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May 19th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama had a message for Middle East nations in his much-hyped speech today at the State Department: If you promote reform and choose democracy, we'll help you out financially. That's great. We can borrow some more money from China and give it away to the Middle East. Brilliant.

In a sweeping speech that applauded reforms and condemned the use of force by Middle East leaders against protesters, the president said this is not just about hand-outs but about encouraging democracy. This, in a part of the world where they can't even spell democracy. He also said, "It's important to focus on trade, not just aid; and investment, not just assistance."

The president announced the United States will give economic aid to Middle Eastern and North African countries that transition to democracy. He also said the U.S. will encourage investment in these regions.

President Obama also said the U.S. will relieve Egypt of up to $1 billion dollars in debt and that we'll help that country regain access to markets, as a democracy, by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing. Egypt has an unemployment rate of about 30 percent... and the majority of the population there is under the age of 30.

It's a noble gesture but we've got our own economic problems is this country. High unemployment… mounting debt… the inability of Congress to agree on anything. There are people here in the United States who could use some help.

Here’s my question to you: Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Richard in Oak Harbor, Washington:
With all the U.S. homeland's debt ceiling debate, irrevocable entitlement programs, contentious universal healthcare issues , sweeping natural disasters and Congressional urgency to minimize the national debt, now is not the time to be spending yet more billions on those who are being robbed by their corrupt leaders.

Remo in Pflugerville, Texas:
No! We've done enough, both good and bad. It's time they sink or swim. We've meddled since the Crusades and nothing came of that.

M.D.:
Can I ask where is this money is coming from? Oh, we'll just add it to the national debt. Here we go again trying to "buy" our way into somewhere where we don't belong. Apparently the Middle East does not have oil money to spare.

Marc:
Yes, now is the time. This could potentially be the first step towards developing a lasting democratic stronghold in an area where it could be very influential to surrounding nations. Who knows when another opportunity such as this will come along?

Don:
To "reward" countries for encouraging democracy seems misguided. America is proving day by overspending day that its brand of corporate capitalism is separating itself from democracy.

Perhaps a better idea would be for other countries to send America money to encourage true democracy in the U.S.A. You know, like governing for the good of ALL the people.

Rhone:
If the U.S. doesn't, the Chinese will. Then where will we be? We need to keep trying to bring peace to the Middle East. Staying on the sidelines doing nothing is not a viable option.

Jack in Lancaster, Ohio:
No, it is time overdue to send aid to the MIDDLE class.

Curt in Avon, Indiana:
Of course, the U.S. should increase aid to the Middle East. We should do away with Social Security and Medicare and close all the schools so we can increase payments to countries that hate us and what we stand for. That should help drain our faltering economy. Dumb questions deserve dumb answers, Jack.


Filed under: Middle East
soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    I believe that the President of the United States of America must put America first and other countries second. I believe that this is what the American people would want as well.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Ed Hoffman

    Cedar City, UT

    Put Simply NO, Never, "what are you thinking", "you must be nuts", "You do not feed the mouth that bites you".

    May 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. RB in CA

    Given that America’s foreign policy has historically been determined by Wall Street, the cynic in me suspects any increase in aid to the Middle East right now is being fueled by our current high gas prices.

    RB in CA

    May 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Jim

    Jack,

    I'm not sure the Middle East nations want our help. If we can find a way to help them without insulting them, then fine. Of course, the Republicans will criticize Obama either way. If he offers no help, they'll accuse him of letting an opportunity slip away. If he offers help, they'll accuse him of nation-building and out-of-control spending, forgetting that they were the party guilty of both during the Bush years.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    May 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  5. bob z fr ,pa.

    yes how else is obama going to bankrupt the usa.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  6. james in greenville, NC

    Jack, I thought we were broke? What is all this talk of cutting spending? But as far as increasing aid to the Middle East...........not. Aren't they the ones with all that oil? Most everyone I know around here is struggling to keep their families afloat. Send some aid down here. We are still a part of the United States last time I checked. I know we are during the elections because most candidates tramp through eating the chicken.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  7. Greg in Arkansas

    Excuse me Jack, but isn't that what we HAVE been doing?

    In the past year, the price of OIL has risen from about $68 per barrel to over $110 and since the U.S. imports nearly 60% of the oil we use.........I think we have ALREADY sent them enough extra "aid".

    It's time to let the OIL Rich countries of Middle East pick up the tab on this one, cause we ain't got no "spare change" left.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  8. Samantha

    No Jack it is not. Hundreds of US parents watched last week as an elementary school closed to help eliminate the shortfall in the budget. These children, our young children, the future of this Country, will now be bussed an extra 45 minutes per day to over crowded classrooms. More Teachers just lost jobs as a result, so no Jack we do not need to allocate more aid to the middle east when money is so needed here at home. Besides, which middle east country has or will step forward to help our children?

    May 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Alex in Florida

    No, Jack.
    Where will this $ come from? From the USA via China?
    I am so sick of the imbecile leadership of our country funding nations
    that detest us so much they strap & detonate bombs to their babies to blow us up. We give more and more $ and they hate us just the same, if not more. I say we sit back, let them pump all their oil out of the ground until there's none left and then watch them blow themselves up for lack of anything else to do. The ever-so civilized British tried unsuccessfully to tame these people. What makes us think that we can attempt to do so by throwing cash at them? I'd rather Obama give each of us a roll of $100 bills in the form of toilet paper than give these animals any more $!!!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Peg in NY

    No. Now is the time to increase aid in the USA.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  11. B. J. , Quincy,Ill

    Hell no, we should cut Aid all together or call it for what it is, Bribes.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  12. Conor in Chicago

    Either we can give money to these movements and offer encouragement or Iran and Al-Qaida will. Which would you rather?

    May 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  13. John, Lake Charles, LA

    Now is the time to increase aid to the citizens of the United States of America.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  14. Brad, Portland, OR

    No, now's the time to let them handle their own problems.

    Besides, last time I looked, we had a massive deficit that we're paying for by borrowing from China. It's dumb to go more deeply in debt to help countries that will hate us even while we're feeding their children and building them schools and roads.

    Or better yet, let China start handing out foreign aid like we've been doing, to little effect, all these years.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  15. BULL

    Jack NEVER is the time to give aid to the middle east. Just bring our troops home and forget that the middle east is or was ever part of the civilized world.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    On the contrary........we have to stop 2 things......the first, is we have to stop giving away money we borrow. The second is, we have to stop funding terrorists, and aid to the Palestinians, is clearly funding terrorism.

    On top of that, we need to really re-evaluate any and all aid to Pakistan, as aid to a country who is NOT our friend!

    Lastly, we need to re-evaluate foreign aid to all countries, as the first issue above, is impacting all of our foreign aid. If we are borrowing money to provide aid, then we have to stop doing that. That would, in effect, be impossible to justify. You provide aid, from available funds........you don't spend money for that purpose, you do not have!

    May 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Jayne

    I'd like to see aid increased to the United States. In any case, is it smart to keep borrowing money to send overseas when 9 out of 10 times it ends up in a dictator's personal account?

    May 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  18. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    This is a tough question. We've spent $1.3 trillion in 10 years to win peace ... hasn't worked. Can we spend a few billion to 'buy' it? (I'd like to see the total 'tab' for all we've spent on Israel over the years, and they still rebuff most of our efforts to achieve peace.) I'm unconvinced that any further investment in the region is in our interest.

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  19. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    The Middle East is moving fast towards democracy and freedom. We need to take advantage of this opportunity because it might only happen once. I would rather see aid sent to help Middle East countries who are trying to form a democracy in some form. It is far better and cheaper than sending troops.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  20. JENNA ROSEVILLE CA

    Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

    We have been demanding Democracy in the Middle East for decades. Now that there have been people that have died for our demands then we must honor them by helping their nation(s) to suceed so we can rid our world of dictators.

    Lets think of it as a deposit towards our future stability.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    May 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  21. Bob Kobs

    If Prez Obama says it is, then it must be. Give them more aid.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Richard C.

    No more money for the Middle East, and no more money for any foreign country until the U.S. is solvent. This is common sense. Giving money away that will never be repaid is so stupid that it defies all logic. How do you explain that to school age kids that will have a tougher time than ever trying to deal with a $14 trillion debt as they enter society.
    Let me simplify 'screw the Middle East ' !
    Malvern, PA.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Elizabeth From Toronto

    NO. We don't know who we are getting into debt for or getting killed for?This is madness. The folks there use "emotional blackmail" and Journalists help them by reporting all the protest sbecause it is news worthy and humanitarians say "someone must help". BUT why ? People in the Middle East running around protesting need to declare what they intend to do. Democracy is a BIG WORD. If they "want to overcome" they should speak to the Black Civil Rights Leaders and find out how it is done. But they are so "close-minded" and afraid to die that they protest on mass meaning maybe someone may die "but not me". If these people want weapons before we give them anymore money or weapons we need to see the Middle East's Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Bennazir Bhutto.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Ken from Pinon Hills. California

    YES!
    To the eastern, western, northern and southern United States of America.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  25. dave in nashville

    With what, a million or two unemployed skilled workers or just plain ordinary people who want to work? Is that the kind of aide you mean Jack?

    For the life of me I cannot figure how we send countries cash we just borrowed, it's like a shell game on Jump Street.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  26. bonnie from NJ

    NO NO NO, We are "forgiving" 1 billion in debt to Egypt, while the Mubareks have amassed billions, most of which was probably earmarked as "aid." Meanwhile my neighbors down the street are being foreclosed on and can't find jobs, how about forgining their debt? Leave the Middle East to take care of itself. I just don't understand our government, when I am broke and in debt and someone asks to borrow money I say NO.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  27. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack. Today in every city in the US there is a child that needs food and probably some clothes to wear. A child that might be the one that wants to go to college but can't concentrate on school work because they're hungry or afraid of going to school due to the gangs. A teacher that has been threatened by some kid that has been in and out of jail 10 times due to drugs and you want us to send money to the MId-East. My emphatic answer is NO. Let's clean up our own house first.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  28. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    With all the U.S.homeland's debt ceiling debate, irrevocable entitlement programs, contentious universal healthcare issues , sweeping natural disasters and Congressional urgency to minimize the national debt – now is not the time to be spending yet more billions on those who are being robbed by their corrupt leaders.

