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Global improvements begin within our borders | Letter

With the recent debates over the repeal of Obamacare and the push for the Better Care Reconciliation Act (or what has come to be known as Trumpcare), there is definite unrest in Congress. Having a two-party political system in our democracy, this conflict is one that we’ve slowly come to terms with over the years.

Yes, opinions vary. And yes, it slows down our legislation. However, it’s a distinct quality of the American way and a constant reminder of our democratic method. But is this idea of democracy getting in the way of even the most obvious decisions?

Over the years, we’ve come to associate certain political stances with either party. Nonetheless, supporting foreign aid programs is not a Democratic or Republican ideal, it’s simply the right thing to do.

Of course, we need to keep our own economy in mind, but that is where it gets interesting. Eleven of America’s top 15 trading partners were once countries that received our aid assistance. Strong economies are also more resistant to terrorist activities and unstable government regimes. As we support these developing countries, we are opening channels for overseas markets and improving national security.

When it comes down to it, foreign aid is one of the most heavily misunderstood budgets. On average, Americans believe that 26 percent of all U.S. spending goes toward foreign aid assistance. This is more than health care (24 percent), social security (24 percent) and defense (18 percent). The reality is, less than a penny on the dollar ends up funding programs such as the United States Agency for International Development.

Let’s not get caught up in the system and party loyalty. Let’s all actively decide to make the world a better place. Each of us can do our part by calling or emailing our Congressional leaders today. A simple action can go a long way when it comes to foreign aid.

Radhika Kuchibhatla

Sammamish