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'Not Quite the Affront to the Hard-Up American Taxpayer'
I had a hard time articulating what bothered me about Tom Friedman's take on the White House's incentives for a settlement freeze.
Whether or not you agree with the US offer, Jeffrey Golderg's take on Friedman strikes a chord on one important point:
One small note, or not so small -- Tom tends to frame the recent (and generally-speaking unwise) American offer of $3 billion in F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in exchange for a 90-day extension of the settlement freeze as a gift America could not afford to give. But he doesn't mention that military aid to Israel, even heavily subsidized military aid (and to other countries, of course) is a form of stimulus spending, since that $3 billion was going to be used to buy American-made products. You would not look at $3 billion in jet fighters as a costly giveaway if you happened to be one of the thousands of people building those planes. This doesn't change the fact that the offer was shortsighted (really, what were American negotiators thinking?) But it wasn't quite the affront to the hard-up American taxpayer that Friedman makes it out to be.
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Please would you ask the USA to give me say $3m (I'm not greedy). I am an altruist and I promise to spend it all on American products as a form of stimulus spending.