    The U.S. should contribute diplomatic, trade and humanitarian assistance only. This is a Capitalistic for-profit society and should be investment focused.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  29. Steve

    Better to spend our money now, then our blood later.

    IL

    May 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  30. BILL, WI

    To what end? Now is the time for the people and countries of the Middle East to stand up and control of their own destiny. They are capable of ridding themselves of dictators, lets see if they are able to live in a democracy without sinking into another dictatorship.

    Hamas and Hezbollah will never want to give up their power or control to any democratic reforms. Neither group wants to see Israel survive, until the people of the Middle East can margianlize those two groups you still will not have peace in this region.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  31. Bill in Portales, NM

    A few weeks ago, U.S. legislaturers were trying to cut entitlements.

    Earlier this week, U.S. legislaturers were debating raising the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling has not been increased, yet.

    Now, someone wants to increase U.S. aid to the Middle East? Who is this brave soul?

    May 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  32. Russ in PA

    No. End it all. Why should Americans be supporting any and all other governments? And why should the US be telling any other country how to run their own business? The US can't manage it's own affairs with any degree of efficiency. End all the hand outs...

    May 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  33. Rhone Jones

    If the US doesn't. the Chinese will. then where will we be? We need to keep trying to bring ture peace in the Middle East. Staying on the side line doing nothing is not a viable option.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  34. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl Let's see, we are broke, beyond broke, have to borrow money just to pay back the people we borrowed from, and now all those that would not lift a finger to help us are with a straight face still standing with their hands out asking for more . With a straight face I say NO. No to my Congressmen, No to my Senators, No to my President, NOT ONE MORE PENNY, NOT ONE MORE SOLDIER SHOULD DIE THERE. One can not buy friendship or rent it, bring our troops home along with our generosity that has been so badly abused.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  35. pad

    Yes we should buy more mideast oil!!
    paul
    ames ia

    May 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  36. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Yes, especially if doing so prevents $10 per barrell oil.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  37. pat in michigan

    Now is the time to bring our troops and our money home. If democracy is to flourish then throwing money at it won't help.
    They have to want it enough to fight for it on their own.It will mean more to them if they do.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  38. Al in Delaware

    I think it should be just the opposite. Aid should be cut to both Egypt and Israel. Let the oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain aid Egypt. Israel is well off already. American Jews send them tons of money every year.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  39. Michael Hackensack, NJ

    The US cant balance its own budget, has huge debt, and is falling apart in many areas of our own infrastructure.

    The better question is where would the money come from to increase aid, which really means, giving away free money that we dont have?

    Our politicians having been slowly ruining the United States for the last 12 or so years, debatable. We don't have much further to go before we are completely finished. Its sad!

    May 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  40. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No! it is time to cut all aid to the middle east including aid to israel who shoots and kills unarmed palestinian protesters with u.s. made guns and bullets. The u.s. is 14 trillion in debt, medicare and medicaid are a 35 Trilion dollar unfunded liability, but yet we have money for wealthy countries. We have spent 3 triliion dollars on the middle east the past 10 years and we still have no peace. You can't buy friends or peace.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  41. MNResident

    Now is the time to increase aid to the United States BEFORE the Middle East. The US of today is the kind of country the US of 50-75 years ago sent foreign aid and missionaries to. It's time to realize charity starts at home.....

    May 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  42. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No it isn't. What it is time for however is for us to pack up and get the hell out of the Middle East. We have spread all the democracy that those countries can stand and now it is up to them to accept it or throw it away. We no longer know who are our allies and who are our enemies. Billions and billions of dollars later and America is broke. It is time to stick a fork in it. We are done.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  43. Dennis north carolina

    It depend on who would receive the aid. we should aid those who are seeking their freedom from dictators. we need to support freedom.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  44. METALWORKER

    Would you rather we send more of the countrys youth to be killd and or maimed? I some times think that you are S. Pailins brother. You seem to have the same affliction, open mouth and insert foot. and both of you get paid for doing so. METALWORKER in IL

    May 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  45. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    And where will the money come from? The government talks about raising the debt ceiling, and making cuts to Medicare and Social Security. That tells me we don't have the money to increase aid to the Middle East. Government needs to take a stand and tell the rest of the world that the time has come for them the focus on the problems facing the United States.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  46. Carl

    Jack,

    Now is the time to stop aid that shoud never have been started. Enough of the hand outs, lets take care of our own for a great change.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  47. Ed from MD

    Nah, I still have over half a tank.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  48. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The timing is perfect!! There is an opportunity to have direct dialog with the next generation of the Muslim community and our message and communications should clearly demonstrate that all of that hog wash they had heard previously was not representative of who and what American is about. We have a rare opportunity to influence the young and up coming Muslim community by extending an open hand to them in a way that we have never done before.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  49. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    No, it is time overdue to send aid to the MIDDLE class. This is a group that still has class, if little else !

    May 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  50. Randy

    After wasting almost a trillion dollars bombing and rebuilding Iraq, what's an extra billion or so ? Obama can do little as far as the Israeli Palestinian peace process. George Bush had the audacity to ask Israel to get the IDF out of the West Bank in 2002, where they were conducting operations. Israeli Prime minister visited Congress soon after, and President Bush quickly changed his tune. Netanyahu will be visiting Congress this week. So Obama will just stand aside. Doesn't matter what Israel does.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  51. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    No! It is time overdue to send aid to the middle CLASS. This is a group that still has "class" if little else anymore.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  52. Joe CE

    No but it is not the time to but it. We need to make sure we use the aid intelligencly in ways that will foster democracy/

    May 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    NO! We've done enough, both good and bad. It's time they sink or swim. We've meddled since the Crusades and nothing came of that.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  54. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    Jack let me get this straight, you want to borrow money from China so we can give it to the oil rich in the middle east, is that correct? Want don't you borrow money and send it to me? I will watch you on TV, read your blog and say nice things about you, thats more than the Middle East will do for the US if we are dumb enough to send them aid we have to borrow.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  55. Loren, Chicago

    Where would you send increased aid? For all the money we have spent, it certainly isn't appreciated.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  56. Kathie

    It is time to take care of business at home and stop giving away money we do not have. Time to close military bases around the world (no other country occupies ours). time to stop poking our noses into everyone else's business. No more handouts to other countries.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  57. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    And who in this volitile area do we give the money too? Palestinians who want to destroy Israel (as our president wants to fix the borders again). To Egypt? Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, who are we kidding. Its still about the oil and nothing more. Time we stop passing out dollars that only come back to bite us.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  58. Mr. D

    "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts." Can I ask where is this money coming from? Oh, we'll just add it to the national debt. Here we go again trying to "buy" our way into somewhere where we don't belong. Apparently the mid east does not have oil money to spare.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  59. Aria Ahrary

    Yes more aid more education less bombs.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  60. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    NO, we need to start spending money here! Our politicians are so busy attacking Planned Parenthood that they can't seem to do the jobs they were sent to Washington to do. Create JOBS! Lower taxes, help their own people, that would be us. Everything is going automated, more and more people with not have jobs. Forget the Middle East and focus on the USA.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  61. John ..... marlton, nj

    Yes, but we should dramatically or elimintae aid to Isreal until they follow United Nation mandates already on the books

    May 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  62. John ..... marlton, nj

    Yes, but we should dramatically reduce or elimintae aid to Isreal until they follow United Nation mandates already on the books

    May 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  63. JoeNJ

    Jack, with what money? We are broke! Bankrupt!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  64. AzRose

    No, now is not the time to send financial aid to the Middle East. Sounds like Obama wants to "spread the wealth" to foreign countries but our country is in such a financial mess I can't even believe he would consider such a plan. Our country should come first, Sounds like he has lost his "laser focus" on the job situation in the U.S.

    Rose, Glendale, Az

    May 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  65. Thinkforyourself, OK

    NO. No more foreign aid to countries with ideologies that HATE the U.S.
    Obama just want to deplete the United States coffers.
    He is destroying America.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  66. Bob Kobs

    Didn't you hear the President say that? It is done. Now move on.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  67. Rob in Brooklyn

    NO- its time to increase aid to the USA. I'm really getting sick and tired of hearing about Arab countries all day long.Let them fend for themselves

    May 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  68. Ted from Hershey, PA

    Jack, since when do we BUY democracy? We need to spend more on our needy, reduce the debt, make health care sustainable, balance the budget, strengthen our roads & bridges, maintain our railroads -(not high speed), cut congress size by 15% and salaries by 10%, and bring troops home from Iraq & Afganistan!

    May 19, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  69. Melissa

    No...Lets take care of home first....

