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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rely on Trade, not Aid, to Help Third World, Says Bob Barr

“The Senate is considering legislation introduced by Sen. Barack Obama to increase U.S. foreign aid. Although the bill’s name, the Global Poverty Act, sounds unobjectionable, the bill would perpetuate the myth that the industrialized nations can eliminate poverty around the world,” notes Bob Barr. “For the past half century the wealthy West has been transferring money—more than $100 billion annually in recent years, and more than $2.3 trillion total—to developing states. Unfortunately, the result has been more poverty and corruption in the recipient countries.”

The measure, already passed in one form by the House, calls on the president to develop a strategy to “cut global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade, debt relief,” and other policies. “But Sen. Obama is hostile to free trade, along with much of his Party. And debt relief is just a synonym for more aid. The bill’s most important – and outrageous -- provision dedicates 0.7 percent of America’s GDP to foreign aid, which would be roughly an extra $800 billion over the next dozen years,” notes Barr.

“Where does Sen. Obama expect to get that money, even as he proposes to increase outlays on many other domestic programs? And why does he think that governments which have wasted billions of dollars in the past will put this new money to better use in the future?” asks Barr.

In fact, “there is a far more powerful tool to revitalize Third World economies, and that is the private market,” Barr explains. “Last year $600 billion was invested in and donated to developing countries by private companies and individuals. Expatriate workers sent another $220 billion home in remittances. Poor nations can encourage even more outside assistance as well as domestic production by getting their policies right—liberalizing their economies, protecting human rights, ensuring respect for property rights, and enforcing the rule of law,” Barr adds.

“Rather than passing new laws and calling for new strategies, the U.S. Congress should reduce trade barriers, which would help poor nations participate in the international marketplace, and fix America’s counterproductive tax, regulatory, and budget policies, which would spur growth at home and trade and investment abroad,” says Barr. “What we need is change, but change back to an older policy of limited government and individual liberty, which is what turned America into the globe’s dominant economic power.

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizen’s right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

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