When I covered the restaurant industry, new establishments would routinely hold what they called “soft” openings.

They weren’t official debuts where the general public would be allowed in, but rather invited guests who would sample the menu to get a preview of what to expect when the eatery got up and going.

For those of you curious as to what type of tax menu Barack Obama might put forth should he become occupant No. 44 of the White House, I present to you the Global Poverty Act.

If you’ve never heard of it, or, if only in passing, you’re not alone. It’s an astounding piece of legislation he has rammed through that, inexplicably, has sidestepped the main spotlight of public scrutiny.

Obama has put his imprimatur on what basically is — but yet not identified as such — a global tax in an attempt to curb worldwide poverty. To be sure, a noble cause — until you read the fine print, which is as subtle as a two-by-four through a casement window.

In essence, the bill — which incidentally passed the House in December by a voice vote — 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.

How about through a t-a-x?

The bill, S.2433, which is now in the Senate, commits the U.S., to spend .7 percent of its gross national product, which according to estimates could scale as high as $845 billion over a 13-year period. And for good measure, we’ll be committing the monies to that paragon of efficiency and honesty, the United Nations.

Incidentally, the $845 billion would be over and above what the U.S., currently spends on foreign aid, which is roughly $65 billion a year.

The measure’s roots stem from the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

Obama claims that passage of the bill will help restore our standing in the world. I find it rather hard to believe that an Ivy League educated lawyer could be so naive as to think that simply throwing more money at underdeveloped countries will miraculously restore our drop in global popularity — whether real or perceived.

If Obama is as much of a reformer as advertised, why not try exporting such concepts as technology or capitalism in an attempt to develop and nurture a model of self-sustenance?

Instead of a true reformation, he appears to be leaning, no, make that sprinting, toward a tax and spend philosophy of uncomfortable magnitude.

If his Global Poverty Act is an appetizer of what’s on the menu should Obama become chief executive, it’s going to be a very long and expensive meal.


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