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  70. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No, it's a bad time. Again, who is going to pay for that? The middle class again, that's who.
    It's been proposed that the average car owner should pay taxes per miles driven in thier vehicles because our Gov't does not have the funding to repair our roads and bridges, all the while our fuel cost are going through the roof with no end in sight.
    How can our fearless leaders just send billions of dollars in aid to other countries while we are struggling to make ends meet?
    What's in it for us anyway?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  71. John from Alabama

    Jack: The Obama Administration must treat the good guys well, and admonish the bad guys in Syria and Libya. Egypt is making a bold effort to become a democracy. Egypt's path will not be easy, but the United States should aid them as much as possible. Momar Gahadafi must go or die. Libyans want him gone peacefully, but some want his head on a stick. We must make it apparent to him to leave of his own accord.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  72. ROGER IN Va

    Jack, It really is time to consider the Middle East like your grown children. Let them figure out how to pay their bills. We dont need to borrow any more money, espescially from China. The Middle East has been at our buffet table long enough.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  73. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    I think that other countries must earn the privilege of our help by showing that they are becoming like us and will spread the cause of world peace even as we are trying to do.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  74. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    Now is the time to increase humanitarian aid to countries in need, like money to be used exclusively for food and medicine.
    But to "reward" countries for encouraging democracy seems misguided. America is proving day by overspending day that it's brand of corporate capitalism is separating itself from democracy.
    Perhaps a better idea would be for other countries to send America money to encourage true democracy in the USA. You know, like governing for the good of ALL the people.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  75. David in Tampa

    No, Jack. We can't afford foreign aid, foreign wars or anything else foreign except cheap imported goods. We have all the same problems here and could better use the money to help battle those demons at home. Couldn't Saudi Arabia and China use our money to help these people?

    May 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  76. Kevin in Albuquerque

    No, did'nt we learn anything with the current situation with Pakistan, it's time to focus more on what's going on here at home, give more aid to flood victims along the Mississippi river, and the tornado vicims in Alabama. Now does'nt that make more sense ?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  77. Scott in Bellingham

    The President said, "We suppoprt the street vendor in Tunisia more than the government."

    Then will he be passing a billion taxpayer dollars to the street vendor and not the street vendor's government? The President, sadly, has much bull but no clue.

    Don't raise the debt ceiling and let the President go pound sand.

    By the way, I trust any street vendor in Philadelphia more than this President.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  78. Jeff In Minnesota

    I just don't understand the protectionist views being generated by this question. Yes, we have issues at home, but we also are the beacon of freedom in the world and me also need to see beyond our own boarders. Having traveled to Egypt many times, I can tell you that the people there are well educated and are very friendly to Americans and Westerners. We need to provide what assistance we can to ensure that their democracy flourishes and gets a good start.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  79. Rex Savage in Portland, Oregon

    Not yet Jadk. Let's wait until we increase aid to me so I can afford the additonal tax. Soon, soon.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  80. Richard

    Sure Jack, we are very well off. No wait a minute, we are in trouble! I understand that they need help over there and I would hate to have my family and myself live in all of that. But we don't live there. We have put our nose into other peoples business before and it has backfired on us. No matter what we do it won't be good enough. We were too much involved or not enough. Let them work out their own problems and blame themselves for what happens. I am sorry, but enough is enough.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  81. Janne from NC

    Instead of aide to the Middle East how about a little aide to Middle America.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  82. Pete from Georgia

    Oh yeah, increasing aid to that bunch makes about as much sense today as electing Obama president of America.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  83. keith in ky.

    Seems to we are sending enough money to the middle east by buying their oil, let us drill for our own oil then maybe we'll have some extra money to do charity work, with until then NO.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  84. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    I perfectly agree with Wolf other countries can help if they are able instead of putting the whole burden on the United States to carry.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  85. Gerry in Montclair, NJ

    No, now is not the time to dole out more borrowed money to God knows who. Do we know who's getting this money; how it will be used; who in Egypt will benefit from it; how we will benefit from it. Plenty of Americans are having difficulties feeding their families and we're giving dollars to our "buddies" in Egypt? I have a vision of some Egyptian General buying himself a mansion in a country he can run off to when it gets too hot in his kitchen. When do we learn?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  86. Tyler from ND

    Definitely not! Can we take a look at the debt limit first?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  87. Patsy Sanders

    NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't keep printing/borrowing money to give AWAY to others...we have problems of our own, and we need to take care of our citizens in their needs, our infrastructure and it's needs and reduce our DEBT – we cannot SAVE THE WORLD!!!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  88. April, Iowa

    Hell no is it the time to help the Middle East. I'm sure they are just begging for our dollar but don't want anything other than that. Besides, look at the current state of our country. We have one in eight people suffering from hunger and an employeement rate that is absurb. It's fine to help other people but take care of your own house first.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  89. luke

    Haven't we learned anything? Just freaking stop it.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Shane Bianchini

    I'm an avid supporter of the Arab Spring. I think it's wonderful what's going on there and I hope that it can inspire more reform in the west like what's beginning to happen in Spain. However, I really don't think that the U.S. should be dealing out any aid to anyone at this moment in time. Didn't we just default on our credit? Shouldn't we be worrying about getting out of debt rather than just continuing to plunge ourselves further into it?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Joe Burke

    It is clear from your tone, Jack, you think this is an absurd idea, and I would have to agree. Borrowing money from China to give it away in the Middle East is ridiculous. Like Wolf said let the Saudis and some of the other oil rich neighbors help out their freindfs and neighbors... we do NOT have the money.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  92. John

    A resounding NO!!! We shouldn't give them a dime. They all hate us and are already raping our economy with high gas prices. They don't need any of our tax dollars.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  93. Marc

    Yes, now is the time. This could potentially be the first step towards developing a lasting democratic stronghold in an area where it could be very influential to surrounding nations. Who knows when another opportunity such as this will come along?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  94. Clyde Allen

    Charity begins at home.

    We expect to see more concern about Americans.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  95. Fran from Rockville

    No! I think what President Obama wants to do is noble...however...look at Iraq and Afghanistan...Aid and democracy has been forced on these people...and they clearly have been rejecting it...I think the US needs to start with the question..."How can we help ...you." Democracy is not one size fits all...and granted these are societies that are very religious...I think we need to take a step back...learn from Turkey what has worked for them...and basically give them guidelines as to how our democracy works and give them a price tag if they want to buy in. Freedom is not free...

    Fran from Rockville

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  96. Mike from Atlanta

    Not just now, he'll no!!! That $2b could go a long way to help folks who are upside down on their mortgages right here.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  97. Leonard Kaufman

    Mr. Obama,,please remember our most sensitive membrane is our
    wallet.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  98. Peter in WI

    It's time to cut off ALL foreign aid and new wars until we get the budget balanced without destroying our promise to workers, the aged, the helpless, and sick.

    Maybe if politicians had to balance the budget and get rid of the deficit FIRST they'd not be in such a big hurry to stick their nose in other nations' business.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  99. tony

    this is outrageous, how we can afford to give to other countries,
    and how we cant even help our ppl in this country.
    This is abuse of power and taxpayer money..
    Congress will let the elderly die without medicare, and cut more needy programs. to make friends elsewhere.
    America is not for americans anymore...

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  100. ken brahm

    not in a million years, who's going to bail us out when the time comes, which is coming real soon. thank you ken

    May 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  101. Sean

    Unfortunately...less. The reality is that stability in the Middle East is necessary for our own security, given its strategic location and oil. The power vacuums created by the falls of these governments could create a situation where an unfriendly regime or organization can extend its reach. It happened in a large place called Afghanistan when the Soviets gave up. Then we had a mess to clean up this century, which created another mess.

    Sean
    Red Hook, NY

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Stuart B

    I for one am extremely tired of working two jobs as a single father just to watch my bills, taxes and other expenses increase every month while my wages stay the same! I am very much against aiding other countries when our entire economic health is in such bad shape. Where is the help for myself and my children???

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  103. Steve

    Of course NOT. There is absolutely no chance that our notion of democracy will ever take hold in a region that has no history, no social fabric and no understanding of what democracy is. No amount of our money will change that. It is a waste of financial resources that we could use right here in the USA to solve our own problems.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  104. John Caver

    I've been unemployed for two years. If I move overseas will the U.S. government finally help me? Let's stop trying to fix other countries and instead show them how we can fix our own problems. They can learn by example on their own dime.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  105. Ruth, Peshtigo, Wi.

    Someone should remind Obama that he is president of the United States not the world. We are so in debt it's way past time to take care of Americans first and let the richer countrys take care of the rest of the world.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Reno

    We better check with China first, to see if they will loan us any money to forward to the "middle east".

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Leonard Picariello

    America has to take care of America first. Then we can help others

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Karen

    Sure why not give aid to another country that cannot help themselves. Maybe they will in turn help out the folks that are being ruined by the flooding of the Mississippi River. Oh that's right, we don't get to many offers for help from other countries for our problems.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  109. Dave

    Hell no, and before you even think about cutting my medicare or social security, All foreign aid and all Troops are to be brought home to end the deficit.

    We need common sense people in Washington.

    Duh

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Paul Martin

    NO!!! Enough said.

    Paul M.
    San Diego, CA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  111. amanda

    Yes it is definitely the right time, especially with all of these potential revolutions in the area. Americans are not having their human rights abused, and I think we need to see the bigger picture here.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  112. Cheryl, Lafayette, NY

    Wow, this is absolutely incredulous. How about forgiving me my student loan debt? Its unbelievable that we continue to assist countries that absolutely hate us. Bail out some of the people in THIS country that could use some assistance. The country is broke, but so are the people. We just can't buy anything else because we can't afford it. Help Americans Mr. President.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  113. Ragan Cole

    We can't afford to be lending money here at home, much less giving it to people who probably don't like us anyways. It's funny that we are now going to be financially supporting the same people who, according to today's bin Laden tape, al Qaeda also supports.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  114. Jim in San Antonio

    I say stop the madness. Make those countries come out and publicly BEG for aid, and tell their people what they are going to do for the United States as far as supporting and meeting our demands. Too much of these negotiations are done in secrecy. Start with Pakistan.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  115. Fish S.

