This is something we all need to be aware of

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I got this E-mail from a good friend on Thursday, and figured I would share it with everyone here. This is very important, if we want our country to survive. It seems that our president elect is already working to kill our way of life, but you decide for yourself. I researched this, and it's true. :eek:




-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
From: "Ray Pack
Subject: FW: Senate Bill 2433: Global Tax
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 13:05:05 +0000


Contact your representatives immediately and let them know your opinion re this. Being a politician, it may not matter, but at least you will not be caught in the dark when this passes. PAY ATTENTION and keep in contact with your reps. Linda



Subject: Senate Bill 2433

I checked it out. Almost everything has to be validated now. It's real. The more you research it - from the liberal and conservative side - it stinks! Have we really become this hood winked?



Check it out for your self: OpenCongress - Text of S.2433 Global Poverty Act of 2007

SENATE BILL S. 2433 THE GLOBAL POVERTY ACT

According to David Bossie, President of the group 'Citizens United for American Sovereignty', based out of Merrifield Virginia , website: Citizens United :: Dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control. the above- mentioned Senate Bill (S. 2433) is a piece of legislation in the works that all Americans need to know about and know now!

This bill, sponsored by none other than Sen. Barack Obama, with the backing of Joe Biden on the Foreign Relations Committee, and liberal democrats in Congress, is nothing short of a massive giveaway of American wealth around the world, and a betrayal of the public trust, because, if passed, this bill would give over many aspects of our sovereignty to the United Nations.

The noble sounding name of this bill, 'The Global Poverty Act' is actually a Global Tax, payable to the United Nations, that will be required of all American taxpayers. If passed in the Senate, the House has already passed it, this bill would require the U.S. to increase our foreign aid by $65 BILLION per year, or $845 BILLION over the next 13 years! That's on top of the billions of dollars in foreign aid we already pay out!

In addition to the economic burdens this potential law would place on our precarious economy, the bill, if passed in the Senate, would also endanger our constitutionally protected rights and freedoms by obligating us to meet certain United Nations mandates.

According to Senator Obama, we should establish these United Nations' goals as benchmarks for U.S. spending. What are they?

n The creation of a U.N. International Criminal Court having the power to try and convict American citizens and soldiers without any protection from the U.S. Constitution.

n A standing United Nations Army forcing U.S. soldiers to serve under U.N. command.

n A Gun Ban on all small arms and light weapons --which would repeal our Second Amendment right to bear arms.

n The ratification of the ' Kyoto ' global warming treaty and numerous other anti-American measures.

Recently, the Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Relations (where Sen. Joe Biden sits) approved this plan by a voice vote without any discussion! Why all the secrecy? If Senators Obama and Biden are so proud of this legislation, then why don't they bring it out into the light of day and let the American people have a look at it instead of hiding it behind closed doors and sneaking it through Congress for late night votes.

It may be only a matter of time before this dangerous legislation reaches a floor vote in the full body of the Senate.

Please write or call, email your representatives, the White House, the media, or anyone you think will listen, and express your opinions regarding this Global Tax giveaway and betrayal of the American people at a time when our nation and our people are already heavily burdened with the threats to our freedoms and economic prosperity. :thumbdown:

Please send this email to as many folks out there in your networks as you can. And ASAP!

Thank you.



Isn't this wonderful? I think it would be better to just die now while I'm still a free man. :sad: If I live to see this stuff happen, it will certainly be a sad day for me.
 

Roland

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n The creation of a U.N. International Criminal Court having the power to try and convict American citizens and soldiers without any protection from the U.S. Constitution.
This sounds great, I've always been a fan of totalitarianism. I hope they enforce it for other countries too!

n A standing United Nations Army forcing U.S. soldiers to serve under U.N. command.
Again, fan of totalitarianism!

n A Gun Ban on all small arms and light weapons --which would repeal our Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Really? So much the better! Absolutely fabulous! People shouldn't have rights! They should be slaves to the government they serve! Any disobedience will be punished by the Ministry of Love with the assistance of room 101

n The ratification of the ' Kyoto ' global warming treaty and numerous other anti-American measures.
Dear god no! They be taking away US's self destructive lifestyle!

