$3.8 trillion is a number a little too large to comprehend; Sarah Jane and I break down some of the numbers in the budget and have some fun comparing development and diplomacy programs with some of the government's big ticket spending items.
More on the FY11 Budget
- Obama’s First Budget Request: Modest Increases but Strong Signaling for Development
- MCC Slated for $1.28 Billion in FY2011 Budget Request
- Todd Moss' Expert Commentary on President Obama's 2011 Budget Request
- U.S. Global Health Initiative: An Opportunity to Provide Short (and Useful) Comments on a Tall Order
Sarah Jane says that of the $12,300 per American in the proposed budget, about $190 would go to development and diplomacy. That compares to about $5,000 for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and about $2,200 for defense. We also discuss the proposed allocations for USAID, global health, and the MCC. One thing we know is that whole picture isn't yet clear—only the top line numbers are available and Congress has yet to have its say. (For a visual display of how the budget stacks up, try this interactive tool from the New York Times.)
Sarah Jane says that, as she wrote last week in a blog post, Obama’s budget request is fundamentally friendly to development. Development spending, along with all other international affairs and national security programs, is exempt from the freeze on discretionary spending.
She concludes that while the money matters it’s also important to remember that there are plenty of ways in which the United States can promote development that don't involve spending, starting with our trade and migration policies.
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