Barbara Pierce Bush, former President George W. Bush’s daughter, says that reducing foreign aid would have “enormous implications” for the United States.
The Daily Caller asked Bush, currently CEO of Global Health Corps and a Population Services International board member, if the country should reduce aid to foreign countries to help close the $14.5 trillion national debt.
“I completely understand why people are thinking where money is being allocated and I understand why money that’s being sent abroad is being scrutinized,” Bush said. “I think at the same time there’s enormous implications for the U.S. if we don’t continue the efforts that we’ve already started.”
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“If you think about the progress that’s already being made through USAID, through PEPFAR, through the president’s malaria initiative, through Millennium Challenge Corporation, there’s already been such great work done that we can already build off of what’s happened and it’s actually a really efficient, effective way to use our money,” Bush told TheDC on Monday at the Newseum’s “The Power of One Percent” event, sponsored by PSI and USAID.
“We live in such a global world that it would be ridiculous to think that we won’t be affected by what happens in other countries,” she added.
Barbara Bush’s father, former President George W. Bush, took a similar position on foreign aid in a recent address on global health in Washington.
“The challenge is that in some parts of the world and in some parts of our country, some are saying, ‘Is it worth it? Does it matter whether or not we help save a life on the continent of Africa? We’ve got our own problems here at home,’ they say. This is isolationism, which is dangerous,” Bush told the “Summit to Save Lives” on September 13. “It’s dangerous because one of the lessons of September the 11th is what happens overseas matters here at home.”
According to foreignassistance.gov, the federal government spends over $58 billion per year on foreign aid.
Musician and actress Mandy Moore, who serves as a PSI ambassador, said the general public does not know how much of the federal budget is dedicated to foreign aid.
“There’s this common misperception out there that, I think, when polled most Americans tend to think 25 percent of the budget goes toward foreign aid when in actuality it’s one percent – just a fraction of that toward global health so just want to continue to spread the word that so much good is being done with relatively little,” she told TheDC during an interview prior to the event.
“I think at this point, you know, taxpayers are really unsure of, they want to know where their money is going so I think that ‘The Power of One Percent’ is about saying that so much is being done with just this one percent and to not sort of make such disproportionate cuts,” Moore said.