(CNN) - At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire this week, President Barack Obama said, "If you ask a lot of folks what accounts for the federal budget, they'll say foreign aid and pork projects, and if you just eliminated foreign aid and pork projects, somehow we'd bring our deficit under control. Foreign aid accounts for about 1 percent of our federal budget. One percent. Not 25 percent, not 20 percent, 1 percent." The president also said that earmarks, known as pork projects, "amount to 1 percent of the budget as well."
Fact Check: Do pork projects and foreign aid each account for 1 percent of the federal budget?
- A May 2009 poll for the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation noted that 45 percent of Americans incorrectly thought that foreign aid was one of the two largest areas of federal spending.
- According to a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), $41.09 billion is slated for foreign assistance in the 2011 budget. That is slightly more than 1 percent of the proposed $3.83 trillion budget.
- The OMB says that for 2010, Congress identified $10.37 billion in earmarks. That would be less than 0.3 percent of the estimated $3.72 trillion 2010 budget.
Bottom Line: True. While people might be inclined think that foreign aid and "pork projects" are the biggest obstacles to a balanced budget, in reality those areas each make up about 1 percent or less of the federal budget.