    WHEN are we going to focus on our own internal issues (like unemployment and gov't debt) and stop molly-coddling the rest of the world, hoping that it will pay off someday? Canadians get healthcare, but here in the US you're ignored if you don't have insurance – and you can't get insurance if you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes. Most doctors won't even talk to you or even accept ash. We have bigger problems here and should re-focus on ourselves and let foreign countries deal with the fact that they can't just go running to the USA anymore when they're in a bind.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  116. David ( Bronx)

    Your point about how our economy is under incredible stress is very well taken. But the answer to your question is YES. The middle east is at an unprecedented juncture were so much could go right if we are able to nudge the energy in the right direction. Further, I am disappointed by your snotty remark regarding the people of the middle east " this in a part of the world where people do not even know how to spell democracy" .... what a disappointmen

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  117. Alex Brock

    I don't see how we can afford this or the point in it. These Middle Eastern countries can not handle democracy and freedom as we do in the West.
    Subsidizing democracy in these countries is just one more reason that President Obama should not be re-elected. He thinks we have an endless supply of money. The president and the congress are both incredibly out of touch with the public.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  118. Carol from Glen Ellyn, IL

    IF there really is Democratic reform in the Middle East, it will be worth the money. (Foreign aid is a small fraction of our budget.) I doubt there will be real reform, though, so we shouldn't give out a penney unless they prove they're serious.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  119. nick

    No..No..No....we can't help ourselves how can we expect to help others...on top of which NOBODY likes us...bring troops home..shut the borders and call it a day..WE CAN help ourselves and WE MUST...what's the alternative

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  120. Herb Blount

    Jack, you are right on. We are broke and have so many issues to correct here at home. Unfortunately, the little we would save by cancelling aid to the Middle East means nothing compared to the billions that must be scratched from the entitlements (medicare, medicaid, social security) and the defense department. Until we really cut these programs nothing we cut will matter.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  121. Jessica Campisi of Woodbury, MN

    I'm sorry Jack I misheard you, I thought you asked the real question, "Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle Class?"

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  122. Jim in Florida

    Financial support of the Middle East helps Wall Street, but does nothing for Main St. How can we as a people even think about helping others before getting our own house in order.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  123. David G. Berkowitz

    If economic times were different, I woul love to help any struggling democracy. But times are what they are and we are not even sure of being able to borrow on our own let alone guarantee other loans.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  124. donald

    now is the time to give aid to Isreal with predator drones and bunker buster bombs and missles and rockets. and every time some terrorest group fires mortors into isreal or infiltrates the border then destroy the area they came from. the last three wars againt Isreal only goes to nshow tthat Isreal needs to protect themselves instead of give away their saftey
    for a false peace which won't last

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  125. Bill

    Hell No. No one is helping those of us who are out of work, losing our homes, can't afford health insurance, can't afford to get our kids in college. Charity begins AT HOME.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  126. Frederick S. Zbar

    Now's the time to spend funds usually used as foreign aid to help those who have lost everything from the Mississippi flooding. I wouldn't give a nickel to those Arab countries in revolt.

    As for Obama's view of pre-1967 war boundaries for Israel, I like to know why Federal agents aren't arresting him for smoking pot!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  127. PRussell

    It depends on what we get for it. If it keeps our troops safer and brings them out sooner, yes. If we get a real result, yes. Oh and Jack America is not broke. We have a vast amount of wealth and resources. We are far above the crowd in wealth. It is just concentrated at the top and the average American is broke, not the country.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  128. David E

    The question is idiotically simplistic and fails to address the complexities of the world in addition to U S circumstances at home.

    How about what happens if the U S fails to act this way and there's even more turmoil in the oil markets, with speculators driving up the price of gas way above $4 a gallon? How does that affect the U S taxpayer, Jack?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  129. Bart O'Sullivan

    Heck, only a Billion in Aid and a Billion forgiven. Isn't there anyone in Washington that can add. Another reason why our debt is in the Trillions.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  130. stefan

    NO!
    In case of an emergency on an airplane, you're told to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Thanks to a corrupt and incapable George W. Bush, this country's been on a flight to disaster for the past 10 years, we need our resources for our own people. If the Middle Easterns want stability in their region, let them pitch in first!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  131. Tom Yorke

    Let's send a billion dollars worth of US products at least we will get something for our money

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  132. Steve

    Here is what I heard pres Obama say. We are going to give Egypt 2 billion dollars and Israel should go back to the 1967 borders that existed when the Arab countries pledged to oust Israel into the Dead Sea. Did I miss anything ? Oops...I forgot...Barak Hussein isn't a Muslim. Yeah...right. Our president has just set back the mid east peace hopes by at least ten more years with his foolish comments.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  133. Curt H. Michigan

    No... stop spending my tax dollars without my input!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  134. Zayde617

    With the US financial situation; deficit spending at an all time high; why would we consider throwing billions of dollars into Egypt and other middle eastern countries when we don't have the money to spend. The US has given billions of dollars over the years and the situation has never changed.
    Obama has once again gone back on a campaign pledge with regard to Israel by stating that the United States now wants Israel to go back to pre 1967 borders which would leave her indefensable. As one who voted for him, I am outraged by his actions today with regard to basically adopting the Palastinian Plan with regard to Israel, who has been a steadfast friend to the US since her beginning in 1948.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  135. Marc Florida

    Our perceived international leadership role must be reeveluated. The Europeans have laughed at us long enough. Perhaps we can convince China that it is in their best interest to give money directly to the Middle East. They would be happy to promote democracy. Then we can go back to the business of getting America back on its feet – health care, education, jobs, and infrastructure – survival!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  136. Ron

    More Foreign Aid to the Middle East? Absolutely not. We have no idea how the "Arab Spring" will sort itself out. Obama is acting like a Roman Emperor handing out gold coins to make friends with those he hopes to include in his Empire. He is taking this "hope" thing too far.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  137. george kosinski

    Charity starts at home need i say more.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  138. Benjamin

    Jack,

    Simply put, no! Why are we footing the bill to help out countries that harbor the very people who seek to destroy us? Why not let the oil rich countries of the Middle East pick up the tab? I mean, we just hit the debt ceiling and won't even be able to pay our own bills in full, but we are going to give aid to the Middle Eastern countries? Give that aid to Americans or to lowering our tremendous amount of debt.

    Ben from NY

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  139. Kadlen from MO

    Hi Jack,
    Considering the US has spent about 3 trillion to fight terrorism, perhaps
    a little incentive toward democracy would help channel the middle east in a more positive direction and result in great savings for us.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  140. Job

    Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East? No, more like time to stop all aid to foreign countries.
    Job
    Toms River, NJ

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  141. bo

    This is getting totally insane. Obama saying this makes him sound like a socialist which now I think he might be. How can we, a country so much in debt that we are on the possibility of breaking offer billions in aide to other countries while richer countries like China sit idly by and reap the benefits. We cannot afford to be the world police or offer welfare to the world. Our legs, the hard working citizens, are falling and the head, which is our government, does not see that. It will not be too long before the country ends up like California, bankrupt and sending its citizens IOUs while sending billions to citizens of other countries.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  142. Bev

    Hell no we don't need to send ANY country any money. How can you give away something you don't have to give?? I am jobless, living with my son because my husband passed away and I lost my home. He served his country for 20+ years in the Navy. The government isn't sending me any money and I live here, worked here for 30 years and paid taxes all those years! We probably should be learning how to speak Mandarin!! This country is going to hell in a hand basket!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  143. Dario

    Jack,

    I don't know that there is a positive answer to your question. Helping countries that have 30 percent unemployment, unknown currency, and no government in place can't benefit those countries or us. Maybe a better question is should those countries be on this everlasting quest for some kind of great free market policy. After all how is it working for us? At the same time with increasing oil prices and our dependency on cheap labor, I can understand the President's attempt to help those countries. But once again instead of fixing our own problems, educating our kids, we choose to invest in things that definitely demise the need of our middle class.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  144. Sarah

    No. It's not time to give money to the Middle East. Why do the democrats always try to cut spending to stupid projects and the republicans to social programs and nobody points out that we pay out billions to other countries to go do things they say we're too good to do – like drill for oil off the coast line which we help pay for south American countries to do.

    Now we're going to pay for democracy...or is it war we're buying? Inspiring revolts in other countries is a good way of waging a war using forgien civilians instead of US soliders. I think President Obama is playing a very dangerous game that could cost us billions of dollars and thousands of people their lives.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  145. David Knight

    Absolutely not. What exactly is it that Obama doesn't understand about the word BROKE? Is he really so naive as to assume that more billions to Egypt will result in anything different than the billions given under previous regimes?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Bon

    President obama needs to stop with his policy toward these people and focus more about americans because we have serious problem economically and a high percentage of unemployment here, he promised us during his campaign but we don't see any of those promises yet..I don't have no doubt that he's gonna loose in 2012

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  147. Jai

    The majority of the folks in the Middle East hate us and providing them more aid will not change the picture. Egypt is already having religious strife with the Coptic Christians getting attacked regularly. When is Washington going to realise that that you cannot buy the "Arab Street"? Any aid that is given must have strings attached and measurement systems to ensure compliance.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  148. Wade Cordes

    My GOD I think my goverment has just gone NUTZ!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  149. Marlene

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! What has all this talk been about this country being broke, raising the deficit level, and all the other drama like ending Medicare, etc. How can we even have a shadow of a thought of just giving billions of dollars away when we have so many problems here in the USA. How about using some of those billions to help save Medicare, improve the education system and some of the other areas that are said to be in so much finacial difficulty. The idea of giving money away to other countries is absolutely ludicrous!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  150. Robert from Texas

    NOOOOOOO. Stop the insanity of our governments spending. What have we got out of it besides digging our hole even deeper. The Middle East has enough money not borrowed from China to help their own. Maybe I will just start telling my creditors I am following the lead of our President. Sure that will not go far.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  151. Howard Ginsburg

    NOT A PENNY for them. There are people in this country that can't afford health care, people who are hungry, people out of work, people losing their homes. Let's take care of Americans first. We can't solve the worlds problems. Let the wealthy Arab oil states take care of them. They hate us and we can never buy their love. If they want to kill each other let them. Let other Arab countries come to their aid.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  152. Joanna Boles

    Jack, Am I losing my mind? Floods, Tornados,Fires in Texas and we can,t wait to give some more money away to the middle East when our people are needing desperate help!!!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  153. Glen Martin

    Jack, The USA cannot be all things to all people in this World. When there is no more money left in the cash drawer, we can't just write checks that Mr. OBama's ego can cover....End of story. Time for a Constitutional Convention to throw all the bums out of office and start over. The two parties can't agree on anything anymore, and the ship's going down by the bow.....Disgusted in Virginia....

