There is much hand-wringing in the mainstream media about the Senate Budget Committee’s 6.8% cut of $4 billion last week to the Obama Administration’s massive $58.5 billion Fiscal Year 2011 request to fund the foreign affairs “150 Account” budgets that include the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  What the critics of congressional cost-cutting conveniently gloss over is that the budgets of the foreign affairs agencies have grown by more than 30 percent in just the past two years!

Of course, the $4 billion reduction barely dented the estimated $1.3 TRILLION deficit for the overall FY 2011 budget and, in reality, it still leaves the State and USAID budgets much fatter than they were before President Obama took office.  To put things into perspective, the FY 2011 request of $58.5 billion was up nearly $16 billion from the $42.9 billion the foreign affairs agencies actually spent in FY 2008.