________________

Alright, lets cut the sarcasm.

I'll try not to be blatantly rude.

I am absolutely sick of chain mails that go on the lines of 'OMAHGAWDS OBAMAH IS A DESTROYING OUR FREEDOMZ!'
a)He hasn't even taken power yet. The judge will be history.
b)He isn't a militant authoritarian Communist/Stalinist/Totalitarian/Anti-American. Reading that e-mail gives that impression. Not fully, but hints to it, no denying that.

Alright, I'm not an Obama-lover, because in my opinion he wont that great a president as people think he will be. But don't get me wrong, he doesn't look the kind of guy who's going to forge a socialist takeover.

Finnally, yes, I'd have probably voted Republican, and I stand by McCain's approach on Obama :

''Senator Obama is a good house person, who we seem to have certain political disagreements.''

Just because someone disagrees with another persons politics does not mean the opponent is a nutcase. It also does not justify throwing filth at each other. (Obamageddon? Jesus god, I heard that too!)

And no, he isn't going to ban guns. Just watch.

Summary : Obama is not the goddamn Antichrist, get a grip and see you in 4 years. If there IS a socialist takeover, at least you can laugh at me.

Thank you, and sorry.
 

CarKid

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Come on people, he won, GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It isn't the end of the world and he doesn't want to take your guns, that is UNTRUE

I'm just tired of people complaining and complaining about it. I mean you are entitled to it, but it isn't going to change the fact that he is going to be the president.

People are acting like they did in the SouthPark episode.

Just my 2 cents.

~Johnathon~
 

miles

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Honestly, this is nothing compared to ACTA.
If ACTA gets passed you can be sure most major 1st world countries will be raping citizens in the ass because of a "major piracy problem"

Go read up on ACTA once, it's VERY scary stuff.

Edit: Forgot to comment on this

The ratification of the ' Kyoto ' global warming treaty
I really don't see how this is a bad thing. Sure we'd have to make our pollution policies more strict, but right now we are one of the largest pollution producing countries in the world.

I can see why we wouldn't want to ratify the Kyoto Treaty right now, as we'd be paying tons of fines, but it's definitely something the US needs to ratify in the near future.
 
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So why did it take your good friend almost a year to let you know about this?

Obama submitted this bill 7 Dec 2007, and nothing has been done since April.
 
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I see "Increase foreign aid by $65 Billion" and can't help but wonder what the current $ amount is being spent on foreign aid, because numbers by themselves are completely meaningless. The originator of this puts forth those two billion numbers as a scare tactic, without any other economic figures to measure those against they're complete and utter bullshit. One thing I could do is look up the population of the US and see how much more that $65 Billion would equate to per person in taxes from everyone on average, but I'm too lazy to do that.

Frankly I'm disgusted with America's ways. The moment anyone mentions anything about "taxes" everyone runs out with pitchforks and torches to castrate the mentionee, without taking the time to examine it from a financial and economical standpoint. When governments need money to do something, what do they do? Raise taxes. It's what they use that extra tax money for is the kicker; if I hear talk about taxes being raised then I god damn well expect the economy to look better in a few months. I forget the exact model for how it goes (it's been almost two years now) but raising/lowering taxes is an important tool for regulating the economy. Yet people are so god damn dumb they think that having $90 of a $100 paycheck with which to purchase $4 gallons of milk is better than having $89 of a $100 paycheck with which to purchase $3 gallons of milk.

Economics should be a friggin' required course for all high school students, the practical applications of it are astronomical.
 
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So why did it take your good friend almost a year to let you know about this?

Obama submitted this bill 7 Dec 2007, and nothing has been done since April.
I can't answer that, other than to say that he was probably unaware of it as I was. That's just the thing see. These sneaky ass politicians will try to put through anything controversial as secretly as they can, no fanfare, and if they can get it through without any kind of a majority vote, for instance on some sub-committee, then they can get their unpopular policy/law, whatever, through without any resistance. As for why nothing has been done since April, my guess is because the election demanded all of his time and effort.