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Larry Downing

    Jack, we give Israel two billion dollars a year. Their population is seven million. We need to make friends with the Egyptians and one billion is cheap we need Arabs for friends. Remember President Truman said he thought he had turned loose a peria in the Middle East namely Israel. The Arabs need to see we care about them. They have ten times the population of Israel.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Ed

    Time to spend money at home

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  156. lawrence Brotman

    I am disappointed with the president's offer to forgive $1B in loans to Egypt. We have too many unfunded liabilities in the USA. Obama is free to speak to the Arab world but the people of the USA are free to tell the President through our elected representatives in the Congress that he he not at liberty to get this money. Why not just ask the Chinese to send the money to Egypt so that we don't have to increase our national debt which is out of control?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  157. Justin L. Moran

    No! No! A million times No! I'd rather die than say Yes. It is absolutely assinine to borrow money to give away. The people who run this country better start looking around and see that this nation is in a heap of troube ... much of it their making.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  158. C.D.W.

    Absolutely Not! Stop giving away money we don't have!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  159. Althea Martin

    No! No foreign aid to anyone until we have our own house in order. What gives the government the right to take money out of our pockets and give it to foreigners? Let these countries fight for their own freedom and democracy just like we did. When they earn it, and if we have any money left, then maybe we can again consider helping them.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  160. Magdy Ghobrial

    Jack; just think how much Al Qaeda cost the U.S.? How about $3+ trillion, from two wars, destructions of the Twin towers, depressed stock market, etc...
    $1 or $2 billion is a drop in the ocean to prevent another Al Qaeda from rising up during this unstable period.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  161. c . ellento

    i don't really understand as an american citizen , presently i need medical help and can't get any ! can't pay my bills because of injury .how is it ok to help people that doesn't help our economy ,pay any taxes first and leave us here to die?i don't want postings but help to our solutions as americans that is struggling to keep up with the demands.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  162. Max

    Yes to the deprived people and hell no to the dictators!
    Max, Texas

    May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  163. Autumn Meadows

    Why give them more money we dont have? They do NOT appreciate our money and they don't want us getting involved in their Arab spring. Its clear they don't like America and they see us giving them money as "buying them out" and influencing their new governemnt which is part of the reason they got rid of Mubarak in the first place. They don't want puppet governments anymore and I am tired of my money going towards a people who hate us as the "filthy Kafr or infidel". Why is it our job to "bail them out"? what good does it do cause when even one muslim civilian gets killed in Iraq or Afganistan or support Israel in anyway we are back to the "evil satan"?? Buying them out isn't going to stop them from hating Israel our us the "unbeliever" no matter how much money you give them. Are any of the Arab countries going to bail us out when we need it??? I dont think so!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Bill

    And while I am at it why are our tax dollars going to support the outragious lifestyle of the IMF management. My god, think howmany people living in the street could be helped on what these pople are raking in.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  165. Kamar Amanullah

    Offering aid to Egypt might seem ludicrous initially. But it might reap long term benefits which would more than offset the initial cost by having an ally in Egypt.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  166. Rachael

    The US is already the butt of middle eastern jokes, it reminds me of the kid who gives the bully his lunch money in hopes the bully won't pound him on the way home from school.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  167. Emad Salim

    Is now the time to increase aid to the Middle East?

    The answer is:

    No. Including ISRAEL. PERIOD.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  168. voiceofreason

    Americans can look at the maps and see the growth of the Jew's land grab versus the Palestinians. On another note, altogether, why are we backing the Jews in an area of the world in which Arabs dominate. If we withdraw are support for the Jews, then they will either negotiate a peace are become the slaves of their Arab neighbors.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  169. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    As long as we are aiding Israel in the Middle-East we have and should continue to aid some other countries in the Middle-East. Its like a man having too many girlfriends, he got to keep them happy if he wants to keep all of them.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  170. nancy, north carolina

    Is there going to be more cuts in help for seniors, unemployed, and indigent children to aide countries that hate us and will use the money to further build their militaries to supress their own people. This is more corporate handouts to benefit big corporations and the wealthy to exploit cheap labor in these countries.
    We need an uprising in this country to rid ourselves of highly incompetent and corrupt government.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  171. Aaron

    The U.S. comes first, stop all foreign aid, start fixing our infrastructure, and put the rest towards renewable energy and education.
    Way back in Western Civ101 I learned about Louis XIV. I'll stop there.

    Bring our troops home now.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  172. Bob

    We are paying the highest prices for oil on record and we are pledging to help the Middle East out? We are broke! We can't even help ourselves. We mortgaged our grandchildren for the stimulous which CEOs from rescued corporations are now receiving huge bonuses while many families are barely getting by. It's time the Middle East helps themselves from the tyrany of their leaders.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  173. khalid al-shawwaf

    I think obama should save his money, we don't need his money, arab people need him to stop supporting the israeli occupation and stop trading the blood with OIL & VOTES.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  174. Tom Barrister

    The United States should get its nose out of the affairs of the rest of the world and tend to business at home. We've spent trillions of dollars on pointless wars and police actions, and trillions more on assistance to countries who aren't up front and honest with us and whose people talk badly about us- all the while taking our money. Meanwhile, at home, our government's deficit grows astronomically to the point where it's on a collision course with financial catastrophe, unemployment remains high, and we still haven't recovered from the worst recession in three-quarters of a century. The United States needs to focus more on what's going on in our own back yard and let the rest of the world tend to their own yards.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  175. Michael in Hawaii

    A little money to the Middle East won't hurt. Would you prefer China to pour in their money (and their influence) into the Middle East?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  176. Larry Frazer

    Actually Jack, now is the time for the US to demand loyalty in exchange for foreign aid and that aid should only be in the form of made in USA products and/or services. Not cash, which we don't have and seems to mostly end up in some foreign politicians pockets. Our total foreign aid policy should be revisited and cut back drastically.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  177. Anthony Lindquist

    no, it is not time to increase aid in the Mideast. Its not time to increase Aid anywhere, but in the US. We have many bigger problems right here at home, and have no need to go and help other countries with economic problems or fight wars for them. Bring home our troops pull out of the war and lets rebuild America!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  178. Sherry Hultzman

    Obviously he has no desire to balance the budget and will continue to spend money the country doesn't have. We need to take care of our own people first. He and the rest of the idiots in Washington don't have a clue.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  179. jaydeebelle

    absolutely not....i think obama is confused about which country he is suppose to be running, if you cant fix the problems on your own soil you cant go helping others hypocrite often?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  180. Betty from Fairfax

    NO, NO, NO – A THOUSAND TIMES NO. What is it this president can't understand about being broke. We have no money and we particularly have no money to give to people who hate us.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  181. Bella Morin

    Forgiving any debt when, as said, WE are broke as a nation; especially a billion dollars or more. NO. Just no; is anyone forgiving our debt? When I'm broke I don't eat. 'Nough said.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  182. Ken Nichols

    Hello Jack, I am approaching retirement age and all this talk about messing with our social security really gets me angry. To think I have worked all my life in a factory and now being told may not be able to retire until the age of 70. Easy for desk sitters to say, let them work hard in a factory and see if they still feel the same....

    Now is not the time to give aid to the Middle East when the aid is needed right here at home. If they would leave our social security alone there would be enough money for those of us who paid into it all of our lives. I say no more aid to the Middle East!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Pu

    Aid is followed by raid. So, US in the name of God it trust should stop aid. Dying of hunger and disease is peaceful than dying because of people weaponised by US and EU.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Floyd A Vahalik

    Getting involved in yet other conflicts is a really stupid idea. Paying foreign aid is just as stupid.

    It might be a noble idea, but as you said we are flat broke. And, we have people going without work and homes here.

    If you went to a bank and said you were broke but you wanted to borrow a lot of money into a foreign country because of some idealistic bent, what do you think the answer would be?

    Let them take care of themselves which is what we should be doing.

    Floyd Vahalik
    Idaho Falls, ID

    May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  185. mike sey

    Depends on what you spend it on. Trade and aid is probably cheap at half the price of guns and rockets. A cut in military assistance to Israel and Egypt would allow more for economic aid, pay large dividends, and not add a penny to the bill.
    Ottawa, Canada

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  186. Windy Gedeon

    WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THING ABOUT THE CHILDREN. Absolutely not! I'm a college student, and each year I pay more and more for tuition. With one semester left, currently unemployed (3rd year looking for a job) what am I to do. With that said, WE HAVE PROBLEMS HERE IN OUR OWN BACKYARD (Mississippi floods, budget crisis). I'm sure the people in Mississippi can use that money. And let's not talk about how big the U.S. debt is.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  187. John Caver

    Maybe we should stop paying taxes to the IRS and each person can choose the country of their choice to send their money to, and eliminate the middleman. I'm tired of bailing out crooks in our own country, letting them get off scott free with their golden parachutes, and sticking it to the blue collar workers. The government only sees two types of people. Those they do things FOR (Republicans) and those they do things TO (the middle class). The Middle East may not be the only area that has uprising to free the people.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  188. Helen Cahn

    We need to support democracies in the middle east. I believe that we should go ahead with the aid and debt relief to Egypt and other burgeoning democracies in north Africa and the middle east by diverting money from Israel. While the Palestinians terrorist approach to their problems with Israel are reprehensible, so too is the wanton colonization of lands that really do belong to the Palestinians per the 1967 agreement. Now is the time for the middle east to assert their democratic rights and financial assistance may be the difference between failure of the attempts towards democracy and reversion to the status-quo of autocracy.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  189. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    The answer is no because President Obama was elected to focus on the United States and its economy and to put that first.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Ralph Spyer

    Enought is enought, they should give us aid. We have been giving Iaraeli more aid than any country in the world . The other middle east country the C.I.A takes the aid money and pay government off, maybe you can not buy friends anymore.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  191. Iyke from Chicago

    The US should stop giving out Billions in Aids to Middle Eastern Countries.. Their oil rich neighbors should help them out! Money can't buy peace..

