President Donald Trump continues to question why the U.S. pays billions of dollars in foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan and others who rarely, if ever, return the favor.
Last month, the U.S. announced a $285 million dollar cut in funding to the United Nations, but that pales in comparison to how much we continue to spend abroad.
“We give some kind of aid to 96 percent of all countries in the world, and in 2016 the number was about $49 billion,” says John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.
“Mostly that's because the United States has this conception of itself as the leader of the world, we try to overextend ourselves to solve distant problems in remote regions that don't have much to do with U.S. interests, and it's largely a waste of money.”
But the practice likely to continue, even under Trump.
“It doesn't seem consistent with what U.S. policy is and I wonder how much he can convince Congress or other members of his administration to cut fully cut aid to the Palestinian Authority,” says Glaser.
Glaser says if the U.S. really wanted to scale back spending, it would pull back troops stationed all over the globe.