In the midst of the fiscal cliff panic, which dominated the American media cycle during the holiday season, another very important debate over the use of the United States’ finances was talking place in the international community at the United Nations. At the end of December, the United Nations General Assembly decided that the U.S. would continue to pay more than one fifth of the world organization’s budget for the next three years.
In response to the legislation, U.S. representative for U.N. management and reform, Joseph Torsella, said taxpayers should be satisfied with the U.N’s decision, pointing out that it could have been worse – the U.N. could have demanded a higher contribution from taxpayers.
CNSNews.com reported that Torsella said the U.S. is “very pleased” to maintain its 22 percent limit on contributions to the U.N. budget and noted how the decision will save $300 million each year for regular and peacekeeping budgets thanks to the vote not to increase the U.S. contribution allowance.
Torsella’s statement puts little faith in taxpayers’ ability to spot a bad deal like this one.
Arguing that the U.S. saved money because it is not spending a bunch more money is ridiculous. Furthermore, that argument does not justify how much money the U.S. was on the hook for in the first place. U.S. contributions to the U.N. budget currently dwarf other contributors. Japan, the second highest contributor, provides less than half the amount U.S. does.
So the U.S. has a bigger say in the U.N. thanks to the hefty contribution, right? Wrong. Every country has an equal say in the U.N. General Assembly, yet, the U.S. is expected to pick up the bulk of the tab.
And the U.S. can no longer afford to be the U.N.’s bread and butter.
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