Public Health Engagement Aff Notes

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Foreign aid may be unpopular, but public health efforts are uniquely popular

DiJulio, Norton, and Brodie '16 (Biana DiJulio is an Associate Director for the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program, Mira Norton is a Survey Analyst for the Public Opinion and Survey Research team, Mollyann Brodie is President of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)., "Americans' Views on the U.S. Role in Global Health", Kaiser Family Foundation, January 20,

Broadly, the American public is largely supportive of the U.S. playing a large role in trying to solve international problems. About two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) say that the U.S. should play at least a major role in world affairs, including 18 percent who say the U.S. should take the leading role and 47 percent who say the U.S. should play a major role but not the leading one. Despite recent international events, including the Ebola crisis in West Africa as well as the more recent terrorist attacks in Paris, these shares haven’t changed substantially since 2012. Majorities across all parties say the U.S. should play a major or leading role, with Republicans more likely to say that the U.S. should play a leading role compared to Democrats. When it comes to global health issues specifically, a slim majority of Americans (53 percent) say the U.S. government is doing enough to improve health for people in developing countries, while four in ten (39 percent) say that it is not doing enough. In addition, half (51 percent) also say religious or faith-based organizations are doing enough and a similar share (46 percent) say the same about international nonprofit organizations. Americans are split on their opinion of the World Health Organization (WHO), the public health arm of the United Nations, with equal shares saying the WHO is doing enough and not doing enough (42 percent each). On the other hand, majorities say that large international businesses and corporations (64 percent), the United Nations (54 percent), and the governments of other developed countries (51 percent) are not doing enough to improve health for people in developing countries.

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The only part of foreign policy voters care about this election season is combatting terrorism

Saunders '16 (Elizabeth N. Saunders, assistant professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, "Will foreign policy be a major issue in the 2016 election? Here’s what we know.", The Washington Post, January 26,

There is also the state-level evidence that casualties mattered in 2004 (and in Senate elections during Vietnam). Another recent study also found that casualties can lead otherwise politically uninterested voters to turn out on election day, although both supporters and opponents of the war appear to be equally mobilized. So how could foreign policy matter in 2016? First, a significant terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 could make foreign policy central. So could a smaller event that happens after Labor Day, when voters are particularly tuned in. But that requires a rare or precisely-timed event. Even major events can recede quickly. Just ask George H.W. Bush, who said this about his reelection chances in March 1991, when his popularity after the Gulf War was at its height: “The common wisdom today is that I’ll win in a runaway, but I don’t believe that. I think it’s going to be the economy.” Second, foreign policy might affect the primaries, as Drezner has suggested. The potential nominee may have to pass the foreign policy “sniff test” (a problem Scott Walker and Ben Carson have confronted). That’s a relatively low bar, however. This year the Republicans have no contender with significant foreign policy experience. The Democrats have one, but that’s the exception for either party, not the rule. In general, we still know relatively little about how foreign policy matters in primary elections. Third, foreign policy can affect a close election. But that is very different from suggesting that foreign policy will be key for most voters. Is it pointless to talk about foreign policy and elections, then? Not so fast. Although it is unlikely — — though not impossible — that foreign policy will be a central factor in the 2016 election, campaign debates about foreign policy can affect national debates and policymaking in other ways. For instance, Bethany Albertson and Shana Gadarian argue that anxiety can affect politics, a relevant issue given recent terrorist attacks.

The general consensus is that public health collaboration can help the U.S.

DiJulio, Norton, and Brodie '16 (Biana DiJulio is an Associate Director for the Public Opinion and Survey Research Program, Mira Norton is a Survey Analyst for the Public Opinion and Survey Research team, Mollyann Brodie is President of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)., "Americans' Views on the U.S. Role in Global Health", Kaiser Family Foundation, January 20,

