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Christie and Paul deserve our thanks, not just our jokes

Published: Wednesday, July 29 2015 2:28 p.m. MDT

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells a story about Ilene St. John Monday, July 29, 2013, in Morristown, N.J., at a ceremony naming the Morris County clerk of the board's office after St. John. St. John was the clerk when Christie was a Morris County Freeholder. (Mel Evans, ASSOCIATED PRESS) New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells a story about Ilene St. John Monday, July 29, 2013, in Morristown, N.J., at a ceremony naming the Morris County clerk of the board's office after St. John. St. John was the clerk when Christie was a Morris County Freeholder. (Mel Evans, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The ongoing media feud between prominent GOP members Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has certainly given late night comedy show hosts much in the way of joke material. But Richard Grenell at Fox News is claiming that the back and forth exchange of insults and barbs is in fact furthering the discourse of the GOP policy on foreign aid, something that we should be thanking the two for rather than just making jokes about.

“A healthy debate is unfolding within the Republican Party on foreign policy and national security,” Grenell writes. “In a time of domestic belt-tightening to reign in government deficits topping $16 trillion, many are raising a critical question: can the United States continue to afford its status as a global leader, or can it not afford to lose it. The debate is nothing new.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul addresses the 114th annual VFW National Convention on Monday, July 22, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (Timothy D. Easley, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul addresses the 114th annual VFW National Convention on Monday, July 22, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (Timothy D. Easley, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Although accounting for somewhat less than 1 percent of the annual federal budget, foreign aid remains a hot-button issue for politicians whose home districts are filled with people worrying about their local economy rather than the stability of Pakistan or other Third World countries. Yet at the same time, the stability of nuclear armed Pakistan is actually a really big deal.

“So how to proceed? The answer is somewhere in the middle. Foreign aid, a fraction of total U.S. spending and more than thirty times less than the amount we spend on military obligations every year, is a relative bargain for the foreign influence we must maintain to keep American safe and secure. “

“Nevertheless, we can’t lose sight of the fact that we must live within our means and that foreign aid, like domestic spending, must not go to failing or unaffordable programs.”

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