Nikki Haley: ‘Patently Ridiculous’ for U.N. to Waste Time on U.S. Poverty Report

"The Syrian regime's violations of the ceasefire in southwest Syria need to stop," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement
AFP/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley rebuked socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his support this week of a United Nations report that blames President Donald Trump for “killing the American Dream,” claiming his tax policies are a human rights concern.

A press release on the U.N. report, issued on June 1, states that Professor Philip Alston, a John Norton Pomeroy professor of law at New York University School of Law and co-chair of the law school’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, embarked upon a “fact-finding” mission in the United States and concluded that life in America was “cruel and inhuman” for many.

“Contempt for the poor in the U.S. drives cruel policies,” the press release is entitled.

“For one of the world’s wealthiest countries to have 40 million people living in poverty and over five million living in ‘Third World’ conditions is cruel and inhuman,” Alston said in the press release.

Alston claimed that some areas in Los Angeles “would not even meet the minimum standards the UN sets for Syrian refugee camps.”

“Contempt for the poor has intensified under the Trump Administration,” Alston said.

Sanders wrote to Haley as part of his push for the Trump administration to have a plan to address poverty in the U.S. and using the report to bolster his cause. Haley responded in a letter highlighting the president’s accomplishments in growing the U.S. economy, which benefit all Americans.

In the letter, Haley said that President Trump takes the issue of poverty “very seriously.”

“While there are many dimensions of poverty, the administration’s overreaching view is that the best way to help people get out of poverty is to help them get a job,” Haley wrote. “There is dignity in work and being able to provide for one’s self and family is empowering, both economically and spiritually.”

Haley called the professor’s report “misleading and politically motivated” and said that reporting on U.S. poverty is “ridiculous.”

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley wrote. “In our country, the president, members of Congress, governors, mayors, and city council members actively engage on poverty issues every day.”

“Compare that to the many countries around the world whose governments knowingly abuse human rights and cause pain and suffering of their own people,” Haley wrote. “For example, according to the World Bank, in Burundi, the gross national income per person is $280. In the Democratic Republic of Congo over 60 percent of the entire population lives in grinding poverty.”

“Rather than using his voice to shine a light on those vulnerable populations and so many others, the Special Rapporteur wasted the U.N.’s time and resources, deflecting attention from the world’s worst human rights abusers and focusing instead on the wealthiest and freest country in the world,” Haley wrote.

The U.N. press release said Alston presented his finding to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday after a “fact-finding visit” to California, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. for two weeks in December 2017.

“The Trump administration has brought in massive tax breaks for corporations and the very wealthy while orchestrating a systematic assault on the welfare system,” Alston said in the report. “The strategy seems to be tailor-made to maximize inequality and to plunge millions of working Americans, and those unable to work, into penury.”

“The result is that democracy itself is under threat because of extreme inequality and the range of policies being pursued to make it worse,” Alston said.

 

.