Many Americans are ill-informed on the subject of extreme poverty around the world and the federal budget’s funds toward foreign aid. Opinion polls consistently find that Americans believe foreign aid is in the range of 25% of the federal budget. When asked how much it should be, they say about 10%.
On the contrary, at $39.2 billion for 2019, foreign assistance is less than 1% of the federal budget. As a world leader, our country should be doing more to address global poverty. If we were to give more in foreign aid, many lives would be drastically changed for the better, including lives here in America. In May 2017, more than 200 major companies sent a letter to Congress urging that the international affairs budget be protected. With only 5% of the world’s consumers living in the U.S. and many economies in the developing world undergoing rapid growth, these business leaders have found it is in their best interest to increase foreign aid and address poverty.
As opposed to extremely poor people who live on less than $1 a day, working poor and middle class in developing nations are able to become consumers for American goods. This in turn creates revenue for Americans and jobs in production for U.S. exports. The idea of foreign aid coming back in trade has been proven time and again with many countries, including South Korea, Brazil and India. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has made it a great point in her career to address global poverty and has been a supporter of foreign aid since early in her career. America needs more leaders who stand up for the world’s poor and foreign aid.