The Campaign Spot

Spared by the Sequester: $18.8 Million for Philippine Economic Development

I’m not vehemently opposed to all foreign aid; targeted and administered correctly, it can do a lot of good.

But we live in an era of $16.7 trillion in national debt. Ideally, we would be contemplating cuts to low-priority taxpayer-funded programs to help Americans and cuts to low-priority taxpayer-funded programs to help foreign citizens. But between those two, the priority doesn’t seem that difficult. At the very least, I think we could use foreign aid as leverage with regimes that have been uncooperative in the recent past, like Egypt and Pakistan. Foreign aid is a gift, not an entitlement.

(As I’ve mentioned in the past, I wonder if the U.S. suspended all foreign aid to all countries for one year, whether other countries would be more appreciative when we reinstated it . . . or whether some countries would protest and/or riot outside U.S. embassies, believing they have a guaranteed right to financial assistance from American taxpayers.)

Non-disaster, non-crisis aid to help a country like the Philippines, which is usually on friendly terms with the U.S., seems like something nice to give, but not something we need to give. If we were running a surplus, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. But every dollar that is spent today is, theoretically, a higher priority than the Defense Department civilian employees getting furloughed, or the need to keep certain illegal immigrants in detention centers, or White House tours, or any of the other examples of spending cut under the sequester.

Today’s bit of federal spending “Spared by the Sequester” is $18,897,868 to the Asia Foundation to administer programs in the Philippines:

The COMPETE Project is intended to contribute to higher growth through the better provision of infrastructure, increased competitiveness of key industries, and increased access to credit. USAID will support measures that lower transport and logistics costs, reduce the cost of electricity, and promote the expansion of businesses in the priority sectors identified in the Philippine Development Plan, primarily in tourism and agribusiness.

This contract was awarded today, April 5.

Most Popular

White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More