Finally, a politician has a foreign policy that I would endorse. Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry announced during the last presidential debate that his foreign aid budget would begin at zero. Any foreign aid to be allocated would be based entirely on their support of the United States.
One of the questions asked of the candidates dealt with US relations with Pakistan. Cain just said the issue was complex and needed to be evaluated, which to me seemed like a political way of saying he didn’t know what he would do.
When the question was turned to Perry, he said, “It’s time for us as a country to say no to foreign aid to countries that don’t support the United States of America.”
This means that under the current situation with Pakistan, their billions would be cut off until they prove they are loyal allies of the US.
Gingrich somewhat agreed with Perry but offered some moderation to Perry’s flat zero start. He said that countries wanting US aid need to justify why and how much they want.
Bachmann said she would reduce foreign aid, but not start at zero, especially in the case of Pakistan because it is an issue of national security.
Some commentators are saying that foreign aid is only a very small part of the US budget. Over the past couple of years, it has run from $45 billion to $49 billion a year. President Obama has requested $50.8 billion in foreign aid for the 2012 fiscal year.
However I wonder if the $45 billion to $50 billion figures are just official foreign aid and not all of the extra millions that are given to or spent in countries like rebuilding mosques and sewer systems in Muslim nations or the $50 million spent on fighting AIDS and other diseases around the globe?
Even if those things are included, I would not call foreign aid a trivial matter. At a time when the government is spending $10 for every $1 it takes in or whatever the figure is, every $1million here and $1billion there saved will quickly add up to make a difference in helping control America’s debt and possibly lead to a balanced budget.