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Reader's View: Helping other nations pays off for U.S.

Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump touted that the U.S spends too much helping other countries, and he vowed to change that. Budget director Mick Mulvaney reiterated the stance in a St. Patrick's Day presser, raising the question: Ho...

Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump touted that the U.S spends too much helping other countries, and he vowed to change that. Budget director Mick Mulvaney reiterated the stance in a St. Patrick’s Day presser, raising the question: How much does the U.S spend on foreign aid?

“Surveys show that many of our citizens think we devote a full quarter or even a third of our federal budget to foreign aid,” former Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech in Chicago in October.

In actuality, the real percentage isn’t in the double digits. It’s not even 1 percent. According to the Committee for a Responsible Budget, the U.S. spends 0.7 percent of its coffers on foreign aid, coming at a time where there is a refugee crisis in the Middle East and a hunger crisis in Africa.

“At the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations," UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien warned the Security Council last month, according to BBC coverage.

Many of the president’s supporters seem to believe that helping other countries provides no benefit to the U.S. However, history has shown the opposite. Several countries that once received foreign aid are now trade partners with the U.S. Helping developing nations also has been shown to reduce violence and terrorism.

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“Foreign assistance is an insurance policy. Investing over there, even though we have needs here, makes us safer.” Sen. Lindsey Graham said in February, according to the Washington Post.

Maybe in order to truly “make America great again,” the current administration may need to lend more of a helping hand.

Abdurahman Gaildon

Woodbury, Minn.

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