Humanitarian aid gives America's image a boost

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  • Moderate Thinking Bogota, Colombia, AA
    March 7, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    What many Americans fail to realize s that our foreign aid expenditures are a relatively miniscule line-item in the U.S. budget. Yes, has has indeed increased by about 140% since 2000, but it has increased proportionately with the rest of of the budget. Studies have sought to measure the opinions of Americans as to how much they think we are currently spending on foreign aid, and how much they think would be more reasonable. The average American believes we spend between 25-30% of our national budget on foreign aid, while claiming that a more reasonable slice of the pie would be around 10%. The reality is that we spend about one-half of one percent on aid.

    Of course, in this budget climate, foreign aid should take a fair share of cuts. But slashing foreign aid budgets will make relatively little impact on our deficit. Indeed, you could completely obliterate all foreign aid, and it would barely make a scratch, while at the same time, squandering a lot of good will around the world, and ultimately costing the U.S. millions in what they could save avoiding wars, and lose income that could come from strong economic allies around the world.