Editor's note: Every Monday we offer pro/con pieces from the McClatchy-Tribune News Service to give readers a broad view of issues.
U.S. foreign aid, which dates back to the early 1950s, is designed to support U.S. national security by helping our friends, pressuring our adversaries and promoting a safer, more prosperous world.
That's why U.S. aid shifted over the years as our priorities shifted - from winning the Cold War through the 1980s to supporting U.S. global predominance in the 1990s to fighting the war on terror since 2001.
It's also why Washington has showered so much foreign aid on Egypt since it made peace with Israel in 1979, stabilizing the region and making Arab-Israeli war far less likely.
But, with the rise of President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a leading figure, Egypt is no longer the strong U.S. ally on which Washington has relied for more than 30 years.
Morsi does not share our values, and he pursues policies that threaten our interests. Consequently, Washington should not give Cairo the economic and military aid that will strengthen Morsi at home, encourage him to keep undermining us abroad and send a confusing signal about U.S. resolve to our friends and adversaries.
With an economically desperate Egypt needing our aid more than ever, a course correction of fewer or no U.S. dollars will get Morsi's attention and could give us the leverage to influence his behavior.
For starters, Washington has long distributed foreign aid to help advance freedom and democracy.
But Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood that dominates Egypt's new parliament are cracking down on human rights.
Morsi unilaterally fired Egypt's military leaders. Parliament's upper house appointed new editor-in-chief of the nation's state-run newspapers; independent newspapers are under government attack for "fueling sedition"; and the government continues to tolerate, if not encourage, the persecution of Christian Coptics.
In addition, Morsi is undermining U.S. interests in ever-bolder ways, apparently unconcerned about the consequences for U.S.-Egyptian relations.
He promised to push Washington to release Omar Abdel-Rahman, serving time for the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center. He also released jailed terrorists, including members of the dangerous Gama'a Islamiya and Islamic Jihad.
Morsi embraced the Holocaust-denying, Israel-threatening Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an Islamic Summit in Saudi Arabia and then became the first Egyptian leader to visit Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution - undermining U.S. effort to isolate Iran over its nuclear program.
Morsi promises to uphold Egypt's "treaty obligations," but he's undermining the spirit, if not the letter, of Egypt's treaty with Israel.
Admittedly, Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in early 2011, abused human rights and enforced only a cold peace with Israel. But, he was a reliable U.S. ally.
By contrast, Morsi is testing U.S. resolve as he curtails human rights while threatening U.S. interests abroad.
It's time to tighten the spigot and, if that doesn't get Morsi's attention, close it altogether.
Lawrence J. Haas is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. Readers may write to him at AFPC, 509 C St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.