On his blog earlier today, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein posted a piece about five ways foreign aid could be improved to cost less and be more effective. After establishing that foreign aid makes up just less than 1 percent of the federal budget, Klein writes, “But even though we’re actually spending less than Americans think we should, the perception that we massively overspend makes it easier for politicians to slash foreign aid whenever they need to make some budget cuts.”
Still, there’s hope. He cites a recent policy brief from MFAN Principals John Norris of the Center for American Progress and Connie Veillette of the Center for Global Development who list off five ways the U.S. government can save money on its foreign assistance programs by eliminating earmarks—or as Klein puts it “aidmarks”—doing away with ag subsidies, and getting rid of outdated shipping regulations. Klein makes the point that these measures, being pro-market and putting every dollar to greater use, seem to be exactly the kind of improvements Republicans could get behind. Read his full piece here.