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Saving Foreign Aid In The Budget

August 20, 2019

As an internationalist and continued advocate for foreign aid in our national budget, there is good news to report from this desk.  I often think my blog has more need to post items in opposition to something in the news than to be in favor of an item in the headlines.  Today, however, I am pleased to strongly support a stand taken by two top members of the Donald Trump administration.

As readers know Trump is not understanding the role foreign aid has to play with almost every aspect of international relations.   So I was most pleased to learn that Trump is now considering abandoning a large portion of the billions of dollars in foreign aid cuts some of his less than prudent budget analysts were pushing.    The news today is that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have made a strong pitch to Trump for the need to scale back the plan to freeze more than $4 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development in the current fiscal year. Much of the cut would hit the United Nations.

This is no small victory for proponents of foreign aid.   This is quite remarkable if it can come to fruition.

In times of peace, and in times of conflict foreign aid dollars are used for a variety of ideas and causes that solidifies America’s position in the world while assisting those around the globe who need support and guidance.

From assistance to our allies which helps to maintain a world in which we are more secure, to aid in the development of more markets overseas, and creating friendships in the court of world opinion all lead any rational person to understand why foreign aid matters.

Given the relatively small foreign aid budget — it accounts for 1 percent of federal spending overall — the effect of the cuts could be disproportional when considering the whole budget.

It would be nice if more hopeful posts of this kind could be written on this blog.  But first, of course, I need to have a basis for writing them.  Over the past 2 and a half years that task has been most difficult.

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