That's just what has happened here. Believe me, I have wanted him to be a good president too, since I've accepted his win to the office. But, if this is any indication of the kinds of things we can expect to see from him, well, then we are really in the deep doo doo!!!!

Read the thing, and understand what it says. And look at how it was done. Then make up your mind.
 
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Here's an argument that might be base enough for you:

It can't be any worse than the decisions Bush has made in these past 8 years!!!!
 
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I see "Increase foreign aid by $65 Billion" and can't help but wonder what the current $ amount is being spent on foreign aid, because numbers by themselves are completely meaningless. The originator of this puts forth those two billion numbers as a scare tactic, without any other economic figures to measure those against they're complete and utter bullshit. One thing I could do is look up the population of the US and see how much more that $65 Billion would equate to per person in taxes from everyone on average, but I'm too lazy to do that.
About $200 per person.

Frankly I'm disgusted with America's ways. The moment anyone mentions anything about "taxes" everyone runs out with pitchforks and torches to castrate the mentionee, without taking the time to examine it from a financial and economical standpoint. When governments need money to do something, what do they do? Raise taxes. It's what they use that extra tax money for is the kicker; if I hear talk about taxes being raised then I god damn well expect the economy to look better in a few months. I forget the exact model for how it goes (it's been almost two years now) but raising/lowering taxes is an important tool for regulating the economy. Yet people are so god damn dumb they think that having $90 of a $100 paycheck with which to purchase $4 gallons of milk is better than having $89 of a $100 paycheck with which to purchase $3 gallons of milk.

Economics should be a friggin' required course for all high school students, the practical applications of it are astronomical.
Actually lowering taxes ends up with more revenue for the government.

I can't answer that, other than to say that he was probably unaware of it as I was. That's just the thing see. These sneaky ass politicians will try to put through anything controversial as secretly as they can, no fanfare, and if they can get it through without any kind of a majority vote, for instance on some sub-committee, then they can get their unpopular policy/law, whatever, through without any resistance. As for why nothing has been done since April, my guess is because the election demanded all of his time and effort.

That's just what has happened here. Believe me, I have wanted him to be a good president too, since I've accepted his win to the office. But, if this is any indication of the kinds of things we can expect to see from him, well, then we are really in the deep doo doo!!!!

Read the thing, and understand what it says. And look at how it was done. Then make up your mind.
You say "sneaky ass," that is a load of BS, the bill has been out in public since day one. That's the way it works. These bills are out in the public eye, as long as the public looks. If you don't look you can't blame Congress.

Interestingly enough, your friend uses a time span of thirteen years, yet the dates in the Bill are until 2015, only 8 years from now. His amount of $65 million came from where?

According to Senator Obama, we should establish these United Nations' goals as benchmarks for U.S. spending. What are they?

Sorry to disappoint you, but all bills have to be passed by the House and the Senate, and then signed by the President.

I'm curious if your friend has any statements by Obama supporting his claims?
 
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$200 per person for a year equates to only $16.67 per month. Does that sound like that much more per month? Not really.

Also valentine, I guess I forgot to specify in the second half of my post there that I was talking about the correction of the economy's inflation/deflation rates by the Federal Reserve... yeah...
 

Peachy

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n The creation of a U.N. International Criminal Court having the power to try and convict American citizens and soldiers without any protection from the U.S. Constitution.
The court already exists...since 2002! UN Criminal Court of Justice Virtually all first world countries are members of the court (see map here)...excluding the U.S. This isn't some third-world tribunal - the court is built on commonly accepted principles of jurisprudence...and those have been developed mostly in Roman times! In addition, I would assume that the court's statutes lack the quirks and loopholes of individual countries' laws simply because they were designed from scratch and with the experience of several dozen countries in mind. So the UN Criminal Court's laws will actually be superior to any national law from an overall perspective.

