President Donald Trump claimed, during his campaign, that it would be “America first,” and now he may be living up to that promise by cutting a big foreign fund that no one expected him to take money out of. For decades, the United States has been a worldwide leader in helping various nations with their problems, which most Americans feel indifferent on. Some believe we should help when needed, and others think we should stay out of everything not related to the U.S.
However, the United Nations came together after World War II. This was in hopes to avoid the type of conquest and genocide we saw happen in Germany by Adolph Hitler when he ordered the imprisonment and death of millions of Jewish men, women, and children. It was one of the most horrific acts in world history and the U.N. was quite useful in helping to accomplish this. As long as no one brings up Rwanda.
The United Nations has allowed the United States to remain connected to the world, but the major issue with this is that President Trump wants to cut foreign aid, and in doing so, must take out a good 50 percent from the United Nations. The knowledge of this came from Trump’s budget proposal that he sent to Congress. According to the report in Foreign Policy, Trump’s State Department is looking at the 50 percent U.N. cut.
In fact, they might cut more, if possible. Ideally, the more funds that can be used for the United States, the better, especially due to the national debt being so high. However, the United States should not just remove itself from the United Nations, obviously. As of now, they have a seat and a vote in the U.N. that holds a lot of power at the end of the day.
This is not the first time we’ve heard of Trump wanting to cut money out of the American funding for the United Nations. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration reportedly planned an executive order for at least 40 percent to be pulled from the U.N. rather than go with the move to use it as part of the budget plan. However, the idea was delayed due to legal concerns.
The United States does not exactly spend an arm and a leg on foreign funds to the United Nations. As of now, they spent $10 billion annually on the United Nations. However, while that may seem like a lot to the common man, it is low in comparison to what could be offered by the United States. Of course, that said, the U.S. could also offer a bit less and they would still see millions of dollars come in from the rest of the world who happen to be involved in the U.N.
At least, that is what most would want to think when it comes to the United Nations. However, the United States offers a big part of their budget. The United States helps with 22 percent of their overall annual budget. This means that they would be hit with the loss of money. This is not the only area the U.S helps them out, as they also contribute a huge 28 percent of their annual peacekeeping budget.
The State Department gives out nearly half of the $10 billion spent on the United Nations, as they have about $4 billion that come from them. This is most likely the area that Trump can cut completely from the United Nations, as it would at least be 40 percent. While he may not get Congress to agree to half, the State Department is an area Trump can mess around with. He would just need to push the original executive order.
This cut from the United Nations would be quite drastic globally, it seems. An expert told Foreign Policy that a cut such as this affects a lot, such as refugee and food programs.
“[It would] leave a gaping hole that other big donors would struggle to fill. You are basically talking about the breakdown of the international humanitarian system as we know it.”
The problem with all of this is that President Trump already went ahead and committed over $50 billion extra to the department of defense. This is in spite of the fact that the United States pays more for defense than any other nation in the world today. Due to the fact that he wants to add so much money to this area, it obviously leaves less room for other things, such as America’s assistance in foreign aid.
Obviously, all of the things involved in the budget from President Trump have to be approved by Congress. Many in both the House and Senate seem to support the idea of having America remain first, but often fall at a disagreement when cutting so much funding from foreign aid. It is unlikely that Congress would approve of such a massive cut to the United Nations fund. However, if they did, we would see them have to give up a lot on humanitarian work in the coming year.
[Featured Image By Mary Altaffer/AP Images]