MFAN Principal and director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Reform initiative at the Center for Global Development Connie Veillette revisits five ways Congress could save billions of dollars with simple reforms to foreign assistance programs and policies. With the Budget Control Act, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is tasked with finding $1.5 trillion over ten years in savings. Veillette offers up “five super ideas for the super committee”—originally co-created with MFAN Principal John Norris. See below for some excerpts and a handy chart on the range of savings made with cost-effective reforms:
Back in May, I joined with John Norris at the Center for American Progress to make recommendations on savings that could be achieved through simple reforms of some aid policies and procedures. We called it then Five Steps to Make Our Aid More Effective and Save More Than $2 Billion. I have since informally redubbed it: Five Super Ideas for the Super Committee.
Yes, there’s a long way to go to reach $1.5 trillion, but as they say…a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.
On the low estimate end, this would achieve $2 billion in savings annually, or $20 billion over ten years. On the high end, it would be $8 billion in savings in one year, or $80 billion over ten years.
In addition to reducing the deficit, bringing greater efficiency to government programs would be another very positive contribution the Super Committee can make.