ONE’s new video series illustrates just how little every day Americans know about foreign assistance and the life-saving effects it has on millions of people. Read ONE member Anne-Tyler Morgan’s story about why foreign aid pays off.
It’s true: America has problems of its own. Many Americans live without food, shelter or health care, which is why the government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone, according to the Senate Budget Committee.
Photo caption: Anne-Tyler has been helping ONE fight poverty for many years. Here she is with Bill Clinton in 2010.
In contrast, federal foreign assistance spending topped out at $20 billion in FY2011. Federal spending both at home and abroad works to Americans’ advantage. And here’s why:
Foreign assistance spending plays a vital role in protecting the United States’ national security interests, promoting global development goals, and sponsoring worldwide humanitarian efforts. The reduction of global poverty and disease discourages the desperation that often leads to terrorism and anti-democratic sentiment.
Hear what real Americans think about US foreign assistance:
The stimulation of global economic development leads to increased movement within the United States’ commodities market. When used in a cost-effective manner and channeled through appropriate organizations and entities, spending on foreign assistance translates to counter-narcotic efforts; to increased education encouraging global travel, trade and migration; and to a generally more peaceful world.
And at the end of the day, it’s just the right thing to do. The United States stands as a model for a more just world – one in which a child born halfway across the globe has a chance to learn about the world around them and change that world for the better. The global community looks to America as a source of inspiration, hope and stability. It’s not about “them” versus “us”– efficiently utilized foreign assistance spending helps us all.
A veteran ONE member, Anne-Tyler is our resident Congressional District Leader in Lexington, Ky., where she practices health care law.