And yet the U.S. government refuses to accept the UN Criminal Court of Justice because it operates "without any protection from the U.S. Constitution". What kind of argument is that? It boils down to "It's crap because it's not American!" That's exactly the kind of attidude that has fared you so "well" during the Bush administration. "Old Europe is against going to war with Iraq? Fuck their opinion - they're not American!"; "Signing the Kyoto Protocol? Bah, that means we'd have to get rid of our SUVs. That's not American!" ; "Regulation for financial markets? Who needs that!? We're liberal Americans, so leave us alone!". You know why Obama won? Because Americans wanted "change" - they were sick of the ridicule and schadenfreude they got from the rest of the world because their government failed miserably on just about any occasion where they justified their actions with the "It's American, so it's the right way"-attitude.

On a short note: For those who are worried about unjust convictions of Americans at the UN Court of Justice: Where were you when Guantanamo was set up? Isn't Guantanamo the same thing you're worried about, just a trillion times worse?

IN today's day and time, most problems are on a global scale, and solutions must thus be developed on a global scale. An attitude like "If it's not American, it's crap" is not going to help getting things done. Granted, it may not be easy for Americans - especially the older generation - to let go of that attitude, but I'm afraid it's necessary. The sooner it's done, the less painful it'll be and the more opportunities you have to influence global issues in a way that benefits Americans. If the U.S. exclude themselves from the global institutions and negotiations, the other countries will go on regardless and shape the world to their ideas.

Peachy
 

IncompleteDude

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Actually lowering taxes ends up with more revenue for the government.
There is a balance point. Obviously, if you lower taxes to zero, you won't be getting any money no matter what. Plus, keep in mind, the goal of a government is not to maximize tax revenue either, but to create a stable yet prosperous society and economy. So a tax regime's main purpose is really to control volatility and shrink the rich/poor divide with only a little economic growth, because that's what yields stability.

Also, your argument assumes that individuals and the private sector will always spend money more effectively than the government. Thus, by lowering taxes, you will grow the economy by a larger percentage than the tax cut. This is almost certainly true in the USA, but not in every country and government program.

Moreover, the kinds of things a government invests in and that private business or individuals invest in are often very different. For example, the Apollo program would have never happened in the private sector. In fact, all space programs worldwide are government run, because the combination of extremely high capital costs and high risk drive away private investors. Even now, private companies only go to sub-orbital space. Conversely, some services provide tremendous economic benefit, yet are horrendously unprofitable by themselves, public transit being an example and regulation another. Only an organization whose scope is the entire society and economy would invest is such services, and that is the government.

My point is, lowering taxes won't always grow the economy, if it means cutting the services enabling the economy. Even then, maximizing tax revenue is not desirable if it allows the economy to become unstable. There is a balance point, and it is difficult to find.



I also want to say a few things:
-- Kyoto is not anti-American. If anything it's the capitalist way of managing the environment, which is very American.
-- What's so wrong with the rich giving to the poor? $65 billion is but crumbs from America's table, and we all know what happened to the last guy who wouldn't give that to poor people like Lazarus.
-- Why is an international court so bad? It worked OK at Nuremberg, and that's really all this one is for: war criminals. Why should American's be above international condemnation, or international actions be bound to the American constitution? I think the ICC is a fine outlet for global justice.
-- Isn't globalization an American ideal? Creating international regulators and the global taxes to support them are a logical extension of this. I'm sure Americans would be happy with this, if they are the dictator, I mean regulator. Personally, I'd rather not be subservient to American whims, no matter how well intentioned. A regulator composed by but independent from all nations is the only just option, and to be sure American influence in any such organization would be enormous, but not absolute.
-- Speaking of global taxes, what about America's? The fact that oil is virtually always sold in American dollars, and everyone needs oil, means that all people pay a tax to America every time they buy some. This is because they have to buy American dollars first, and must pay a small premium to America to do that. That is the largest global tax at the moment. Is it made ok, just because it lines America's pockets?

I argue this email of Ricky's is just an expression of American manifest destiny. If something gives America more global power they turn a blind eye, but when global authority is actually made global, it's suddenly evil! I wholly disagree with this no matter how well intentioned. If America is doing something right that other countries should emulate, then if those countries want to succeed they will emulate America on their own. They don't need Uncle Sam's paternalism.

I think one of Obama's legacies will be a change in foreign policy where America really respects other countries. America will lead by example, not by dictation. When an international issue like terrorism comes up, America will participate in a truly global solution, not one imposed by America. This is how it should be, and I do hope Obama does this.
 
