Monday, March 14, 2016

A Majority Of The Public Are Ignorant About Foreign Aid

The two charts above show a rather distressing fact -- that most Americans are ignorant when it comes to understanding foreign aid spending by the U.S. government. They believe that the United States is more generous in the foreign aid it provides than other developed nations, and they believe the United States provides too much money to developing nations through foreign aid. Neither of those beliefs are true.

The United States actually is rather stingy when it comes to foreign aid to developing nations, and relative to size, other developed nations give more. For example, the United States gives 75% less in foreign aid than the United Kingdom gives. As a general rule, most developed nations aspire to give 0.7% of national income -- but the United States gives significantly less.

People seem to think that foreign aid makes up a significant portion of the U.S. budget -- and cutting it would free huge amounts of money to spend on other things. The truth is that less than 1% of the budget is spent on foreign aid. If all foreign aid was eliminated, it would have no real impact on the U.S. budget.

The sad fact is that Americans are ignorant about this because they are too lazy to study the budget for themselves. They just accept as fact what their favorite politician tells them -- and that is usually a lie, designed to further the political ambitions of that particular politician.

The charts above were made from a recent YouGov Poll -- done between March 1st and 3rd of a random national sample of 1,000 adults, with a 4.1 point margin of error.

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