara Swisher openly wished “we” had something like Diia in the US, just before she introduced Power to gush over the tax-funded data-collection/activity-monitoring app.
Of course, this kind of international meddling is not new for USAID. Those who find offense with the immoral and unconstitutional nature of the agency’s pro-abortion activities and its funding of digital-wallet-type apps in Ukraine might want to look deeper into the bureaucracy’s history. If they do, they will see myriad reports of international meddling, including, as The Grayzone’s Ben Norton reported in 2020, USAID involvement in “regime change” operations in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and, as Wayne Madsen reports, even in Indonesia, going back to 1965.
But, even if USAID were just handing out candy and teddy bears, it would not be an appropriate recipient of praise. It is a tax sponge that is not only not sanctioned by the US Constitution, it is not a moral operator and cannot show how any American cares – about anything. Its funding comes through force and via threats against the civilians forced to pay for it, and, in such an unwarranted position, it steals from us not only our money, but our chances to show our own cares and values.
Gaetz calls USAID “a slush fund for international wokeism,” and he is correct. But, whether USAID were woke, or not, its core is unacceptable, on both a constitutional and a deeper, moral level.
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