Gerson Speaks Against Cutting Foreign Aid
The ONE organization, a group that fights global poverty, arranged for former Bush administration speechwriter and current Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson, to speak in the Old Capital Museum. Gerson’s speech advocated for foreign aid programs and emphasized the dangers of decreased aid funding.

The world has come a long way in terms of reducing global poverty and diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, however, we may see these positive trends start to reverse if funding is lost. Gerson is concerned that all of the progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2030 could be compromised with cut funding. With the upcoming budget cuts, Gerson reminds us that not all cuts have the same impact. He explained, “Cuts that are evenly applied aren’t evenly felt. There’s a difference between cutting a highway program and cutting a malaria program.” The former Bush administration staffer has been acclaimed for forming the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a program that worked to provide HIV/AIDS treatment to impoverished people.

Given that foreign aid programs account for such a small percentage of the federal budget, Gerson reminds congress that foreign aid is not to blame for the current deficit. He specifically criticized Rand Paul for his outspokenness against aid. The ONE organization praises Gerson for his foreign aid and HIV/AIDS prevention advocacy and hopes that, with his leadership, Washington will continue to support USAID and other foreign assistance programs.

– Mary Penn

Photo: ONE

Bush Administration Writer Speaks About Aid
Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President George w. Bush, spoke on the topic of foreign aid in the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City. Gerson stated that to cut American foreign aid would be a uniformed and misguided action.

Gerson criticized Senator Rand Paul’s recent statements about seriously cutting American foreign aid. Gerson reminded the attendees that foreign aid is not the main reason that we are in such national debt; in fact, it is one of the smallest programs into which federal dollars are sent. He also spoke about the sequester and why cutting aid should be out of the question. The speaker claimed that “even cuts don’t cut evenly.”

A cut to foreign aid spending would, in effect, take away from programs that save lives and improve the quality of life for many people living in poverty around the world while a cut to military spending of highway maintenance may be hurtful but they would not affect people’s ability to survive like lost aid dollars might. It is important that political figures, Democrats and Republicans, speak up and ask that the federal government does not cut funding for our foreign aid programs.

Being politically active isn’t just for well-known political figures, it is for all of us. Find and contact your representatives.

– Kevin Sullivan

Source: Press Citizen
Photo: BlogSpot