15 August 2012

Preview: Obama vs Romney on Foreign Aid

My main post today over at Humanosphere is an attempt to compare how the Romney and Obama camps view foreign aid. It is not as straightforward as I would like since Romney has provided little information to work with. However, the entry of Paul Ryan adds a bit more clarity, and a strong point of comparison, to the picture.

Here is an excerpt. The post goes live at 11 AM EST.


We had the opportunity to hear Romney's thoughts about foreign aid thanks to the fall Republican debates. He said in October:
Foreign aid has several elements. One of those elements is defense, is to make sure that we are able to have the defense resources we want in certain places of the world. That probably ought to fall under the Department of Defense budget rather than a foreign aid budget. 
Part of it is humanitarian aid around the world. I happen to think it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give to another country for humanitarian aid. … 
And finally there’s a portion of our foreign aid that allows us to carry out our activities in the world such as what’s happening in Pakistan where we’re taking - we’re supplying our troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan. 
But let me tell you: We’re spending more on foreign aid than we ought to be spending. And Congressman Paul asked, is there a place we can cut the budget? Let me tell you where we cut the budget. Discretionary accounts you bring back to 2008 level. We … cut federal employment by at least 10 percent through attrition. And finally, we say to federal employees: You’re not going to make more money than the people in the private sector who are paying for you. We link their compensation.
Aid also does not make an appearance on the Romney website as well, but he does devote a sections on Africa and Latin America that emphasize trade.
Global demand for Africa’s natural resources will grow. Demographics indicate that by 2050, Africa’s population will double to two billion and one in four workers on the planet will be African. These trends, when coupled with robust economic growth, point to the emergence of stronger economic actors on the world stage and greater partnership opportunities for the United States. While Africa is changing, global competitors like China are taking advantage of these changes and are rapidly outmaneuvering the United States by making strategic inroads throughout the continent and gaining an economic and political advantage over the United States.

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