Government Budget Cuts Take a Toll … Near and Far


BY HANA KAJIMURA

“Budget cuts kill! Fight global AIDS!” – Activists protesting budget cuts

I don’t know about all of you, but my life was affected last week when the U.S. Government almost shutdown—I waited to find out if I would be dog sitting for my family who was supposed to go to the Grand Canyon for spring break. Thankfully for them (and maybe not so much me), the government came to a consensus concerning the budget. My family went off on their merry way, and here I am typing away at the kitchen table with a tired dog at my feet.

It’s so easy to go on with our lives, to forget how and on whom this budget takes a toll. But some of us can’t. According to the Washington Post, a protest in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office went awry when 12 protestors were arrested and charged with unlawful conduct. The protest was planned by Health GAP, ACT UP Philadelphia, Housing Works and the Student Global AIDS Campaign. These organizations claimed that the cuts to foreign aid would “put at stake the lives of 1 million people suffering with HIV/AIDS and related diseases worldwide.” The new budget deal may also prevent Washington, D.C. from funding needle-exchange programs.

I believe we have a human responsibility as a strong nation to fight for the under-served.

We must not forget that there is still no cure for AIDS. While treatment is widely available in the US, it is hard to come by in other countries. I believe we have a human responsibility as a strong nation to fight for the under-served. Actions on our own soil do not exist in a vacuum—they change the big wide world around us. The effects of little things—from our dinner table conversations and the way we choose to spend our weekly allowance—ripple far beyond the reach of our front porches.

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