Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama introduced Senate Bill S.2433 titled “Global Poverty Act of 2007.” The goal of this bill (and it’s House counterpart HR1302) is:
To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.
A rather lofty and worthy goal, isn’t it? I have several problems with it, however.
The first problem is that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is administered by the United Nations, probably one of the most corrupt and inefficient bureaucracies known to history. As has been proven by the “Oil for Food” scandal, huge amounts of cash and aid found itself in the pockets of corrupt officials (both in the UN and the targeted countries) and not in the hands & mouths of people that needed it.
Which leads me to this fact that is conveniently overlooked by the pointy heads in the UN and other charities. Poverty is a weapon that is used by repressive governments in Africa and other parts of the world as a method of keeping their populations in check. If the people are too busy trying to find something to eat and are physically weak besides, the chances of a rebellion overthrowing the ruling government becomes rather slim. It’s not that the people are choosing to be poor and starving, its because their governments want them to be!
I have heard stories of foodstuffs, medical supplies, and other necessities rotting on the docks of countries ruled by despots and military juntas. Why would I believe that the MDG as administered by the UN and funded by the US & other countries would make a significant dent in the misery of these countries? They sure as Hell haven’t made a difference in places like Somalia and Darfur, have they?
The next problem is the cost of this world-wide social program to US taxpayers. I understand that the planned amount is 0.7% of America’s Gross National Product (GNP) or $65 billion per year, although there are a couple of estimates that it could go as high as $84 billion per year. The bill doesn’t specifically note the amount of money that would be “donated” to this cause (more on this below), it is understood that this commitment would be in addition to America’s current foreign aid budget. With all the economic problems that the United States is undergoing with the mortgage & energy crises and a growing national debt, do we, the taxpayer, need an additional burden? I think not.
Besides the above concerns, what about the Government’s current fight on domestic and overseas poverty?
Poverty is one of America’s most persistent and serious problems. The United States produces more per capita than any other industrialized country, and in recent years has devoted more than $500 billion per year, or about 12 percent of its gross national product, to public assistance and social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), food stamps, and Medicaid. Despite our wealth and these efforts to reduce income inequality, poverty is more prevalent in the United States than in most of the rest of the industrialized world. It is also more prevalent now than it was in the early seventies, when the incidence of poverty in America reached a post-war low. According to the Census Bureau, 33.6 million Americans were poor in 1990, almost 14 percent of the population.
These official figures represent the number of people whose annual family income is less than an absolute “poverty line” developed by the federal government in the midsixties. The poverty line equals roughly three times the annual cost of a nutritionally adequate diet. It varies by family size and is updated every year to reflect changes in the consumer price index. In 1990 the poverty line for a family of four was $13,359.
A graph by the US Census Bureau shows that the number of people classified as poor or in poverty has fluctuated between 22 million to 40 million over the past 40 years. So we, the taxpayers, are spending billions of dollars helping people within our country, but will never totally eliminate poverty.
Starting with the Marshall Plan after World War II, and accelerated by John F. Kennedy’s idealism, Americans have spent gigantic fortunes on ending poverty globally, for at least 60 years.
…Helping poor countries is why the U.S. government priced U.S. manufacturers and exports out of the market with a strong dollar policy and encouraged imports of products from poor nations.
If the US is fighting domestic and world-wide poverty on it’s own, then why use the corrupt UN as a middleman? Again, from Barack Obama’s Global Tax Proposal By Jonathon Moseley:
Obama’s Global Poverty Act is in fact a stunning and sweeping step toward socialism and one-world government. When we look beyond the seductive title, and read the actual contents, we discover that Obama and Biden are setting America up for imposition of a global tax, controlled by the United Nations. For the first time, the U.S. could be forced to adopt a global tax at the behest of an international body. The planned amount is 0.7% of America’s Gross National Product (GNP) or $65 billion per year, in addition to America’s current foreign aid budget.
…the bill does not attach a dollar figure—and does not need to—because that is contained in the 2002 so-called “Monterrey Consensus,” which grew out of the 2000 Millennium Declaration, which is cited in the bill. Understanding this critical fact is a simple matter of reading the appropriate U.N. documents.
The Millennium Declaration, which was issued in 2000, specifically called for a “Financing for Development” conference, which was held in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, and produced the “Monterrey Consensus.” This document committed nations to spending 0.7 percent of Gross National Product (GNP) on official development assistance (ODA), otherwise known as foreign aid. It says, specifically, that “We recognize that a substantial increase in ODA and other resources will be required if developing countries are to achieve the internationally agreed upon development goals and objectives, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration.” It goes on to call for “concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 percent” of GNP as ODA and proposes “innovative sources of finance” to pay for the increased foreign aid, a reference to global taxes.
S. 2433 is clearly setting the stage for a global tax, by backing the U.S. into a corner. Once the U.S. commits through international diplomacy to the goal of contributing 0.7% of its GNP and the Congress enforces this goal through Obama’s legislation, the U.S is on the road to accepting the global tax to pay for it.
This is the critical point: S. 2433 mandates that the president actually implement these goals and not merely discuss them. A future president— possibly a liberal like Obama himself— would be obligated to actually “make it happen.” Obama’s bill does not just declare policy. It mandates actual implementation of the $65 billion-a-year “contribution” to foreign aid by the next president. If the U.S. has already agreed to this through Congress, the final step in international negotiations over implementation of a global tax will become difficult, if not impossible, to resist.
So now we have a hint of the truth – it is not the Republicans as led by George Bush who want a world government as the Liberals stated when Bush was elected, but the Liberals themselves. Not only will the United States be taxed by a semi-hostile organization, it will then open itself to judgements, legislation, and rule by the UN, which, in turn, will lead to a loss of sovereignty.
When coupled with the previous post, I am extremely concerned about the Democratic candidates for President / Vice President and Congress. These people have the ability to destroy the United States one piece of legislation at a time. I think it’s time to clean the political house and start over with a clean slate…
For your convenience, here is a link to S.2433 at www.govtrack.us.
My thanks to darwin in the comments section of The Political Jungle for bringing this to my attention.
Update: Senator Obama has no problems sending your tax dollar overseas to help impoverished people, but won’t lift a finger (or send a dollar) to his own blood relation. Read it at The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth.