If one wants to make the comparison even more striking, current spending on all “international programs” – that is, all U.S. non-military engagement with the world, accounts for 1.2% of the federal budget. That includes humanitarian relief, diplomacy, international organization funding, poverty and disease programs, U.N. peacekeeping, and a number of other critical international initiatives.
House and Senate conferees are meeting this month to figure out if even that paltry number can be agreed to or if it will be cut by about $1 billion. The Senate conferees have the better, higher number, thanks to the leadership of Sens. Dodd and Smith.
There’s nothing sexy about this battle, but its moral, economic, and national security imperatives couldn’t be more clear.
— Scott Paul