Quoting Kincaid, Limbaugh falsely asserted Obama bill "would commit the United States to spending 0.7 percent of GDP on foreign aid"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Reading from a column by Accuracy in Media editor and writer Cliff Kincaid, Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted on his nationally syndicated radio show that the Global Poverty Act, sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, "would commit the United States to spending 0.7 percent of GDP on foreign aid."

On the February 14 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh read a portion of a February 12 column by Cliff Kincaid, editor and writer at the right-wing "watchdog of the news media" organization Accuracy in Media, in which Kincaid falsely asserted that the Global Poverty Act, sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, "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." Limbaugh also read Kincaid's false statement that the bill "could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States." In fact, the bill does not impose a tax on the United States or allow any other body to impose a tax. In his column, Kincaid further falsely asserted that the legislation "makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations."

In fact, while the Global Poverty Act would proclaim that "[i]t is the policy of the United States to promote 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 act would establish no specific funding source, would not commit the United States to any targeted level of spending, and specifically would require the president -- not the United Nations -- 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."

Kincaid asserted, "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." He further wrote:

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.

In fact, the Global Poverty Act, while noting several Millennium Project goals and declaring that the goal of reducing global poverty by 2015 "is the policy of the United States," does not address the recommendation of spending 0.7 percent of GNP on foreign aid to achieve the Millennium Project goals. According to the Millennium Project website, the 0.7 percent of GNP recommendation "was first made 35 years ago in a General Assembly resolution." The Global Poverty Act directs the president, acting through the secretary of state, to develop a strategy to meet the goal of reducing poverty. It also states that strategy "should include" among its components "[i]mproving the effectiveness of development assistance and making available additional overall United States assistance levels as appropriate," but it does not require that foreign aid be increased or mandate a funding level for foreign assistance. The Global Poverty Act of 2007 was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).

Additionally, while Kincaid wrote that "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" and added that "the only way to raise that kind of money, Sachs has written, is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels," the bill does not impose a tax, nor does it give the U.N. the power to "force the U.S. to pay 0.7 of GNP in increased foreign aid" or to impose a tax.

After reading from Kincaid's column, Limbaugh stated: "Senator Obama wrote the bill. This is just the tip of the iceberg, should he win. This is the kind of stuff he wants to do. Blame the United States for the problems of the world. Meet with all the thugs and the bad guys. Say, 'What's wrong with us? What can we fix to make you like us?' "

From the February 14 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: We have uncovered -- we have dug deep and we have found something Obama has done. It is called Senate Bill 2433, the Global Poverty Act of 2007.

Senate Bill 2433, the Global Poverty Act of 2007, would "require the president to develop and implement a comprehensive strategery 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 a day."

Clint [sic] Kincaid at Accuracy in Media has studied this, has written it up. He says: "A hugely expensive bill called the Global Poverty Act, sponsored by Obama, quickly passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States." In a column that Cliff put on his -- the Accuracy in Media website -- he noted that Senator [Joseph] Biden [D-DE], the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was trying to rush Obama's Global Poverty Act, Senate Bill 2433, through his committee without hearings.

"The legislation would commit the United States to spending 0.7 percent of GDP [sic: gross national product] on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion above what we already spend on foreign aid." It was scheduled for a Thursday vote, was moved up a day to Wednesday, and rushed through by voice vote. Kincaid learned, however, that conservative senators have now put a hold on the legislation in order to prevent it from being rushed to the floor for a full Senate vote.

Now, the House, I should say, the House passed this bill in September. It's now getting rushed through the committee in the Senate -- the Biden committee -- soak the U.S. taxpayers again to fund global liberal feel-good garbage. Senator Obama wrote the bill.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, should he win. This is the kind of stuff he wants to do. Blame the United States for the problems of the world. Meet with all the thugs and the bad guys. Say, "What's wrong with us? What can we fix to make you like us?"

While he's out there talking about these platitudinous, vapid, change speeches where he says nothing.

And, by the way, I find it very interesting that Senator Biden was trying to rush this through the committee without hearings and to get this thing to the floor. Would this not have been a great thing for Obama to be able to talk about -- the presidential campaign trail -- when people say he hasn't done anything and he's got no record? "Well, I have. I -- Global Poverty Act. We're gonna, we're gonna cure poverty around the world."

"Ohhh! He's so wonderful. We're gonna cure -- Obama is going to end poverty."

And, of course, who knows what Mrs. Clinton's reaction would have been. The point is, there is substance to Obama and it isn't good, from our standpoint.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, International Aid
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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