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  192. Doug Couch

    No. The United States should stop pouring money down that rathole. We have our own problems. This country cannot afford to give money to hopeless countries.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  193. Lisa from Utah

    Jack, You have it wrong. We have had to spend trillions of dollars over the last two decades on military intervention in the Middle East because of our relationship with Israel and our willingness to support past dictators to insure out daily fix of Middle East oil. Obama is suggesting that we invest in these fragile democracies now in order to lessen the need for military interventions in the future. Your attitude is called penny wise, pound foolish. Yes, Americans need help now because of the terrible recession. But to dismiss this unsual moment in time when some seed money can make the Middle East more stable and help us prevent future need for military interventions is the kind of thinking that dooms us all to repeat a violent and unstable history.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  194. rick allen

    We need to stop all Aid to any country right now, the President, needs to get his house in order, we have MAJOR problems in our country, all those countrys in Asia, have not saw peave in centuries, you think democrocy is gonna change that. We have thousands out of work, taxes are out of control, borders are not secure, people can't even afford to buy a home now, to many free programs being given to people, if people want food stamps, make them do public service for them, just like a real job, stop babysitting people, get the Illegals out of our country, their getting everthing free, off the backs of the american tax payer, its time to step up to the plate, tell the two political sides to quit their non-co-operation, and get the issues facing our country resolved, WE THE PEOPLE ARE GETTING TIRED OF WASHINGTON.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  195. Bernard

    Jack I am a single dad of a son, last mouth we just were approved for some gov help program and we supposed to get 10, 24 hours, bus pass for us to get around, but for some reason they have not received them yet because of budgets problems... now for you question, you rely need me to answer it ?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  196. Dana

    The President's speech indicates his lack of seriousness concerning America's financial crisis. His remarks also show the continuing Beltway belief the foreign policy can be accomplished via bribes, er aid.

    But the Middle East is not short of cash - they essentially pump it out of the ground. If their problems could be solved by money, the mess would have disappeared years ago.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  197. Ralph

    Investments in peace pay off, investments in aggression do not.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  198. Karl in Flint

    It's time to pick up our blocks and go home. Maybe put up some wanted posters with a price on some heads and if they are captured/killed, pay the reward. Until then, they are on their own.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  199. voiceofreason

    Jack

    Your tone of voice indicates that your opinion is just your opinion. Please remind viewers that you show is based on your opinion and not necessary fact.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  200. Mahi

    We are giving away billions of dollars to oil companies that are making billions every quarter sucking money from the American people. Why not give to a cause (democracy) that we preach to the rest of the world? Its time to put our money where our mouth is.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  201. Cee, La

    Given the fact that 99.9% of terrorists are nurtured in the Middle East.....by educated people who use the uneducated and poor to do their bidding....it might be worth a try...

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  202. dan

    jack i love your daily ques. people respond in frustration of everything that is going on in this country and around the world so what can we really do to change anything we vote some of the old fellows out and new ones in but no change every thing remains the same they do what they want when they want therefor i have no opion because it doesnt matter anyway

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  203. Jake L. form Queens, NY

    The question can and should be broken down like this; when did America decide that they will be the country who helps and involves themselves with everyone else and knows everything? The answer is when America was the most powerful country, when we were NOT at war, when the economy was well, when unemployment was low. But now America faces so many of its own problems. And it becomes a problem when a once most powerful country faces its own problems tries to help others with problems, WHEN HAS THAT WORKED IN HISTORY? Think about this America, has almost a third of the the unemployment rate that Egypt has but that one third is huge in retrospect of the these two countries and the opportunities and jobs in comparison. BOTTOM LINE, get people working here and able to live before you make Egypt some successful democracy you dream for Obama administration. .

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  204. Annie, Atlanta

    We can help the rest of the world after we assess our infrastructure and do repairs or replacement. An extra added bonus is it's stimulative. But for some reason putting money into wars and other countries gets top billing. Ever wonder who is benefiting? I do.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  205. Sandstone.

    "I'll never forget you Jack! You once actually mentioned my name on this station! And Yes John McCain is still three furlongs further ahead, than Obama ever was!"

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  206. Murray

    How much have we spent for Iraq? 1 trillion and counting? how many billions are unaccounted for in that trillion dollar price tag? An extra 1 billion a year for Egypt come on, that"s money well spent.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  207. Stan

    The USA does only what it wants, not what the people want. We need to stop being "World Police" as we've been called and restore the Middle Class that Reagan hasd set in motion to eliminate. We have no business in the Middle East and no business shoving democracy down everyone's throat.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  208. Michael Taunton

    Finally technology has trumped the lack of social progress by means of a clan tribal society. Yes now is the time for them, and it couldn't come at a worst time for ourselves. It would be best for us immediately if we did not, but best for all if we do. We get one chance at this ever several generations, we blow this, we will repeat it later. I ask you, what would Jesus do?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  209. James Harrison

    What is it that the president of the U.S. and specially the politician in congress (Those who make real decicions) do not understant. We are in serious trouble economically and can not afford to help our own people. What is it that we do not understant that most of these people will gladly take our money and then hate us. Let us suggest they go to China, Japan, Europe or any other place and get their aid. Let us concentrate in fixing our own problems.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  210. Gladys Stolte

    yada yada yada....Same old talk just a different day..How can the President say the United States this and the United States that...Hello I live here and I don't support his views.....Why help the Middle East? How about lets support the United States(ie.) flood surviors..oil spill surviors ......Hello I'm an American ....don't I have a say in what goes on? Guess not........

    May 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  211. Alan

    I'm a dyed in the wool liberal kinda guy but enough is enough. We just don't have the money to be giving aid to other countries BEFORE we take care of our citizens. Here's an idea: Educate our youth, boost our economy, tax the large corporations properly, put our population to work and THEN help out those in the Middle East and elsewhere. Not that helping fledgling democracies is unimportant ..... We just have to prioritize.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  212. Larry Lewis

    Every president since Carter has asked Israel to stop construction in the Occupied Territories, but Israel has consistently continued construction either directly or indirectly by not stopping settler construction projects. The U.S. should deduct a set amount, say $2,000,000, from foreign aid for Israel for every housing unit Israel announces will be built in the occupied zone. We should not indirectly finance Israel's expansion in the territories, which construction makes the possibility of peace more remote and harms our desired goals and interests in the area.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  213. Ron

    Jack,
    The USA has given unill we are given out. We have to stop funding all the corrupt goverments in this world in the name of democracy. Give me a break, we are broke and they still want to print more money, while all the other goverments lean back and laugh at our ignorance. Let the oil rich goverments start taking care of their own neighbors. Just fed up with the "give it away" attitude some of our elected officals have.
    Ron

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  214. rick in sunny California

    We shouldn't give them a dime. Obama and crew are so naive. They think if we help those countries that when they get settled they will be on our side. WRONG!!!!!! Remember the Taliban and Al Qaeda? The Egyptians will take our money and then spit in our faces later. How about giving that BILLION dollars to our schools so we don't raise a NEW crop of idiots in this country.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  215. Michael

    No, no no! Geez, I think politicians create a cacoon and morph into compulsive spenders! I like Obama, but what doesn't our government GET about managing our finances responsibly, which, at this current time, means CUTTING spending! It's not that giving aid to Egypt And Tunesia is an unworthy idea; it's that WE'RE BROKE.

    When an individual or family is concerned about bankruptcy, do they typically lend money to friends to invest in those friends' future? No! When will our government get that money is not the answer to every known problem?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  216. Gigi Oregon

    Either way it's all about doing the right thing. I would rather give dollars for peace then for fighting wars for oil where we send money and also the lives of our young men/women. It embarrasses me how selfish our USA is becoming. Our parents and grandparents would be ashamed of the hard work they put into building a nation of peace and the land of opportunity which they built and died for. Just as the nations suppressed by ruthless greed of dictators and are fighting for Freedom, we the land of freedom is becoming a radical and shameful nation. And it all began with the greed of corporate America. And a declining federal government being bribe by the corporate world. It was just a few years ago the United States stepped up to free and the still enslaved south and we fought together to bring real change for many...how soon we forget. President Obama is doing the right thing with the blessing of the sec. of state. Yes, we need jobs at home but most of all we need dignity brought back to our government and for our people... I have noticed of late that Pres.Obama ask God to Bless us but too many just snarl back.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  217. Ginny Weddington

    Does the term "blackmail" ring a bell? He'd score more points by giving it to the Salvation Army to help feed the homeless and hungry I see on my city streets everyday. Let the oil rich countries of the Middle East support their own–if they are not too afraid of their masses "yearning to breathe free."