While there is general skepticism about the effectiveness of global health spending, many Americans believe there are a number of benefits to spending money to improve health in developing countries. More than six in ten (63 percent) say that such spending helps protect the health of Americans by preventing the spread of diseases like SARS, bird flu, swine flu, and Ebola and about half say it helps make people and communities in developing countries more self-sufficient (53 percent) and helps improve the U.S. image around the world (52 percent). Fewer Americans, however, say U.S. health spending in developing countries benefits the U.S. economy (33 percent) or helps U.S. national security by lessening the threat of terrorism (31 percent), while about two-thirds of the public thinks it does not have much impact in those areas. Democrats are generally more likely than Republicans and independents to say that spending money on improving health in developing countries has such impacts, but still about six in ten Republicans and independents say it helps protect Americans’ health (58 percent and 62 percent, respectively). lthough many acknowledge there are domestic interests that could benefit from global health aid, nearly half of Americans (46 percent) say that the most important reason that the U.S. spends money on improving health for people in developing countries is because it’s the right thing to do. This ranks far above other reasons, such as ensuring national security (14 percent), improving our diplomatic relationships (14 percent), helping the U.S. economy by creating new markets for U.S. businesses (11 percent), or improving the U.S.’s image around the world (9 percent). Americans’ views of the reasons for such spending do not vary by political party.

It’s a myth that Republicans hate foreign aid

Norris '11 (John Norris, the executive director of the sustainable security program at the Center for American Progress, "Five myths about foreign aid", The Washington Post, April 28,

What’s the point of U.S. foreign aid, and does it do any good? Let’s topple a few misconceptions and find out.

1. Republicans hate foreign aid. Former congressman Tom Delay (R-Tex.) once noted that it was difficult for lawmakers to explain to their constituents why they were more interested in helping Ghana than Grandma. Yet every Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has been a staunch advocate for foreign aid programs. In signing the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, Gerald Ford resisted congressional restrictions on food aid. Ronald Reagan launched the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 to help “foster the infrastructure of democracy — the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities” around the globe, as he put it in a speech before the British Parliament. Declaring that America needed to lead the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, George W. Bush established the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2003. According to the Congressional Research Service, this fund, along with money for Iraq reconstruction, was part of the largest appropriation for foreign aid in three decades. When it came to opening the nation’s wallet to the world, these conservative commanders in chief weren’t very conservative. “U.S. assistance is essential to express and achieve our national goals in the international community — a world order of peace and justice.” Sound like Obama? Richard Nixon said it in 1969.

2. Foreign aid is a budget buster. In poll after poll, Americans overwhelmingly say they believe that foreign aid makes up a larger portion of the federal budget than defense spending, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, or spending on roads and other infrastructure. In a November World Public Opinion poll, the average American believed that a whopping 25 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. The average respondent also thought that the appropriate level of foreign aid would be about 10 percent of the budget — 10 times the current level. Compared with our military and entitlement budgets, this is loose change. Since the 1970s, aid spending has hovered around 1 percent of the federal budget. International assistance programs were close to 5 percent of the budget under Lyndon B. Johnson during the war in Vietnam, but have dropped since.

AT: Libertarian Swing Voters

The plan doesn’t violate libertarian values

Friedman '16 (Mark Friedman, attorney from Georgetown Law J.D. and Harvard Business School MBA, "A Libertarian Defense of Foreign Aid; No, Seriously", Natural Rights Libertarian, March 3,

