Wednesday, March 4, 2009

His Politics are Global?

One would think that the current economic crisis would put a fine point on the phrase, "all politics is local." However, looking at President Obama's recently released budget, one can argue his politics are global. The budget increases funding for the State Department and other International Programs from $47.2 billion in 2009 to $51.7 billion in 2010 - a slight increase, but an increase no less. While the increases include typical strategic priorities, such as funding for Pakistan, Afghanistan, and anti-terror activities, the president's budget also increases funding for "soft" issues such as global health (HIV, malaria, tuberculosis) and education.

Although I share some of the criticisms made of President Obama's international funding plan by the Center for Global Development, I support his overall vision.

Nonetheless, I wonder if there are folks who believe there is a real choice between helping abroad and helping those at home? Perhaps, some would argue the additional $4.5 billion could be better spent domestically? Or is this is a false choice?

(Picture taken while I was working in Rwanda during the Summer of '07)

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