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  218. Ali

    It is rather important to keep the region safe and secure. United States is based on freedom leading rest of World countries. America simply can not walk away from protecting people. We are the country others look up to not only for our rights but also protection that we provide to others.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  219. Gwen Good

    I have never done this before, but I feel so outraged at the President's remarks that I decided that I need to speak. I agree totally with what YOU said. We need to take care of our people who need jobs, and help with the recent disasters. Are we going to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to find this "money" to aid these other countries? If not, since we are "broke", where will it come from? Hey, I voted for Mr. Obama, but we need to "take care of our own" before we send money we don't have to other countries, who may not end up being "our friend" anyway.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  220. Steve

    This is not the time to give aid to quasai allies in the middle east. Israel is the only ally we have in the middle east. They have been consistent, they are a democracy, their values and way of life are close to ours.
    The Arab countries over there have pretended to be an ally while they take billions of dollars and line their pockets as Mubarik did and as Pakistan's military did. Why should we borrow more money in our current broke condition to give Egypt $2 Billion more while we also pay the interest on it as well. Madness.
    The message should be, for real democratic republics or democracies we will give our support. If they are not a democracy, they get no support from us other than perhaps lip serevice (which is all they've given us.) The message shoudl be clear to the Palestinans....no support whatsover including for statehood as long as Hamas is politically influential and refuses to recognize Israel.
    Its time to face the realities and stop being pc for the sake of world opinion.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  221. Les

    All these people want is our money.
    How about putting that Billion $ to good use here at home.
    Let's help our underpaid teachers, the victims of the recent tornados and floods and how about the Homeless?
    So it 's a NO for me.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  222. William Stewart

    I am a PERMANENTLY disabled individual who if the Republicans have their way will lose the only source of income I am able to get...SSI. Now here we are spending trillions of dollars on foreign countries just to ensure that they become democratic!!! Wheres then logic in that? They get handouts and I as well as others in my position are going to get shafted and end up living on the streets!!! I am an American citizen and I ought to get greater consideration than a foreign country!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  223. Dan Byrne

    No - absolutely absurd. And, at the same time let's burn our last real ally – Israel. The President's speech today borded on insanity. Why not go completely insane and offer the middle east Obama care, while we are at it

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Ron, Prescott AZ

    What if we took a Billion or two, gave a million to all American families making less than $100,000 annually and see how much that boosts our own ecomony? We could pay off our bills, get health insurance, help out the auto trade, maybe be able to afford to fillup the tank with gas, but most importantly the banks would end up with it anyway!! But wait, that just might help out the American middleclass.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  225. lawrence Brotman

    Ambassador Rice should be replaced by another person who doesn't parrot back to us what the President said about sending more money to the MiddleEast. Saudi Arabia can cut Egypt a sweet check as can China. We are at the doorstep of a financial collapse in our country. Give me a break. Rice is just a mouthpiece for this reckless President.Instead of further aid to Tunisia and to Egypt, how about a little aid to the poor folks in the flooded towns on the Mississippi river, and to rebuild beautiful New Orleans?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  226. bernadine kohrs

    Yes we should give aid to fledgling democracies.. For once iforeign aid may pay off. Besides, the Republicans demand that the rich continue to get tax breaks and they just voted to continue giving aid and tax breaks breaks to oil companies. C.learly they do not seem open to cutting back spending.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  227. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    President Obama needs to come and visit the area around where I live. He can explain to the people WHY our Food Pantries are running very low and looking for donations. Then he can go on an tell the poor Homeless people-men,women,and children-WHY the Homeless Shelter must close. That should be done on a cold rainy night. Explain WHY education is being cut when the US has fallen way behind on educational merits. My parents always taught us that charity begins at Home. Did our Educator in Chief Not learn this?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  228. Lynn Pinkstaff

    Jack,
    It's time to help ourselves! People in this country are in need. I don't have to tell you all that is wrong here, but I have been on disability for some years now, I have to live on about 825.00 a month. Come on America, wake up!!!!! Portage, IN

    May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  229. mark

    Question? When will it be to time to focus on rebuilding America ? Is now the time to give more aid to the Middle East ? Sure why not, while we are at it lets starting a few more wars. Hey maybe congress could eliminate all taxes for the rich and regulations for multinational corporations , end all social program for the poor and middle class. You know since things are going so well for People who have to work for a living.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  230. Sean in Michigan

    Hard to believe Obama wants to spend money we don't have.
    I think opening trade is viable, but providing aid with our current fiscal situation is just plain reckless. When is the president going to "get it" when we talk about the debt situation? We can't "save the world" if we can't even save ourselves. Maybe Obama found the fabled Money Tree?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  231. Ray in Knoxville

    Sure, Jack, we'll get the GOP right on that. I'm sure there are a few senior citizens and poor people here in the US that they haven't kicked off "entitlements" yet.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  232. perry jones

    when you feed a farm cat you get mice then the cat expects you to feed it every day when you die who will feed the cat . we give them money they send back bombs and we buy coffins. very simple jack NO!!!
    perry jones council bluffs iowa

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  233. Mohammad Aljahdari

    I think USA will have something in return from this money in a way or another. So, It's part of its plan of change in the middle east.

    Mohammad, Saudi Arabia

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  234. DCollins - Salt Lake City, UT

    Obama has no right to offer financial aid and loans to Egypt and Tunisia at a time when the USA is indebted to other countries to keep its own economy from collapsing. Charity begins at home! Instead of loaning out money while we are concurrently borrowing from China we should be cutting-off all financial aid we're providing outside of the USA. It doesn't take an economist to figure out how to bring the USA out of this recession. Great progress could be made overnight if we simply reappropriate our billions of dollars spent annually on international finanancial aid and bring our "outsourced" jobs back to employing US citizens!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  235. Jamal

    How can we help the Middle East if we're strap for cash ourselves? Maybe the other countries in the Middle East, mainly the oil rich ones should help countries like Egypt and Tusinia

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  236. John E.

    We are broke. We are broke because our gov't has consistently spent our money plus more to fight wars we should never have been in. Now they want us to raise the retirement age for Social Security. Social Security would have been fine if the gov't would've left it alone. But again it is another example of the gov't spending our money on things we never approved it for and then trying to take more from us. I thought Obama was suppose to take care of issues at home especially jobs and the economy. Wasn't this why he was elected for domestic issues? I think when we elected him we meant for him to create employment for citizens of this country not everywhere else but while he takes more from us and our children. Who is he or the Congress to 2 billion to another country when we can't even come to a budget consensus and threaten to shut down our own country. Maybe shutting down our own government would be for the best. It is time our gov't started listening to its own citizens whom it is suppose to be responsible to instead of special interest and the rich from around the world. Maybe if they did this country could actually right itself and get the boat afloat and headed in the right direction.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  237. Eric Siegel

    Jack,
    Here is the problem with your loaded question: Of course we, as Americans, are going to object to giving a billion dollars to Egypt given our own economic challenges (that Congress lacks the courage to solve). At the same time, the $2 B (including the loan guaranty) is insiginificant in comparison to the defense costs that the US will ultimmatley bear if we don't support moderate Middle East states like Egypt. It is the same knee-jerk reaction that we all make as it relates to curring off Pakistani aid due to their (somehow) complicit actions with sheltering Bin Laden. Like it or not, we can't build enough Volts to not deal with this volatile part of the world. 'Eric Siegel, Waterford, MI

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  238. Elliot-Raleigh,NC

    Absolutely not! Bribing them does not stop them from celebrating whenever terrorist attacks against this country. Let the oil-rich Arab states bail them out. Oh, I forgot-they hate us too.
    "Arab Spring" is a misnomer if there ever was one. We have no idea how the turbulence in those countries is going to play out.
    We might as well pour the billions we are promising them down the toilet!
    I, for one, am sick of seeing my hard earned tax dollars go to hell.
    Enough already!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  239. Marc

    Applying short term thinking to long term problems will only result in failure. Keep your personal problems just that, personal. You, as an American, were offered every opportunity to build and secure your own financial future. You have my sympathy if it did not work out as planned, but the pain felt in your wallets should not be incorporated into assessing and analyzing the current situation. The long term benefits from supporting this movement of democracy far outweigh your personal cries of financial distress.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  240. ron

    Now is NOT the time to spend more money abroad. We are broke, deeply in debt, and can not even take care of our own citizens. Let the Saudis and other wealthy Middle East countries step up to the plate and help their neighbors. Also, the United States should not forgive a billion dollar debt. This is financial insanity and simply weakens our ability to solve our domestic problems and makes us weaker as a nation. Further, it is arrogant beyond belief to assert that everyone in the world wants what we have in terms our form of government, life stye, etc. Let these people determine their own destiny. Please let's focus on getting our own proverbial s together.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  241. Robb D. Texas

    The US has been giving billions in foreign aid to diplomatic and dictatorships countries alike for quite some time now. This didn't start with President Obama as reporters such as yourself would make it out to be. Perhaps this time we can use this aid as leverage instead of the hush money that it has been for so long. What do you suggest Jack? That we drop out from the rest of the world and be seen as quitters and cold-hearted Americans? Oh wait, too late for that! I think most people understand that we need help in our country, we all feel it and I will have to say, probably more than you do. I just don't feel that abandoning the rest of the world will do any better to teach other countries the diplomacy and democracy needed for growth in order to be part of the global community.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  242. Julian Sanchez

    Even if we could afford it No!. It is time to stop helping those who do not want to be helped. Self Determination should be our goals what pushes our ideasl. But Most societies in the middle east have chosen a path that prohibits coexistence with others. They have made their choice. Israel has given ground constantly through the years, and every time they do they get attacked; yet they are the bad guys. When our Ancestors fought for freedom they were doing so for freedom of speech. When our ancestors came to the american they were running from religion persecution. Our fight for freedom was never the same as the Middle East. Any mob that fights for the "freedoms" wants nothing more than a secular society like Saudi Arabia, where their religion runs the state. The Rules of War have to stop applying to us and not to them. The branch caught in a tidal wave either bends temporarily and uses the force of the water or it breaks. We must bend our ideals or we will see them break eventually.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  243. Arleigh

    President Obama should use his global leadership skills to call upon Saudi Arabia, other Arab states, and other countries to contribute their wealth. Asking Americans to pay for schools, jobs, and hospitals in Egypt and elsewhere, when Congress says it has no money for it's own citizens, is simply shameful.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  244. Sam, Palm Valley, FL

    NO! Throwing money to other countries, leaders, IMF officials, etc, while wanting to cut Education, Medicare, etc, here? Forget about it!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  245. Brad Worden

    Absolute madness, scarier than a Ludlum novel. The powers that be continue to skim the cream for themselves and their egos while we go down the tubes.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  246. Conor in Chicago

    It amazes me how short sighted nearly everyone on this forum is. Two likely things happen if we don't provide aid to the Middle East. First, someone else will. It will probably be China and Iran and this will increase their influence in the region. If you think gas prices are high now wait until 5 years from now when all of the Middle East owes them a favor and not us. The Second, is that with pro-democracy movements floundering as economies stagnate and people start to turn on each other, you will mostly likely see a massive Mid-East war since dictators will re-emerge and probably ignite a war with Israel as it will be their only political option in mobilizing their societies that have crumbled.

