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Evangelicals Break With Conservative Approach to Deficit

March 21, 2011, 1:06 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

NAE.jpgAs we’ve written about recently, the budget is a moral issue for the faith community. Today, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) joins the growing chorus of religious leaders calling on Congress to not make budget cuts that harm poor and vulnerable people. NAE’s executive board passed the ‘Lowering the Debt, Raising the Poor‘ Resolution, which states:

We reiterate our insistence that deficit reduction not lead to an abandonment of our commitments to the poor. We embrace the Church’s call to care for the poor. The government also shares in this responsibility. Basic decency requires that we assist those who lack the bare essentials for survival. Prudence dictates that we help the poor reach their full potential as productive, tax-paying citizens. Addressing extreme poverty abroad demonstrates the nation’s values and builds a more stable, prosperous and secure world for everyone.

Specifically, the NAE highlights the widespread myth that foreign aid to the world’s poor is a cause of our budget deficit:

Contrary to popular belief, total international assistance programs represent only 1.7 percent of the federal budget; poverty-focused aid is only 0.6 percent. We have not amassed our national debt by spending too much on the world’s poor.

Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons contributed to this post.

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