The People Have Spoken: We Need to Spend More on Foreign Aid
Years ago, I read that Americans on average thought we spent something like a quarter of our budget on foreign aid. It was a ridiculous overestimate, both then and now, and I figured the number of misinformed people would have to have declined since then. Hasn’t American ignorance on this very subject become sort of proverbial?
Apparently not. As of last month, Americans still say that we spend about 25% on foreign aid. Incredibly, the average suggestion is to lower foreign aid to a mere 10% of our budget.
The real amount we spend on foreign aid? 0.6%.
Clearly, then, it’s not enough. But just you try running on a pro-foreign aid platform. Yeah, that’s a winner.
Personally, I’d stop spending even that .6%. But I’m under no illusions that it would balance the budget. We’d have to cut spending on entitlements and the military to make real any headway on that.
Still, pick up a typical small-town newspaper and you’ll see earnest proposals in the “Letters to the Editor” section saying that if we just cut our foreign aid, we’d be a long way toward balancing the budget. Oh yeah, cut Congressional salaries, too. That’ll help.
And people chide me for my lack of faith in democracy.