“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
If I had quoted my father above – or my grandfather for that matter – it would have read simply, “Prevention is better than cure.” This was an often repeated refrain of his when I was growing up and even through my adulthood. It is something I grew up believing and still do. In matters of securing the nation, any work we can do as representatives of our government to prevent atrocities is work well done.
As Congressman, I will steadfastly support the prevention efforts of the State Department to maintain our national security because prevention is better than cure. It certainly is cheaper.
The US State Department is an agency in our federal government that is in the business of prevention. Their mission statement is:
“Shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.” ~ From the FY 2011 Agency Financial Report
The United States Congress must retain the constitutional right to declare war (Article 1, Section 8) and must do everything possible to keep the peace.
Pictures are worth at least a thousand words. Take a look at this graph that represents federal spending: FY 2010 Outlays.
We spend 1% of our federal income on funding for USAID. This funding is something I support and would continue to support for the reasons outlined in the Fact Sheet by the Bureau of Resource Management:
This funding supports diplomats and development experts who are working every day to protect our national security, promote our economic growth, and project our values in virtually every country on Earth. They are carrying out a robust foreign policy that is leading the world in solving the most complex challenges of our time, from thwarting international terrorism to stopping the spread of catastrophic weapons, fixing the global economy, and advancing human rights and universal values. They are helping identify and prevent conflicts before they start. They are helping to secure nuclear materials, fight international crime, assist human rights defenders, restore our alliances, promote the rights of women and girls, and ensure global economic stability.
In a dangerous world, leaders must always be prepared to make the difficult decision of whether to declare war. Thankfully our United States Constitution provides for the congress to share that burden amongst 535 legislators (House and Senate) rather than one President. Together let us ensure that congress retains that decision making authority as was intended.
We are too connected to do otherwise. Prevention MATTERS.