Ndidi Maryland

To Help Ourselves or to Help Others... That is the Question

In my letter, I address the need of domestic aid and how our nation should cut down on foreign aid

Dear Mr. President,

From July 4, 1776 to September 23,2016, America has come a long way. From winning our independence from Great Britain, to abolishing slavery, or giving equal marriage rights to LGBTQ+ citizens, these are just a few of the wonderful accomplishments that we have done for ourselves. But of course as you know Mr. President, there are still many problems with our country that we have to address. Our unemployment rate is at 4.9% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have acts of terrorism occurring more and more within our country, and the wealthy pay too little in taxes. Those are just a couple of problems to list. Given these issues and more, we are allotting money to foreign countries for their wellbeing when we are in need of aid here in our own backyard.

My name is Ndidi. I am 15 years old from Baltimore Maryland. I live in Owings Mills which is one of the towns in Baltimore County and I attend school in Dundalk which is another town also in Baltimore County. I myself am fortunate enough to live in the county where the crime is not as high and where there are more opportunities for me to become a globally competitive person in our world. But there are places in Baltimore City where this is not the case. It is not surprising to hear about a person who was murdered in the city every day on the radio on my way to school. To pass by neighborhoods in the city that are completely run down with little kids running around in old clothes is something that doesn’t shock me. According to My Brother’s Keeper, 30,000 Baltimoreans experience homelessness on any given night. There are even 39 out of the 173 schools, programs and centers without air conditioning in Baltimore County, including my own school. According to the Maryland government, sea levels have risen about a foot for the past 100 years because of climate change which is affected by global warming. Higher sea levels contribute to higher storm wave heights and greater storm impacts on Maryland’s coastal areas. These areas help bring plenty of revenue to my state.

Mentioned above were a few of the problems that are in my city. Mr. President. If you add another 20,000 cities to my one with their problems, then you will have approximately all of the metropolitan areas of our country. Each area has complications of their own and then our country as a whole has widespread problems as well. Meanwhile, out of the budget’s 4.2 trillion dollars for fiscal year 2017, 34 billion of that is planned to be used in foreign aid. Although that is just 1% of the budget, it is a lot of money that could be invested into other sectors.

Now I am not saying that we should get rid of this sector completely, but I feel that we should take into consideration how much is going to these other countries. According to Foreign Assistance.gov, 1.13 billion dollars will be given towards foreign country to support good governance. 8.31 billion dollars will also be distributed throughout countries all over the world to support peace and security. Some may argue that the distribution of money to countries in need allows the U.S to develop allies or to have more trade partners. They may even say that it encourages development and allows countries to follow suit of American standards. But how can we give money to help encourage democracies when we can’t even be a proper role model for democracy ourselves? We also continue to give money but these problems have continued to persist in these countries for years. Some of the less economically developed countries may even be too dependent on us for help with all of the funds we have been providing them. There are even countries whose leaders have spoken against our ways but we continue to support them.

My final words to you Mr. President, is that most of the money in the budget for foreign aid goes towards peace and security, health, and humanitarian assistance. But here in America, people continue to be without health care, police brutality rates are soaring, and our debt is forever on the rise. But even with all these things, we continue to give money to other countries. Mr President, the well being of our country is in your hands. If we do not provide for ourselves then who will? We are all counting on you, will you help our country? 

Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts

Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts

A comprehensive high school, with an arts magnet program, serving 1500 students in Dundalk, Baltimore County, MD.

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