Conservative thoughts on the fiscal cliff & foreign aid

Last summer, in a last ditch attempt at spurring the budgetary super committee to action on the crushing federal deficit, an agreement was reached in Washington D.C.

That agreement — known officially as the Budget Control Act, and unofficially as The Sequester – combined with impending tax hikes as a result of congress’ inability to come to any other notable agreements since, are what is now collectively known as The Fiscal Cliff. So appropriately named, because — when the mandatory across-the-board budget cuts that make up The Sequester collide with the substantial tax hikes that will sucker punch virtually every American family — it will so drastically affect the political and economic landscape in the United States (and by extension the world) that it will look and feel as though we’ve fallen over a cliff. An event, I might add, that is coming directly to you in less than two months.

If our legislators don’t take action we will run full-tilt off The Fiscal Cliff on January 2, 2013. Less than eight very short weeks from now.

Since I’ve already written about the tax hikes that are awaiting us at the edge of the cliff*, today I’d like to talk more about the sequestration side of things. Specifically, the part of it that will affect our foreign aid expenditures. Similar cuts and their consequences will be felt domestically, and I plan to write about them in the coming days, but as most of you know I just returned from a trip to Ethiopia as a guest of the ONE Campaign and foreign aid is fresh in my mind.

The truth is, the irony of the precarious position in which I’ve found myself is not lost on me; a right-leaning writer advocating for the preservation of foreign aid in a time when even expenditures for domestic aid and entitlement programs are an especially embittered topic on my own side of the aisle. As I review the discussions we’re having about the cliff, our options for avoiding it, and what will happen if we don’t, I keep coming back to just one thing though: this is not a partisan issue and there are no partisan fixes.

Even if we take those programs that are traditionally thought of as pet programs of one party or the other, drastic cuts to them will have a marked effect on issues that are of cornerstone importance to us all. And this is, perhaps, no truer than when considering foreign aid.

Though foreign aid is often thought of as a left-leaning budget line item, its integral role in two of the right’s dearest priorities is undeniable. As much as we spend investing in both our national security and the viability of the private sector economy, the relatively paltry sum that is allotted to foreign aid is likely the single area in which we get the most bang for our buck in both of them.

Read the rest of Diana’s article on her blog Righteous Bacon.