Foreign Aid: Open Season

To many Americans—both Democratic and Republican—foreign aid is a painful necessity at best, a downright giveaway at worst. This feeling has encouraged Congress to make a tradition of wielding an ax at presidential foreign aid requests. Last week, President Kennedy asked Congress to appropriate $4.9 billion for foreign aid in fiscal 1963, the biggest aid request since Dwight Eisenhower's $5.1 billion whopper in 1953. Noting that it is "always open season" on foreign aid, Kennedy insisted that the sum was "vital to the interests of the U.S." and "cannot, I believe, be further reduced." But after such customary formalities, the...

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