    We certainly have our problems. Lord knows that. But lashing out at this region of the world and letting everything fall apart just so we can save a few billion borders on madness. Unless of course you're pumped out a Third World War.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  247. Farnaz K

    Jack,
    I agree with your commentary generally, but no need to jab insults at the Mid-East population by saying that most can't even spell democracy...that was an unnecessary blow. Besides, I can promise you there are thousands of Americans that cant spell it either....

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  248. Juan in Houston

    This has nothing to do with helping people, but instead helping ourselves. Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, lets make the connection. These aren't coincidences. We overthrow governments, put new dictators in place, and throw money their way for as long as they continue representing our interests. Is it time to increase aid? As long as we continue with our current foreign policies, yes. Maybe its time for a new game plan. We're stretching this empire thin.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  249. Ken in NC

    Yes. Send them Band Aids, build Rite Aid stores. A better question is when will the rest of the world begin to send us aid?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  250. EMMANUEL

    The USA is only safer if those nations with American interest are safer; so if we want to be safe, we need to give financial and moral support to those nations. To who is blessed, like the USA, much is expected.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  251. Giovanni

    Why is that we continue to give billions of dollars to countries that do not like us when we could use that money to rebuild the infrastructure of the US that is falling apart and to provide financial help to the states so they stop firing teachers in order to balance their budgets.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  252. gerardo

    If u beleive in the creator, God then any aid 2 the middle e should strictly b 2 support isreal this would please God!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  253. Balboa from Huntsville Alabama

    All of the money should go to the victims in Alabama would were hurt in the tornado's as well as those that are effected by the floods instead of strangers in the Middle east who are not family like America is family.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  254. Farnaz K

    Also, why dont we divert the billions that we send to Israel to the burgeoning democracies if were such advocates of freedom fighters.....It looks like Israel is doing pretty well on its own/with AIPAC...

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  255. Genghis

    Nations, businesses, and people have always loaned money to others (even while in debt themselves) because of the potential benefit to themselves. Stop appealing to the emotions of those who are far more ignorant than you, of the potential benefit of lending with such circumstances. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here. Don't over simplify the issue.

    Also, I'm sure many more would be able to spell democracy if they were living in a democracy, as it would likely give greater access to education.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  256. Conor in Chicago

    It amazes me how short sighted nearly everyone on this forum is. Two likely things happen if we don't provide aid to the Middle East. First, someone else will. It will probably be China and Iran and this will increase their influence in the region. If you think gas prices are high now wait until 5 years from now when all of the Middle East owes them a favor and not us. The Second, is that with pro-democracy movements floundering as economies stagnate and people start to turn on each other, you will mostly likely see a massive Mid-East war since dictators will re-emerge and probably ignite a war with Israel as it will be their only political option in mobilizing their societies that have crumbled.

    We certainly have our problems. Lord knows that. But lashing out at this region of the world and letting everything fall apart just so we can save a few billion borders on madness. Unless of course you're pumped about a Third World War.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  257. bill townsend

    We do not give too much to the middle east if it gives us even a reasonable chance of establishing widespread peace in that area of constant danger to us. the ever escalating populations of Arab and Muslim lands in general guarantee the ultimate destruction, or diminishment to inconsequentiality, of Iswrael under current trends. Breaking this cycle by liberalizing and democratizing the area generally, even by a small amount presents some hope. The current trend does not. Our total foreign aid payments to all beneficiaries is less than 2% of our budget. Nothing is sure and Obama's courageous grab at this chance may fail. But it also could well succeed and that outcome would be worth far, far more than this trivial, as compared to our wars, obligatory payments, entitlements amount likely to be comitted. and the rest

    May 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  258. Donna Sutherland

    We should not send any more money overseas until we get our own economy back. We can take our chances on wars against our country.
    We can not support the whole world.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  259. Dan H

    No, Afghanistan during the Cold War didn't turn out well for us. History always repeats itself.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  260. Ray in Knoxville

    Sure, Jack, they meet all the GOP's qualifications for receiving aid – they're not the American middle and working classes!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  261. Doyle, A

    It would be wonderful not to send money to any country since you can't buy friendship or cooperation. Peace resides in the heart. This is something most Arab youth have never experienced. For me to give an opinion regarding the topic I would like to know the other side, such as; What will be the benefit gained for our country since we would be the ones adding to our critical financial strain?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  262. Yellow Rose of Texas

    Not only no, but hell no. I am a fan of Pressident Obama but I cannot agree with him on this one. I am sick and tired of the UnitedStates' intrusion in the business of every country in the world. We are giving and spending billions of dollars in these countries and they don't even like us. We are going to go bankrupt pretty soon. You know how the saying goes "charity begans at home"

    May 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  263. Joseph Southerton

    We should not give aid to any country,until we straighen out our own problem and budget here at home.(USA)

    May 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  264. dan from NJ

    "and you don't believe we are on the eve of destruction"!

    Is Obama out of his mind> We are drowning in debt and he wants to give more aid and comfort to those that hate us. And, at the same time betray our last ally - Israel.

    Hey Mr. President, you want to bring doen the mid east regimes - give them Obama care - that will kill them.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  265. Jim S

    Are you kidding Jack. When will we ever learn that you cannot buy friends or impose your values and priorities on them? Regimes change and with those changes, loyalties have to be bought and paid for again and again and when it's over and the people attain freedom, they hate our guts. NO, we do not need to keep paying foreign aid to nations like Pakistan who knowingly hid Bin Laden while they accepted millions and other middle eastern countries who would betray us in a heartbeat. Use that money at home to help our country recover economically and put people back to work. The politicians just don't get it so it's up to us to see that they do at the polls. Go vote.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  266. thom richer

    "Encouraging" or "spreading" democracy as a government is, like religion, a matter of choice. Neither should be pushed upon or spread by others on others. Especially by means of war or occupation by troops veiled as rescuing them from themselves. The bulk of the involvement by us in the mid-east, or any country, is for financial and political reasons. Neither other countries or the U.S. does anything with 100% pure and unselfish intention. No strings attached. Oil and other corporate interests guide our presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and shortly, Iran. If these countries truly want to be governed as a democracy, it is up to them to fight for it and pay for it. Democracy like religion cannot be bought, either. Either you want it or you don't and it is wrong to force any government or culture upon another. If a foreign leader is a tyrant, murderer of his people or undermines human rights, go after the person, not the country and its people. We have, for many selfish reasons, remained in these 3 countries far too long and our remaining longer only proves our intentions were far from noble ones. We do not belong there and Americans deserve their tax dollars be spent helping Americans.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  267. mark in buda tx

    2 yrs ive gone without a cost of living adjustment
    on my VA pension. as well as 100,000+ more!!
    I voted for this(I cant say it!} president,so voting
    doesnt work. it doesnt matter what we say or do
    were a snowball rolling downhill, ending in hell!!
    NO NO NO NO NO MORE

    May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  268. S. Lucas

    HELL NO. Now is not the time to increase aid to the Middle East. As you state unemployment continues to be high here in the United States. I am currently unemployed with no medical benefits and I look for employment everyday via recruiters as well as my own efforts.

    As far as democracy, as you state some of the folks in the Middle East can't even spell democracy nor do they want it. We/ the people of the US as well as the President has to learn when other folks in the world don't want nor need democracy for themselves. They don't want democracy. The US should not force it on them.

    I have been and I remain extremely disappointed in our foreign aid policy. Folks here at home need medical coverage, jobs, and a Congress and Senate that will not continue to give aid to countries like Pakistan who hide our enemies and then lie about it.

    Financial aid to the Middle East at this terrible time in our country is a slap in the face to the Americans who live and Want to work here. With all of the State and Governmental cut-backs, where is my financial aid?

    North Wales, PA

    May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  269. Michael R Dunstan

    What is he thinking?! How can Pres. Obama dole out billions with one hand and beg the Chinese for money with the other?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  270. evelyn

    Absolutely not! We do not need to help countries that hate us and totally disrespect America and what we stand for. Maybe the president should take a look around and see that most of this country is in deep trouble and so many, including myself (laid off teacher) are unemployed and have nothing left. So his bright idea is lets give more money and jobs away and see how much we can turn America into a third would economy- then maybe when we are all poor enough China or India can in turn help us poor Americans out by then we will all be begging in the streets like they used to be.

    May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  271. sean

    They hate us!! they want to kill us!! why are we aiding them when they have trillions in oil and we are paying $4 gallon?!?!? ive been unemployed since oct 09 and my unemployment runs out in june and there is nothing here in NEPA that I can find!!! but lets give the already rich oil countrys are money!!! makes no sense!!!

    May 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm |