February 3rd, 2010
01:45 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Obama discusses foreign aid and pork projects

 Do pork projects and foreign aid each account for 1 percent of the federal budget?
Do pork projects and foreign aid each account for 1 percent of the federal budget?

(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.


Filed under: Fact Check • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Facts are something you do not get from republicans and Fox newts.

    February 3, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Marc

    Unfortunately, the fact that he is right and the GOPers wrong (again) on the subject of the budget won't stop the Party of NO to claim that the 'Democrat pork' is an obstacle to the balance of the budget of the government. Nothing stops them, not even the truth.

    February 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Scott, Tucson

    Foreign Aid should be the first thing cut until such time this nation can afford to be generous again. How about using that $41.09 billion towards say health care instead of sending it overseas to nations who hate us anyways. If countries which to ask Americans for financial aid than let them run commercials asking Americans to donate to the country of their choice instead of our government ripping off the taxpayers for the money to give it away.

    February 3, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Yes, but until these are eliminated, we cannot even HOPE to move forward. One percent is still a big number. This is an EXCUSE by this worthless president as he continues to blame Bush, rather than the Pelosi Congress in power since 2006, for all of our ills.

    February 3, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Showtime - Tampa

    Oh – yeah only TEN BILLION dollars in earmarks! Thats nothing to worry about....

    The way BHO and CNN spin things is quite laughable!!

    February 3, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. jenn, philadelphia

    Just because they're less than 1% of the budget each doesn't mean you don't eliminate them. Some saving in better than none, otherwise the President freezing spending announcement recently is nothing more than a public relations effort to make himself look good. All experts say the freeze doesn't amount to much, but he made a big deal out of it.

    February 3, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Hugo

    Obama, you still just do not get it, 20% of America is out of work, out of money and out of patience with your little left wing agenda of radical reform. 1% of 13.8 trillion is quite a chunk of change and as long as you don't get that it is OUR money, you will continue to slide into the number one slot of America's worst President ever, pushing Jimmy Carter to the number two position.

    Cut Government, Quit spending and enact TORT law reform NOW!

    February 3, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Smooth

    Our President is well-read, knowledgeable, and understands how government works. He does the research, knows the budget and is trust worthy. More of us should delve into the details before we spout off from the seat of our pants. This includes CNN and its on-air personalities.

    February 3, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Vic of New York

    This myth a political spin espoused by the Right Wing Republican Party as a way to subvert American politics.

    The lying is supported by their so called "Christian" supporters (what's Christian about lying?) who have sold their souls to the devil to achieve their ends.

    These guys are worse than the Nazis and Stalin put together!

    February 3, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |