Photo credit: Barak Obama's Senate website
WorldNetDaily reported yesterday that Sen. Barak Obama is a co-sponsor of an expensive aid bill for Africa.
Sen. Barack Obama, perhaps giving America a preview of priorities he would pursue if elected president, is rejoicing over the Senate committee passage of a plan that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty in other nations.
The bill, called the Global Poverty Act, is the type of legislation, "We can – and must – make … a priority," said Obama, a co-sponsor.
It would demand that 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] 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 strength of Obama's words give a hint at the priorities he would have if he were to win the presidency. His office released a statement that said in part:
"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.
It's hard to believe that these are the very same people who shout that it's not our job to spread liberty to other countries or to perform nation-building, but that we should allow murderous, genocidal regimes to continue unchecked. Yet they believe it's our job to go to those genocidal countries and lift every man, woman, child out of poverty. It boggles the mind.
Especially in light of Michael Knox Beran's commentary in the Winter 2008 edition of the City Journal, called, "Hearts of Darkness," subtitled, "Trendy paternalism is keeping Africa in chains." A key paragraph:
Yet in one area, foreign aid, the paternalist spirit is far from dead. A new generation of economists and activists is calling for a “big push” in Africa to expand programs that in practice institutionalize poverty rather than end it. The Africrats’ enthusiasm for the failed policies of the past threatens to turn a struggling continent into a permanent ghetto—and to block the progress of ideas that really can liberate Africa’s oppressed populations.
Looks like Obama and his co-sponsors have fallen prey to that virulent brand of paternalism.
I expect a veto from President Bush, but next year, when they bring it up again, will there be someone in office willing to stop it?