We don’t spend enough on foreign aid; U.S. should spend more

July 18, 2012

All that bellyaching about Obama’s out of control spending?  Bunk.

All that ballyhoo about how the U.S. spends way too much on foreign aid?  Dangerous anti-American propaganda; we don’t spend enough.

For evidence, look at the Congressional Budget Office‘s non-partisan analysis of the State Department reauthorization act for the coming year, Fiscal 2013.  And please, get the facts before you start to complain.

H.R. 6018, Foreign Relations Reauthorization Act, Fiscal Year 2013

Page 1 of CBO’s analysis:

H.R. 6018 would authorize appropriations for the Department of State and related agencies, the Peace Corps, and international broadcasting activities. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $15.8 billion over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the specified and estimated amounts.

We’re talking actual outlays for the State Department, for all of our diplomatic efforts to prevent war, secure and strengthen peace, represent U.S. interests in trade and defense and culture, and manage the provision of about $37 billion in aid to other nations, of a total around $9.3 billion for FY 2013.  (See page 2)

That’s a pittance.

Even if we include the $37 billion in foreign aid payouts, that’s less than $50 billion a year to manage and maintain our vital relationships in the world.

You can get the country-by-country breakdown of foreign aid, from the horse’s mouth, at this site.

Less than 1% of our national budget goes to foreign aid.

Less than 1 penny of every dollar you pay in taxes, goes to foreign aid.

How much would be enough?  We could double foreign aid without any significant effect to the deficits, but with huge effects in good will and actual production of peace overseas.

Most people think a “fair” percentage of the budget to dedicate to foreign aid would be about 10%.

This is no time for austerity in federal spending.

What’s changed in this chart from 2010?  Not much:


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