An enlarged, long-term program of economic assistance to the peoples of Free Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America is justified on this positive and constructive basis; it is in the interest of the United States that we and our children live in a world of independent, open societies, each developing its own version of political democracy...our enemy is poverty, despair, stagnation and the fear that only totalitarian methods can lift a poor agrarian society into sustained growth. Our task is to demonstrate in this generation that economic growth and human liberty can evolve hand in hand. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961
President John F. Kennedy established the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1961 to promote development around the world. There is a public misperception concerning how much of the federal budget is actually set aside for foreign assistance programs. "Only one-half of one percent is actually allocated and spent through the agency," stated J. Brian Atwood, head of USAID, at the International Development Conference on January 1995. In addition, "U.S. Foreign Assistance levels are at their lowest levels in over 50 years" (Ten Questions Commonly Asked About U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs, March 6, 1995). The United States should continue providing assistance to poverty-stricken countries because American benefits from the assistance as well as the imoverished countries do. Because of foreign aid, the American economy is advanced, democracies around the world are fostered while strategic allies are secured, and the welfare of the needy is upgraded around the world.
I admit there are a number of reasons why the United States should not provide assistance to impoverished countries. First and foremost, the United States should not contribute to the world hunger situation until every impoverished American is provided with aid. There are many Americans who live in poor conditions, and the United States should consider their needs first before considering the needs of foreign people. The destitute and penniless Americans have priority over the destitute and penniless foreigners. According to Senator Jesse Helms, "We've reached a place in our foreign policy that we need to concentrate on what's good for America and stop this business of handling out money to gonernments all over the world." America's first priority should be toward's the citizens of its nation.
Tens of thousands of Americans are losing their jobs. In some states there's no gasoline for school buses, and rural children are staying at home. In many of America's cities, water and sewer systems are cracking with age; whole sections of cities are beginning to look like sets for post-nuclear war films. Dangerous toxic-watse dumps remain dangerous because there is no money to clean them up. Too many Americans are hurting. (Reese A22)
Another reason for not providing foreign is is due to the overpopulation of the world....