Haley Lambasts U.N.’s ‘Politically Biased and Factually Wrong’ Report on U.S. Poverty

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley / Getty Images

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday refuted the U.N.’s "unnecessary, politically biased, and factually wrong" report on poverty in the United States.

Writing at National Review, Haley hit back at the report’s conclusions by pointing out America’s charitable efforts, safety net, and growing economy. The report’s alarming claims included the contention that millions of Americans live in "Third World conditions" and that the U.S. "criminalizes" being poor, but Haley said the accusations are motivated by politics rather than facts.

"When there are many dozens of countries where poverty consumes most of the population, and where corrupt governments deliberately make the problem much worse, why would the U.N. study poverty in America?" Haley asked. "The answer is politics."

She said claims, which were presented as factual, in the report do not stand up to scrutiny.

"A single researcher spent two weeks in our country, visiting four states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. His report was harshly critical, condemning America for ‘punish[ing] those who are not in employment,’ among other farcical notions," she wrote.

She noted that professed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) greeted the report with enthusiasm, and she decried how the report called for the U.S. to expand government intervention in the economy.

"It reads like a socialist political manifesto of higher taxes, government-run healthcare, and ‘decriminaliz[ing] being poor’ (never mind that nowhere in America is it a crime to be poor)," she wrote.

Since politics are the report’s overriding consideration, Haley argued, its research methodology has massive problems.

"The report also distorts and misrepresents the facts about poverty in America in ways that a biased political opponent might," Haley wrote. "For example, it states that 18.5 million Americans live in ‘extreme poverty’ and 5.3 million live in ‘Third World conditions of absolute poverty.’ In fact, these numbers fail to incorporate the vast majority of welfare assistance provided to low-income households, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and refundable tax credits. The report also exaggerates poverty by excluding pension and Social Security assets from its calculations."

She also touted how economic gains have helped American workers, with wages going up and jobs opening all across the country during President Donald Trump’s presidency. The reality stands in stark contrast to other more corrupt countries that the U.N. does not make such efforts to censure, she argued.

"Instead, the U.N. might have studied … Venezuela, where narco-state dictators have driven a once prosperous country into the ground with an inflation rate over 25,000 percent, and where diseases that were once thought eliminated are now reappearing," she wrote.

Bringing up how much the U.N. depends on U.S. funding, Haley concluded that the international organization’s wastefulness has led the U.S. to tighten its cash flow.

"In the past year and a half, the United States has cut almost $800 million from the U.N. budget by eliminating wasteful and duplicative spending," he said. "This is important because while America is just one of 193 countries at the U.N., we pay about one-quarter of the entire U.N. budget. When the U.N. wastes American tax dollars, like it did on this unnecessary, politically biased, and factually wrong report, we’re going to call it out for the foolishness that it is."

The rebuttal of the U.N. report comes after Haley announced America’s departure from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which she described as a "cesspool."

"The world's most inhumane regimes continue to escape its scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in its ranks," she said.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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