Our foreign aid programs are big time vehicles for crony capitalism.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of our foreign aid largess (after the ruling classes of the receiving 3rd world countries) is the good old American Military Industrial Complex.
We make a lot of arms in the United States, and the companies which want to sell guns, tanks, and planes make sure countries who want to buy guns, tanks, and planes but can’t afford them are subsidized by the American taxpayer. This is the case in Egypt.
About $1.3 billion is authorized each year to bolster Egypt’s military, one of the most powerful in the Middle East. That aid covers 80% of all of Egypt’s military purchases, according to a recent congressional assessment (pdf). This assistance has totaled nearly $42 billion since 1948, and nearly all of it has gone to buy American weaponry and hardware.
In fact, the appropriated funds never make their way directly to Egypt. “It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt,”