Trump has a winning argument about foreign aid, but now is not the time for that debate

You know when would have been a good time for President Trump to rail against the obscene amounts of money we spend every year on “foreign aid?” How about any time other than five days before desperately needed unemployment benefits were set to expire for 14 million Americans?

Trump has the moral high ground when he says that the pandemic relief package passed by Congress last week is inadequate when you consider that the government funding bill that it was paired with sends billions of dollars to countries that don’t even like us.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump wrote Saturday on Twitter, referring to the direct one-time payments in the bill for individuals and families. “Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.'”

OK, yeah, he’s right that $2,000 would better stimulate the economy and would help out a lot of people who have been financially kneecapped by the pandemic. But it can’t be said enough that the one-time payment is not the most important part of the bill. The extension of $300 extra in weekly unemployment benefits is.

The one-time $600 checks (or $2,000, if Trump were to have it his way) go to almost everyone, including the majority of Americans who have suffered no loss of income. The unemployment benefits are for Americans who literally lost their jobs, many of whom may be out of work for a very, very long time. They need weekly checks, not just one.

Trump wins the foreign aid debate. Lest anyone forget, he made the same winning argument during the 2016 campaign. But he has lost the timing to make it again.