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Obama’s Global Tax Proposal Up for Senate Vote


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Why would any American politician propose a bill that in essence, makes pay a "global tax"?

Obama’s Global Tax Proposal Up for Senate Vote

AIM Column | By Cliff Kincaid | February 12, 2008

It appears the Senate version is being pushed not only by Biden and Obama, a member of the committee, but Lugar, the ranking Republican member.

A nice-sounding bill called the "Global Poverty Act," sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.

Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has not endorsed either Senator Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. But on Thursday, February 14, he is trying to rush Obama's "Global Poverty Act" (S.2433) through his committee. The legislation would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends.

The bill, which is item number four on the committee's business meeting agenda, passed the House by a voice vote last year because most members didn't realize what was in it. Congressional sponsors have been careful not to calculate the amount of foreign aid spending that it would require. According to the website of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no hearings have been held on the Obama bill in that body.

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 legislation itself requires 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."

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).

The U.N. says that "The commitment to provide 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) 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% of their collective GNP."

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.

The Millennium Declaration also affirms the U.N. as "the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development."

Jeffrey Sachs, who runs the U.N.'s "Millennium Project," says that the U.N. plan to force the U.S. to pay 0.7 percent of GNP in increased foreign aid spending would add $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends. Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.'s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the "Millennium Development Goals," this amounts to $845 billion. And the only way to raise that kind of money, Sachs has written, is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Obama's bill has only six co-sponsors. They are Senators Maria Cantwell, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Lugar, Richard Durbin, Chuck Hagel and Robert Menendez. But it appears that Biden and Obama see passage of this bill as a way to highlight Democratic Party priorities in the Senate.

The House version (H.R. 1302), sponsored by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), had only 84 co-sponsors before it was suddenly brought up on the House floor last September 25 and was passed by voice vote. House Republicans were caught off-guard, unaware that the pro-U.N. measure committed the U.S. to spending hundreds of billions of dollars.

It appears the Senate version is being pushed not only by Biden and Obama, a member of the committee, but Lugar, the ranking Republican member. Lugar has worked with Obama in the past to promote more foreign aid for Russia, supposedly to stem nuclear proliferation, and has become Obama's mentor. Like Biden, Lugar is a globalist. They have both promoted passage of the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty, for example.

The so-called "Lugar-Obama initiative" was modeled after the Nunn-Lugar program, also known as the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, which was designed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. But one defense analyst, Rich Kelly, noted evidence that "CTR funds have eased the Russian military's budgetary woes, freeing resources for such initiatives as the war in Chechnya and defense modernization." He recommended that Congress "eliminate CTR funding so that it does not finance additional, perhaps more threatening, programs in the former Soviet Union." However, over $6 billion has already been spent on the program.

Another program modeled on Nunn-Lugar, the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP), was recently exposed as having funded nuclear projects in Iran through Russia.

More foreign aid through passage of the Global Poverty Act was identified as one of the strategic goals of InterAction, the alliance of U.S-based international non-governmental organizations that lobbies for more foreign aid. The group is heavily financed by the U.S. Government, having received $1.4 million from taxpayers in fiscal year 2005 and $1.7 million in 2006. However, InterAction recently issued a report accusing the United States of "falling short on its commitment to rid the world of dire poverty by 2015 under the U.N. Millennium Development Goals..."

It's not clear what President Bush would do if the bill passes the Senate. The bill itself quotes Bush as declaring that "We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity." Bush's former top aide, Michael J. Gerson, writes in his new book, Heroic Conservatism, that Bush should be remembered as the President who "sponsored the largest percentage increases in foreign assistance since the Marshall Plan..."

Even these increases, however, will not be enough to satisfy the requirements of the Obama bill. A global tax will clearly be necessary to force American taxpayers to provide the money.

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/obamas-global-tax-proposal-up-for-senate-vote

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The same we we always pay for the gloabl poverty initiatives that every president for the last quarter century has approved. How did we pay for the billions Bush has given to combat AIDS in Africa the last 8 years? Or Clinton before him, or GB1, or Reagan....Really reaching on this one guys

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The same we we always pay for the gloabl poverty initiatives that every president for the last quarter century has approved. How did we pay for the billions Bush has given to combat AIDS in Africa the last 8 years? Or Clinton before him, or GB1, or Reagan....Really reaching on this one guys

no reaching. all of the items you referenced are just as bad, and this just adds on even more burden to us as tax payers.

