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Generals to Trump: Gutting Diplomacy Endangers Us All (Boston Globe)

March 2, 2017

From the article: 

The truth is more than half of federal spending is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Another 16 percent was defense and homeland security in 2015. Nonmilitary international spending (the State Department, USAID, contributions to international organizations, plus buildings, security, and salaries — which isn’t foreign aid) is together not much more than 1 percent of the $3.9 trillionbudget.

That’s chump change in budgetary terms. Stripping diplomacy and development now seems more an ideological decision than a financial one.

Implying foreign aid is bloated creates a fake problem that Trump can then claim to solve, Charles Kenny, author of “Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding,” told me. “You can’t balance the budget on the back of the State Department and USAID.”

Scott Morris, a former Treasury official and development finance specialist at the Center for Global Development, suspects Trump floated draconian cuts as “a trial balloon for Congress or a bone to his base.”

Read the full article here

Related Experts

Photo of Charles Kenny
Director of Technology and Development and Senior Fellow
Photo of Scott Morris
Senior Fellow, Director of the US Development Policy Initiative