Written by Cliff Kincaid
September 29, 2008
By Cliff Kincaid
With one socialist "bailout" bill apparently on the way to passage by Congress, two more are pending-both of them sponsored by Senator Barack Obama. One is the Jubilee Act, which would cancel as much as $75 billion worth of Third World debt, and the Global Poverty Act, which would cost an estimated $845 billion. Total potential cost: $920 billion.
Meanwhile, in an appearance on the Fox News Channel on Sunday, Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan called the $700 billion plan now before Congress "Fleece in our time," a reference to Neville Chamberlain's "Peace in our time" appeasement deal with Hitler that eventually plunged the world into a World War. The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Monday.
Calling the deal "Wall Street socialism," McCotter added, "Now the Wall-Street crony capitalists have put a 700-pound billion dollar bag of dung on taxpayers' doorsteps, rung the bell, and expect you to thank them when you answer it. I think the American people will believe otherwise." His appearance can be viewed here.
But consider what's going to happen when the American taxpayers realize that more and larger bailouts are on the way.
Commentators such as Andrew C. McCarthy have pointed out that Obama's Global Poverty Act (S. 2433) would cost even more than the $700 billion that is being proposed as part of a socialist takeover of the U.S. financial sector. Obama's bill passed the House and Senator Joe Biden's Foreign Relations Committee and now awaits full Senate action.
But the Jubilee Act (S. 2166), which is co-sponsored in the Senate by Barack Obama, has also passed the House and awaits Senate action.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain is not an official sponsor of the Jubilee Act or Obama's Global Poverty Act. But the pressure is mounting on McCain, as well as running mate Sarah Palin, to endorse the legislation.
In fact, McCain recently asked the wealthy rock star Bono, an advocate of more U.S. foreign aid spending, for advice on how to help the rest of the world.
"The ONE Campaign and co-founder Bono spoke by telephone this afternoon with Senator John McCain, Governor Sarah Palin, and members of the McCain campaign policy staff about the issue of extreme poverty, especially in Africa," a September 24 ONE campaign news release declared. "The call today was part of ongoing conversations between ONE and both the McCain and Obama presidential campaigns." No details of the conversations were provided.
Although we don't know the specific advice provided to McCain and Palin, we do know that the ONE campaign organization has been urging Senate passage of the Jubilee Act, which would cancel the debts of 26 foreign countries even while the U.S. suffers through its own financial crisis and Americans are losing their homes and savings. It passed the House in April on a 285-132 vote.
While the Global Poverty Act has started getting more serious attention, the implications of passage of the Jubilee Act have been generally ignored. Yet, a representative of the Treasury Department, Assistant Secretary For International Affairs Clay Lowery, testified at a Senate hearing in April that "The Jubilee Bill represents an unfunded international mandate to fully cancel roughly $75 billion worth of debts owed by the potentially eligible countries to official bilateral and multilateral creditors." This is on top of the $110 billion in debt reduction already being granted to various countries, he said.
Despite foreign aid having cost the American people $2 trillion since World War II, Bono's ONE organization believes in "allocating more of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs" for the rest of the world.
ONE also promotes compliance with the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals, the same expensive effort set forth legislatively in Obama's Global Poverty Act.
Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, is one of the richest entertainers in the world and gets tremendous access to the media-and politicians-because of his anti-poverty campaign. Less well-known is the fact that his band came in for criticism two years ago when it transferred part of its business empire out of Ireland to avoid high tax rates.
He also runs an organization known as DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa), which is funded in part by the Open Society Institute of Democratic Party moneybags George Soros. A Soros associate, Morton Halperin, sits on the DATA board.
The ONE campaign says it is funded "through private and public foundations" but only one name has been identified-that of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided $3 million in 2004.
ONE campaign "partner" organizations include the United Nations Association, the pro-U.N. lobbying group, and Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, which financially supports the U.N.
While the ONE campaign is generally regarded as a left-wing organization, it claims support from such notables as Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Purpose Driven Life author and pastor Rick Warren.
ONE campaign members frequently show up at political rallies and have specifically targeted Sarah Palin with a postcard campaign. They also presented her with a white "ONE" bracelet at a campaign event. The bracelet is one of many items being sold on behalf of the ONE campaign by the "socially-conscious clothing company" known as EDUN.
The McCain campaign apparently figured that having Palin rub elbows with Bono, while she was at the U.N. in New York meeting foreign leaders, would impress the American people. Reportedly because of traffic problems, they ended up having a telephone discussion and no photo opportunity. Conservatives were alarmed by this effort of the McCain campaign to transform Palin into a pawn of the "international community."
Also bowing to the left, before he came to Washington, D.C. to work on the $700 billion federal takeover plan for the U.S. financial sector, McCain had taken time to attend and speak at the "Clinton Global Initiative," a campaign underwritten by big companies and rich individuals to promote the pet causes of the disgraced former president. One of these causes has been an international tax on airline tickets to generate funds to fight HIV/AIDS.
Obama, as well as Bono, also spoke at the Clinton event.
On September 25, after conversing with McCain and Palin, Bono and his collaborators were scheduled to hold a "United Nations emergency summit on the Millennium Development Goals." Bono's ONE organization described them as "eight goals" that were "drawn from the targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000."
Similar language is incorporated in Obama's Global Poverty Act, which has passed the House and Senator Joe Biden's Foreign Relations Committee, and now awaits full Senate action. As AIM has documented repeatedly, a careful analysis of the legislation, as well as the follow-up 2002 U.N. Financing for Development Conference, which was designed to make the "goals" into a reality, leads to the conclusion that the U.S. will have to provide $845 billion in increased foreign aid spending, generated if necessary by a global tax on the American people.
At the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, Obama reaffirmed a "commitment" to "embracing the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015." He added, "This will take more resources from the United States, and as President I will increase our foreign assistance to provide them."
On his blog, Bono spoke with pride about the fact that Obama and McCain had cosponsored the "historic" $48 billion AIDS initiative this year and that Biden "fought in the trenches for debt cancellation for the poorest of the poor when I first started down this road."
"So it will be interesting to find out where Governor Palin stands," Bono added. The implication is that Palin will have to come out in favor of spending more U.S. taxpayer dollars on the rest of the world or she will risk getting criticism and bad publicity from Bono and his media allies.
Once again, observers say, the McCain staffers seem to have tried to strip the Alaska Governor of her conservative core beliefs.
Rushing her into interviews with liberal media attack dogs has already backfired. If she is sent with talking points from Bono into the vice-presidential debate with Obama sidekick Biden, who is pushing both the Global Poverty Act and the Jubilee Act, her appeal to conservatives may take a nose dive from which she may never recover.
For his part, if McCain backs a financial bailout of the rest of the world, on top of an endorsement of the $700 billion Wall Street socialist scheme, some conservatives are saying that they may start looking elsewhere for a presidential ticket to support.
One place some may look is Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, who has already been endorsed for the presidency by Rep. Ron Paul. Baldwin, calling the Wall Street plan a "fraud" on the American people, has called for "No Amnesty" for the Wall Street "banksters."