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The same we we always pay for the gloabl poverty initiatives that every president for the last quarter century has approved. How did we pay for the billions Bush has given to combat AIDS in Africa the last 8 years? Or Clinton before him, or GB1, or Reagan....Really reaching on this one guys

His proposal is ON TOP of what we already give

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The richest country giving less than 1% of their GDP to make the world a better place and help the less fortunate. How terrible we are as a country, unamerican really! :rolleyes: Every country on earth does this. It is called global goodwill and it is part of foreign policy spending. And Sarge, take 0.5% from what Bush spent on AIDS in Africa this year and allocate it to poverty, net result, no change. Your personal net burden on this is less than a pack of cigarettes. You guys are truely pathetic

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The richest country giving less than 1% of their GDP to make the world a better place and help the less fortunate. How terrible we are as a country, unamerican really! :rolleyes: Every country on earth does this. It is called global goodwill and it is part of foreign policy spending. And Sarge, take 0.5% from what Bush spent on AIDS in Africa this year and allocate it to poverty, net result, no change. Your personal net burden on this is less than a pack of cigarettes. You guys are truely pathetic

Anytime we are forced to give to "charity" without our consent it is wrong. period.

When Americans are allowed to be free we donate more than any other nation in the world very willingly.

anything else is socialism, bordering on communism

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Anytime we are forced to give to "charity" without our consent it is wrong. period.

When Americans are allowed to be free we donate more than any other nation in the world very willingly.

anything else is socialism, bordering on communism

I posted this before, but I will repost it here since it makes sense in this discussion. My main argument that we need to stop looking at international AID as a handout to poor countries and actually start looking at it as a main TOOL of foreign policy. The US has SO much to gain from the economic and social development of countries around the world. Immigration, terrorism, violence - all problems affecting the US – all have direct ties to the lack of development around the world. Have we done a crap job with AID so far, hence the outlook as being a “handout” to the poor. But if we start doing it right, AID can be the most power foreign policy tool to HELP the US. So its not communism - its future security.

Anyway - here is what I wrote:

Big supporter of the MDG (Millenium Development Goals). Money spent on ideas like this will go a long way to providing us benefits and SECURITY in the future.

I see this like a war, but of development. Meaning we have to make sacrifices. Sacrifices that hurt, but that have to be done. During past wars, the American people had to pay a much higher individual cost than what we see now or are willing to have in the future. Those costs gave us great rewards later down the road. I see this as something along those lines.

Problems like uncontrollable immigration, terrorism and international conflicts that effect us might be REDUCED through efforts like this.

Do I care about the world? Sure, but the MDG in my opinion DOES SO MUCH FOR US IN RETURN. Like a long term investment.

The US is basically the Redskins of the world. We are all about the right now. I want to be an organization that looks 15 years into the future by drafting well. Meaning, we need to look at how a large cost of developing many parts of the world could be a huge pay off for US in the future.

We make ourselves safer, we create enormous markets for our products and services in the future and we create a system where not so much of our $$$ per year has to go to security and defense.

Just my (Go ahead and call me a communist ) Something tells me Sarge won't agree......

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I guess none of you that are for this have a problem with the UN coming and DEMANDING that we give them money

Not really, our Republican president stood in front of the UN and claimed he would support it 100%. So, no I am not shocked they are asking for the money.

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The richest country giving less than 1% of their GDP to make the world a better place and help the less fortunate. How terrible we are as a country, unamerican really! :rolleyes: Every country on earth does this. It is called global goodwill and it is part of foreign policy spending. And Sarge, take 0.5% from what Bush spent on AIDS in Africa this year and allocate it to poverty, net result, no change. Your personal net burden on this is less than a pack of cigarettes. You guys are truely pathetic

How about we give and give and give and give, yet there is not a single country that respects us for giving. I remember an email that came out after 9-11, it was written by a Canadian, and it pertainained to how the United States is constantly pissed on, does any one have it?

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How about we give and give and give and give, yet there is not a single country that respects us for giving. I remember an email that came out after 9-11, it was written by a Canadian, and it pertainained to how the United States is constantly pissed on, does any one have it?

See my post above. It does not all have to be about giving.

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Here is that letter.

http://www.abovepolitics.com/forum/thread1961/pg1

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -! not once, but several times - and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

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Americans are extremely generous, but they tend to prefer giving independently rather than through their government.

Americans gave $295 to charity in 2006. $222 billion of that came directly from individual households, the rest from foundations and corporations. http://www.aafrc.org/press_releases/gusa/20070625.pdf If I'm not mistaken, that represents about 2.5 percent of GDP, and it doesn't include whatever amount our government is already giving to charitable causes.

I would hate for America to move from a grass roots mentality of giving towards a government controlled mind set. Even setting aside the folly in increasing governmental spending, I think this will actually diminish America's overall effectiveness in regards to charity.

From the standpoint of a tax payer and an active charitable giver to needs in other countries, I am not at all interested in seeing this bill passed.

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MardisGrasSkin,

I was about to post the same thing. Thanks for saving me the work. Its always bothered me that Europeans seem to have ceded their charitable giving to their government. It seems like a kind of lazyness, a further erosion of individual initiative.

One thing I'll concede to Europe(at least france and England) on this, Their media spends much more time exposing their viewers to the issues of world poverty than we do. Perhaps that is because charity over there is more tied up with the State?

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