News / USA

Republican Presidential Contenders Promise US Foreign Aid Cuts

GOP presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and Texas Governor Rick Perry take part in the CNN Western Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada October 18, 2011
GOP presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and Texas Governor Rick Perry take part in the CNN Western Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada October 18, 2011

The U.S. presidential election process formally begins January 3rd in the Midwest state of Iowa when Republicans will cast the first votes to choose a party nominee to run against President Barack Obama in November of 2012. The domestic economy and jobs have dominated the Republican candidate debates, but foreign policy issues occasionally come up, including the subject of U.S. foreign aid.

At the most recent Republican debate in Las Vegas, several of the candidates made it clear they would cut foreign aid if elected president.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said, “I think it is time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid.”

Another contender, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, argued the United States has no business sending aid abroad.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul greets supporters before he speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Presidential Forum at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, October 22, 2011
Texas Congressman Ron Paul greets supporters before he speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Presidential Forum at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, October 22, 2011

“It is not authorized in the Constitution that we can take money from you and give it to particular countries around the world.  To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries,” said Paul.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who remains the top choice for many Republicans, said tough economic times at home would mean aid cutbacks overseas.
“I happen to think it does not make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give to another country for humanitarian aid.  We ought to let the Chinese take care of those people,” Romney said.

The Republican comments on cutting foreign aid prompted criticism from evangelical Christian leaders, including Richard Cizik.

“All of these kinds of programs actually are in our national interest and from an evangelical Christian point of view they are also important because they reflect our biblical values, caring about other people,” Cizik said.

Cizik and others note the importance of U.S. aid programs such as flood relief in Pakistan, earthquake disaster assistance in Haiti and fighting poverty and disease in Honduras.

Foreign policy experts say there is domestic support for U.S. aid efforts abroad. Heather Hurlburt is with the National Security Network.

“When you do public-opinion polling of American citizens they are extraordinarily committed to the idea that we live in a global society and that we are intimately connected to people around the world and it is our responsibility as citizens to step in and support people elsewhere,” Hurlburt said.

Hurlburt adds that most Americans do not realize that foreign aid accounts for such a small percentage of the federal budget.

“U.S. foreign aid is less than one-percent of U.S. annual spending," said Hurburt. Americans, when they are polled, tend to say that they think it is about 20 percent and they think it should be, by the way, between five and ten percent, which would be of course a five-fold increase in how we actually support the rest of the world.”

The issue is likely to come up again during a November 15th Republican debate that will deal only with foreign policy issues.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid