This new graphic visually depicts how spending on foreign assistance, which includes disaster relief, long term poverty reduction, hunger prevention and human rights programs, clocks in at just 0.6% of the federal budget. Good magazine’s artists use the image of a spotlight to highlight the dramatic misconceptions most Americans have about foreign aid spending. They cite a Gallup poll where in response to the question “what percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid” the median response was a vastly inflated 25%, and in response to the question “what percent of the federal budget should go to foreign aid,” the median response was 10% — still ten times the actual amount.
The International Affairs Budget, which includes foreign assistance as well as U.S. diplomatic operations overseas, accounts for just over 1 percent of the entire federal budget. Along with defense, homeland security, and veterans programs, the International Affairs Budget is a part of U.S. national security spending. To meet the global challenges we face around the world, today, we cannot afford to cut back on what is already a good return on investment for the American people.