The U.S. Senate soon could debate whether you, your spouse and each of your children – as well as your in-laws, parents, grandparents, neighbors and everyone else in America – each will spend $2,500 or more to reduce poverty around the world.
The plan sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is estimated to cost the U.S. some $845 billion over the coming few years in an effort to raise the standard of living around the globe.
S.2433 already has been approved in one form by the U.S. House of Representatives and now has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for pending debate.
WND previously reported the proposal demands the president develop “and implement” a policy to “cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief” and other programs.
Cliff Kincaid at Accuracy in Media has published a critique asserting that while the Global Poverty Act sounds nice, the adoption could “result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States” and would make levels of U.S. foreign aid spending “subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.”
He said the legislation, if approved, dedicates 0.7 percent of the U.S. gross national product to foreign aid, which over 13 years, he said, would amount to $845 billion “over and above what the U.S. already spends.”
The plan passed the House in 2007 “because most members didn’t realize what was in it,” Kincaid reported. “Congressional sponsors have been careful not to calculate the amount of foreign aid spending that it would require.”
A recent statement from Obama’s office noted the support offered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces,” Obama said. “It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water. As we strive to rebuild America’s standing in the world, this important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world.
“Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere,” he continued.
Another critic, however, has been commentator Glenn Beck, whose YouTube video critique can be seen here:
“Not one dime would go to fixing America,” the commentary said.
Obama has continued to lobby for such massive expenditures on his campaign stops. During an address as recently as last week, he said, “I’ll double our foreign assistance to $50 billion by 2012, and use it to support a stable future in failing states, and sustainable growth in Africa; to halve global poverty and to roll back disease.”
Beck and Kincaid pointed out that the plan not only commits the U.S. to the anti-poverty spending proposal, it also adopts for the U.S. the United Nations Millennium Development Goal, which includes a variety of treaties and protocols advocated by the U.N.
Objections have remained strong. Duane Lester, writing at the All American blogger, warned that the U.S. has yet to be able to win its own war on poverty.
“On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared “all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.” This “all-out war” would last through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. We have spent billions of dollars fighting this war, and what have we achieved?”
He continued, “Very little. In 1964, there were 36 million Americans living in poverty, or about 19 percent of the population. In the 40 years between 1964 and 2004:
… poverty never measured less than 11 percent of the population. In 1983, under President Reagan, poverty registered 15.2 percent; in 1993, at the beginning of Bill Clinton’s presidency, poverty was measured at 13.7 percent of the population. In 2004, under George W. Bush, a president often accused by the political Left as not caring about the poor, the poverty rate declined to 12.7 percent. Still, some 37 million Americans remain poor.”
Despite that performance, “Obama is ready to take the fight global,” said Lester.
“In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning ‘small arms and light weapons’ and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he wrote.
Tom DeWeese at NewsWithViews said the plan “is very telling” about what Obama would do as president.
DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, warned the over-arching plan includes the ideals of consolidating all international agencies under the U.N., regulation by the U.N. of all corporate environmental issues, license fees charged by the U.N. to use air, water and natural resources, a restructuring that would give hand-picked non-governmental organizations huge influence, authorize a standing U.N. army and require registration of all arms.