Foreign aid pays dividends
Throughout his campaign Donald Trump said the United States spends too much money helping other countries, and he vowed to change that. Budget director Mick Mulvaney reiterated that stance in a St. Patrick’s Day presser. But how much do we really spend on foreign aid?
Last fall, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Surveys show that many of our citizens think we devote a full quarter or even a third of our federal budget to foreign aid.” However, the real percentage isn’t in the double digits. It’s not even one percent. According to the Committee for a Responsible Budget the U.S spends 0.7 percent of its coffers on foreign aid, coming at a time where there is a refugee crisis in the Middle East and a hunger crisis in Africa.
Last month, Stephen O’Brien, U.N. under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said, “Already, at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations.” Many of the president’s supporters believe that helping other countries provides no benefit for the United States. However, history has shown the opposite. Several countries that once received foreign aid are now trade partners with us. Receiving aid has also been shown to reduce violence and terrorism in developing nations. Sen. Lindsay Graham has called foreign aid an “insurance policy” that makes Americans safer.
Maybe in order to truly make America great again, the current administration should lend more of a helping hand.
ABDURAHMAN GAILDON Woodbury, Minn.