CS Monitor: How Much Does Israel Cost Us?

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Answer: About $1.6 trillion since 1973, or more than $5,700 per American, according to economist Thomas Stauffer. While I welcome the effort to spell out how much we pay for The Special Relationship, quite a bit of Stauffer's figure (delivered as part of a lecture commissioned by the US Army War College) seems speculative. He includes $420 billion in lost revenue from the '74 recession, and another $450 billion in increased oil prices from the oil embargo; these are the sort of hidden costs that can be variously attributed. (Where the Sauds really the sole drivers of the recession? And isn't the percentage of Mideast oil in our total consumption actually a pittance compared to Europe's, Japan's, or even Canada's, where gas prices are astronomically higher?) He also includes $50 billion to $60 billion in grants and bonds from US-based Jewish charities, which are "a net drain" on the United States economy; maybe, but it's not like those charitable donations would otherwise have been used to pay down the national debt.

Stauffer, who has been on this issue for some time, is described as "a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby" in the article, but his various studies seem to focus mainly on oil economics. He's also a "true gentleman" who is quoted with some frequency by CS Monitor reporter David R. Francis.

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  1. Hello,
    Tom Stauffer has reached the point where he is going to tell the truth as he sees it without fear. It is refreshing to hear a consummate insider from inside the beltway speak candidly. I spoke with Stauffer yesterday and he indicated that the article is drawing on a new book he has written. I hope I understood correctly because it is a book I want to read. Then again it was a cell phone call in a crowded dining room so I hope that is what he said. Thanks for the link to my humble site. Tom did mention that they are going to re-release his movies in archival form so I look forward to those.
    Best wishes,
    Barry O’Connell

  2. Further silly math on the Israel “cost”: The author counts American investments into State of Israel Bonds as money lost to Israel, when in fact Israel is paying all of these investors semi-annual interest payments and returning the principal when the bond matures!

  3. Gee, Tim, it’s passing strange that Reason, a magazine that is supposed to OPPOSE foreign aid, is so hard on someone who is (theoretically) on the same side as libertarians. But then again, what can we expect from a writer who failed to mention the Anti-Defamation League in a piece on the … anti-defamation racket?

    C’mon, dude: the oil embargo was directly attributbale to our unconditional support for Israel. And all the caterwauling about how Stauffer has been “on this issue for some time” — what’s up with that? Maybe he’s on it because guys like you won’t get ON it….

    So, what IS Reason’s position on U.S. government “aid” to Israel, anyway? Wait a minute, never mind — I’d rathre not know….

  4. Oh, well — let’s face it. Aid to Israel pales in comparison to the costs of really COOL stuff like “raves” and cloning being banned….

  5. Oooops! Aforesaid piece by Cavanaugh DID mention the ADL — but devoted equal space to the sins of the Polish American Congress (now THERE’S a powerful lobby!), and somehow failed to mention the former’s far more successful campaign to stamp out politically incorrect speech.

    I stand corrected.

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