February 3, 2009
Obama’s Senate Bill S.2433, Global Poverty Act
No Wonder Guns Rights Advocates Are Concerned About Obama’s Agenda!
Candidate’s Global Poverty Act could be a veiled threat to U.S. taxpayers
By Larry Petrash
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Back in March, I posed a few questions to voters about Barack Obama. I asked “What is Obama’s real agenda? What does his extremely liberal leadership mean for America?” The answers are beginning to show themselves. Obama’s campaign theme is “change.” Folks, if he’s elected president, we may all be working for “change,” pocket-change.
“I believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change,” Obama has asserted. He also says his faith has led him to question “the idolatry of the free market.” Now it appears that a President Obama’s foreign and domestic policies are much like his previous church’s Afrocentric doctrine he once pledged to uphold. Americans will pay a hefty price. It’s not too hard to figure that trading Iraq for third-world countries tips the scale in the wrong direction.
Yes, some of Obama’s African priorities are noble, such as fighting AIDS and genocide. But how much U.S. aid, resources and presidential time would he devote to them? How much is enough and at what cost?
The picture clears when we look at the Global Poverty Act , Senate Bill S.2433 sponsored by none other than Obama. If this bill passes in the Senate in September, Barack Obama and the U.N. may well be on their way to having their hands in the U.S. taxpayer pockets. Read on.
The bill requires the president to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to advance a 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. It also includes guidelines for what the strategy should include — from foreign aid, trade, economic development and debt relief to working with the international community and leveraging the participation of businesses and nongovernmental organizations.
The bill requires that the president’s strategy include specific and measurable goals, efforts to be undertaken, benchmarks and timetables. The president would also be required to report back to Congress on progress made in the implementation of the global poverty reduction strategy.
A release from the Obama Senate office about the bill declares, “In 2000, the U.S. joined more than 180 countries at the United Nations Millennium Summit and vowed to reduce global poverty by 2015. We are halfway towards this deadline, and it is time the United States makes it a priority of our foreign policy to meet this goal and help those who are struggling day to day.”
The bill defines the term “Millennium Development Goals” as the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, General Assembly Resolution 55/2 (2000). These goals call for “the eradication of poverty by redistribution of wealth and land,” cancellation of “the debts of developing countries,” and a fair distribution of Earth’s resources.”
Does this smack of socialism to you?
They have a formula prescribed for developed countries, the U.S., to contribute. The U.N. says that “the commitment to provide 0.7 percent of gross national product as official development assistance was first made 35 years ago in a General Assembly resolution, but it has been reaffirmed repeatedly over the years, including at the 2002 global financing for development conference in Monterrey, Mexico.
However, in 2004, total aid from the industrialized countries totaled just $78.6 billion — or about 0.25 percent of their collective GNP. So they want more money.
The amount of money that could be extorted from U.S. taxpayers by this bill is debatable, but sizeable. Some say $210 billion more, between now and 2015, than what we’ve already contributed through foreign aid. Some have the 13-year figures at $845 billion. Suffice it to say, U.S. contributions toward these goals are substantial. The U.S. is the largest source of foreign direct investment in developing countries, the largest recipient of developing country exports, and the largest provider of development and humanitarian assistance to developing countries.
The Global Poverty Act, by itself, adds little of value, but, in the context of the development progress and the heavy U.S. engagement in contributing to it, it could imply U.S. support for the broader goal that developed countries should provide 0.7 percent of their national wealth annually to developing countries.
Herein lies the danger of this bill and the possible burden to taxpayers. Strict adherence to the MDGs or the goal of eliminating world poverty would leave little discretion for the U.S. to distribute or withhold aid based on country performance or political objectives.
Before September when Congress reconvenes, we need to tell our senators we need to solve poverty and hunger in this country first. We need to tell Obama that this is the example we need to set for the world to see. Vote “NO” on Senate Bill S.2433.
In the hands of a would-be President Obama who, through his faith, questions what he calls the “idolatry of the free market,” who seeks “economic justice” and who champions ridding the world of aids and genocide, the Global Poverty Act is a wad of gum far bigger than we want to chew, and it’ll keep getting bigger. Handing out taxpayer dollars to third world countries only treats the symptoms of poverty and not the causes.
Excerpts taken from “The Global Poverty Act: The Wrong Track for U.S. Aid Policy” by Ambassador Terry Miller, director of the Center for International Trade and Economics, and Brett D. Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation.