Brief but excellent analysis as to why cutting aid (which forms such a small part of the US total budget) isn’t necessarily as quick and easy a fix as lawmakers would like.
From the article:
In short, Obama’s new vision for aid started the right conversation; but the budget cutters have muted it. Foreign aid is seldom charity; it is an investment. The US needs to invest in growth and development abroad for our own sake, as well. If US aid is working, then as other countries of the world grow, they will be more apt to purchase our products, will be less apt to be struck with civil unrest that can jeopardise our geopolitical strategies, and improve our standing in the world in a manner that pays dividends.
Secondly, the unwillingness to cut on military expenditure is far more likely to hurt in the medium term. In the tug-of-war between American interests and anti-American sentiment, military presence tends to send people towards anti-imperialism, whereas provision of aid (when used constructively) is better for both parties.
American exceptionalism, and other broadly ethnocentric aspects to prevalent ideology, will likely play a significant contributing role in the demise of American international hegemony.