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Letter From Paul Simon's Office To David Stockman Director Of Office of Management And Budget - Cuts In Foreign Aid Budget



Letter From Paul Simon's Office To David Stockman Director Of Office of Management And Budget - Cuts In Foreign Aid Budget


Letter from Congressman Paul Simon to David Stockman discussing cuts to foreign aid budget and projected consequences.


Simon, Paul, 1928-2003
Stockman, David Alan, 1946-
Economic assistance


Simon, Paul, 1928-2003




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)




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Washington (D.C.)


Paul Simon
24th District, Illinois

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20515
February 3, 1981

Mr. Dave Stockman
Office of Management and Budget
Executive Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20503

We are concerned over recent reports on the recommended FY82 foreign aid budget. It appears that the new Administration is considering the most severe budget cuts in our foreign aid program since its inception. We believe that such a move is unwise and short sighted.

We are also concerned about what appears to be a dramatic shift in our philosophical approach to foreign aid. If the Administration implements this new direction, it would result in massive aid reductions to the poorest nations, particularly those in Asia and Africa and, second, aid would be concentrated on a small number of countries viewed as of "key importance" to the United States.
We believe that both of these philosophical approaches, coupled with dramatic reductions in our nonmilitary aid would seriously jeopardize our relations with the majority of developing countries and would impair our strategic stability within the international community.

We have a humanitarian and moral responsibility to share our resources and our technical advancements with countries which are struggling towards economic and political stability. Our foreign aid has always recognized this nationally defined responsibility. Given recent international events it is absolutely the wrong time to be sending a signal to many poor countries that we don't care and that we have little if any concern for them if they are not of "direct strategic value."

Our strength within the international community does not result solely from our own military strength and the level of military assistance we provide other countries. It rests as much with our ability to provide economic and social assistance as well . Massive reductions in our nonmilitary aid will surely seriously damage our relations with much of the world, at a time when we can least afford such an action. Where do you draw the line on which countries are more or less currently “strategically important?” Three years ago, Afghanistan might have been viewed as expendable; years before than, Vietnam might have suffered the same fate. Looking back, there are few who could say such actions would have been in our national interest. The expendable nations of today might well be the strategically necessary ones of tommorrow.

Finally, we can understand from the Soviet viewpoint why they are not interested in participating in the multilateral funding institutions. Countries without this type of economic assistance are far more vulnerable than those receiving IFI aid. But it is clearly within our own national interest to join with other nations in supporting this form of international economic assistance.

We urge the Administration to reconsider moving ahead with these types of changes in our foreign aid program and rather to continue to provide a strong and far reaching nonmilitary foreign aid program.

Our best wishes.

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)


Simon, Paul, 1928-2003, “Letter From Paul Simon's Office To David Stockman Director Of Office of Management And Budget - Cuts In Foreign Aid Budget,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed March 2, 2021,