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Mingus

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According to the Congressional Budget Office, S2433 would cost less than one million dollars per year, and would 'not affect direct spending or receipts.' In fact, one million dollars per year amounts to 33¢ per person per year. There is nothing in the bill, at least as mentioned in the link you've attached, which refers to Kyoto, gun bans, or the International Criminal Court. The bill pledges support for reducing poverty, measured in terms of the proportion of people who live on less than $1 a day, by 2015. It never mentions the other Millennium Development Goals.

Before you go fear-mongering about a specific piece of legislation, read and understand the links you have attached.

Source on the cost: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/90xx/doc9082/s2433.pdf

And here's a further copy of the bill from Congress itself: Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress)

And here are summaries of the MDGs. About the Millennium Development Goals

Note that the only environment-related goal is for environmental sustainability. There is no mention specifically of the Kyoto Treaty. Moreover, the bill in question makes no mention of this MDG. Moreover, the only mention of arms relates to the proportion of imports to developed countries, in saying that arms imports are not included in the measure of market access. Or do you naysayers favour mercantilism and closing markets to foreign goods? If you truly support free-market capitalism, that entails supporting free trade and international markets. Finally, the MDGs make no mention at all of the International Criminal Court, because it is highly controversial and is, in the end, at best tangentially-related to development.

Debate Obama's policies all you will, but this bill has nothing to do with the ICC, gun control, the Kyoto Treaty, or a massive tax increase. Finally, Citizens United purports to encourage citizen control of government. It is, however, grossly prejudicial to imply that this group is a non-partisan source of information on senate legislation. This group oversees another group called, 'Citizens United for the Bush Agenda.' A group which has as its avowed aim the implementation of Bush's agenda would seem to be rather divorced from impartial commentary on legislation. These people have a particular axe to grind. Their claim to be involved in restoring citizen control of government is spurious. The Bush administration has assumed more executive power and privilege than any government since Nixon's. Transparency is a farce, and the repeated assaults upon the rule of law (as well as our international responsibilities under the Geneva Convention not to engage in torture) suggest that any group which supports the Bush administration's program is unqualified as an advocate of citizen control.

Oh, and shouldn't this be in the 'Mature Topics' forum, as it is clearly a political thread? The thread title is also unnecessarily inflammatory.
 
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The court already exists...since 2002! UN Criminal Court of Justice Virtually all first world countries are members of the court (see map here)...excluding the U.S. This isn't some third-world tribunal - the court is built on commonly accepted principles of jurisprudence...and those have been developed mostly in Roman times! In addition, I would assume that the court's statutes lack the quirks and loopholes of individual countries' laws simply because they were designed from scratch and with the experience of several dozen countries in mind. So the UN Criminal Court's laws will actually be superior to any national law from an overall perspective.

And yet the U.S. government refuses to accept the UN Criminal Court of Justice because it operates "without any protection from the U.S. Constitution". What kind of argument is that? It boils down to "It's crap because it's not American!" That's exactly the kind of attidude that has fared you so "well" during the Bush administration. "Old Europe is against going to war with Iraq? Fuck their opinion - they're not American!"; "Signing the Kyoto Protocol? Bah, that means we'd have to get rid of our SUVs. That's not American!" ; "Regulation for financial markets? Who needs that!? We're liberal Americans, so leave us alone!". You know why Obama won? Because Americans wanted "change" - they were sick of the ridicule and schadenfreude they got from the rest of the world because their government failed miserably on just about any occasion where they justified their actions with the "It's American, so it's the right way"-attitude.

On a short note: For those who are worried about unjust convictions of Americans at the UN Court of Justice: Where were you when Guantanamo was set up? Isn't Guantanamo the same thing you're worried about, just a trillion times worse?

IN today's day and time, most problems are on a global scale, and solutions must thus be developed on a global scale. An attitude like "If it's not American, it's crap" is not going to help getting things done. Granted, it may not be easy for Americans - especially the older generation - to let go of that attitude, but I'm afraid it's necessary. The sooner it's done, the less painful it'll be and the more opportunities you have to influence global issues in a way that benefits Americans. If the U.S. exclude themselves from the global institutions and negotiations, the other countries will go on regardless and shape the world to their ideas.

