Obama’s Global Poverty Act Misrepresented

“President Obama Signs $8500.00 Per Household Tax Into Law: Funds To Go To The United Nations To Combat Global Poverty!”

Or so an email I received from my Dad would have you believe. I get a pretty constant stream of conservative-written forwards, which I actually like because it gives me the opportunity to call attention to any incorrect information.

In the email, Obama’s Global Poverty Act is proclaimed to commit the U.S. to sending 0.7% of its GNP to the U.N., equivalent to $845 billion more than current foreign aid spending. It’s likened to a global tax.

Here are some other quotes:

“Barack Hussein Obama’s Global Poverty Act will commit us to a stealth United Nations-inspired global tax of $845 Billion dollars…”

“…dedicates 0.7 percent of the U.S. gross national product to foreign aid, which… would amount to $845 billion ‘over and above what the U.S. already spends.”

When you see Obama referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama,” I think it’s safe to assume what you’re reading is fairly biased.

This particular email is a rare breed. Since its content hasn’t been aired by any prominent media, you won’t find any real sources if you search for “obama global poverty act.” It isn’t until the fourth page of results that you get any perspective.

The bill does not:

  • impose a tax
  • recommend contributions to the U.N.
  • commit any funding to fighting poverty

The bill does recommend:

  • leveraging trade policy to help developing nations
  • improving the effectiveness of development assistance
  • coordinating poverty reduction goals with other development goals
  • continued participation in U.S.-led programs related to poverty (eg. HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis prevention)
  • integrating principles of sustainable development and entrepreneurship into policies and programs

The bill is pretty benign. It requires the President to submit his plan to reduce poverty within one year of passage. The goal is to promote policy that reduces the number of people worldwide who live on less than $1 a day by half. (Go inflation!)

All that’s required is a statement of the plan. The plan can be anything, whether it’s doing nothing beyond current efforts, defining poverty goals for existing programs, coordinating with other countries to lower trade barriers, or adjusting aid to be directed more toward teaching to fish instead of giving fish.

This bill is nothing like the people who authored this email would have you believe, and you won’t get the facts anywhere in the first three pages of Google results.

If you receive this email, please reply to all with a link to this post.

The full text of S. 2433: Global Poverty Act of 2007 can be found here.

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