U.S. economic and military assistance to foreign countries (“foreign aid”) is generally unpopular with the electorate, but particularly distasteful to libertarians, as it is seen to violate non-interventionism. Thus, the 2012 Libertarian Party Platform states: Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid (my emphasis). While the logic of this stance is superficially compelling, I do not believe it can justify a categorical ban on foreign aid. There are a variety of reasons why libertarians almost universally condemn such assistance. Perhaps the most obvious is that it is the product of coercion. That is, the money disbursed to foreign governments was not contributed by willing donors, but taken by force from the taxpayers. If individual Americans wish to support (say) Egypt, Israel or Pakistan, let them write checks from their own accounts, according to this argument. Moreover, given the generally ineptitude of our policymakers, aid will not be distributed wisely. It will likely end up in Swiss bank accounts or be used to enrich the cronies of the recipients and for other dubious purposes. However, while persuasive on their own terms, these arguments miss the big picture. The overriding issue is whether foreign aid can, in principle, be a tool for advancing morally legitimate American interests, and I believe it can. From the perspective of minimal state libertarianism, one of the central government’s essential functions is to protect the rights of its citizens against predation by hostile nations, including the deterrence of and defense against military aggression, and the vindication of our right to engage in travel and trade with citizens of other nations on a consensual basis. I see no reason why we should rigidly reject international assistance as a means of inducing foreign powers to respect these rights. Foreign aid is in many ways comparable to making campaign contributions to our politicians, in that it attempts to trade money for influence. Of course, from the libertarian perspective it is a tragedy that we live in a polity where the state is so powerful that citizens and groups must resort to this tactic, but that’s the way it is. Under such circumstances, it seems permissible for constituencies to make political contributions in order to defend their rights. For example, I see nothing amiss in parents, interested citizens, and private schools banding together to fund politicians who will promote school choice or for Uber and Lyft to do the same in order to promote a regulatory scheme that does not arbitrarily favor the taxi industry. In short, such contributions are morally defensible if made to promote a just cause, and the same can be said about foreign aid. Using Pakistan as an example, while there is no doubt that its government is horribly corrupt and no champion of individual rights, it possesses many dozens of nuclear weapons, and has fought three wars with its neighbor India, another nuclear-armed state, since independence. A nuclear war between these two nations would have potentially catastrophic negative externalities for the rest of the world, including US citizens. Accordingly, if foreign aid can, even slightly, influence Pakistan’s leaders to avoid aggressive actions that might provoke India, it would be money well spent. A similar argument could be made in favor of assistance to various Middle Eastern countries, in the hope of preventing a conflagration there. I note that the total amount of our foreign aid represents a tiny fraction of our overall defense budget. It is entirely possible that this largess will not advance US interests, but retard them. However, the same could well be said about our defense strategy at any given moment. And, while foreign aid is funded on a non-consensual basis, so is the procurement of aircraft carriers, fighter squadrons, tank battalions, etc. My point is that it is impossible to draw a principled distinction between the minimal state’s role in providing national security, and the supply of foreign aid. The latter is simply one available means of promoting the former. I hope it is clear that nothing said here should be taken as an endorsement of our existing aid program, including its roster of recipients, the amounts given, the conditions attached, etc. The point here is, I think, a modest one, i.e. libertarian principles do not compel us to renounce all foreign aid without a careful cost/benefit analysis.

Libertarians are swing voters, but they are increasingly swinging Democrat

Cato Institute '06 (Cato Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research foundation dedicated to broadening policy debat, "Libertarians Will be Largest Swing Vote, Study Says", Cato Institute, October 19,

WASHINGTON – A dramatic shift in the voting patterns of the up to 21 percent of the voting-age public identified as libertarian will likely tilt the balance of the 2006 midterm election, according to a new report. Libertarians have traditionally voted for Republican candidates, and have voted overwhelmingly for almost every Republican presidential candidate since at least 1972, according to the report. But the study’s authors, Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz and America’s Future Foundation Executive Director David Kirby, conclude that this group of voters has suddenly – and silently – become the nation’s largest swing vote. Libertarians, the study concludes, have become disillusioned with Republican overspending, social intolerance, civil liberties infringements, and the floundering war in Iraq – and will likely abandon the GOP for the first time in generations. “Libertarians are, simply put, the most important swing vote out there this year,” says Mr. Boaz. “Although the media will inevitably frame the debate in terms of liberal vs. conservative, Moore vs. Coulter, this election will not be settled on blue vs. red. It will be settled on purple.” In 2002, just 15 percent of libertarian voters supported a Democratic candidate for Senate. By 2004, fully 43 percent of all libertarian voters did – a 287 percent increase in just two years. On the House side, only 23 percent of libertarian voters supported a Democratic candidate in 2002 – but that number almost doubled to 44 percent by 2004. The same trends are evident in presidential politics. Although Al Gore mustered just one in five libertarian votes in 2000, John Kerry got almost two in five libertarian votes in 2004. According to a Gallup poll released last month, there are exactly as many libertarians, 21 percent, as there are pure liberals. That number is just slightly lower than the number of pure conservatives found in the poll of 25 percent.

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