Peachy
So I went and looked up the Rome Statute and found some interesting things.
One it only covers "four" "crimes."
(a) The crime of genocide;
(b) Crimes against humanity;
(c) War crimes;
(d) The crime of aggression.


Two the crime of genocide covers the killing of anyone, oops you don't even have to kill them.
For the purpose of this Statute, "genocide" means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;


Three the Crimes against humanity would include the "locally" legal deportation of illegal immigrants.
1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;


Four the Crime of aggression is completely undefined. So what exactly is a crime of aggression?

Sorry Peachy, but I would never agree to that either. When you can be prosecuted for enforcing the laws of your own country it gets pretty ridiculous.
 
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I'm not against helping the rest of the world get out of poverty, because God knows there is far too much of it, and it truly is a disgrace to the human race. But, just how much can one country do? And by this, I mean the United States. One reason for our huge, huge national debt is our foreign aid to other countries. Look at our "economic aid packages" to help other countries. Frankly, I don't see how we can keep doing it. We are basically bankrupt now from it, {and other things too of course}.

I don't want to start some kind of a war here on this site, we don't need it, but let me ask everyone here, how much in foreign aid does the rest of the world provide? I ask this because I truly don't know the answer.

And as for everyone getting on my back about my good friend sending this to me, let me state that it has gone through about a hundred forwardings before he got it. I left all that out of my original post as I didn't see the relevance of putting in all of the screen names and addresses of everyone it has gone through.

Another thing I would like to know is, we, meaning the "G8" countries, right now are sending 25,000,000,000 a year to Africa to fight poverty, and they want to double that! My question is this, what are they spending it on? Why are the countries of Africa not becoming any better off, or developing an economy that will support themselves down the road? Where is the most atrocious crimes against humanity taking place? Africa! I've seen a lot of news about the governments or some faction there of, trying to take control of the population, or forcing them out of the country, or even killing mass quantities of people in their effort to take over the country in question.

As for the gun issue, I saw a piece on TV the other night about how the Australians and the British had allowed the governments to take their guns, and how big a mistake that was. In their misguided effort to control crime, all they did was make it easier for criminals to do what they do without fear of being killed by their victim.
I'm sure that there will be one hell of a fight in this country against such a thing. As for me, like the slogan says, "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands".
 
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All I have to say on this topic is....well has anyone noticed on here, that the only anti-obama people are americans 40+ or americans that live in rural areas. Really shows the true colors of how this generation of young people is drastically different than the baby boomers. Also shows the true colors of the affects of the geographic reason.

*Please note I am not being sterotypical, only stating a observation I observed.
 
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All I have to say on this topic is....well has anyone noticed on here, that the only anti-obama people are americans 40+ or americans that live in rural areas. Really shows the true colors of how this generation of young people is drastically different than the baby boomers. Also shows the true colors of the affects of the geographic reason.

*Please note I am not being sterotypical, only stating a observation I observed.
Well, you pegged me right, I'm over 40, and I live in the country. I'm not anti Obama either. True, I voted for the other guy, but I'll take Obama, as long as he can do what he promised to do, or at least give it a good try. As for this thread, well, the thing that bothers me most is the gun issue. Although, higher taxes would upset me too.

But I'm curious, why do you think people in rural areas are anti Obama?

And I know he won by a large margin of electoral votes, but if I recall correctly, the popular vote was a lot closer, but he won it that way as well.
 

dprdinky

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Where to begin.
Well it's been awhile since the USA has lived up to it's responsibility to the UN. The US is behind in the amount of $$ it owes to the UN. It's been a known fact for, oh 20/30 yrs. While many of the 2nd and 3rd world countries support fully in the amount of $$ paid into the UN, the US and several other 1st world countries lack in doing what's necessary.

Kyoto - Bush has been unwilling to live up to this, otherwise we probably would've done this long ago. It's a shame we haven't.

No all the legislation is trying to do is live up to the responsibilities of the UN. It's pretty much making up for things we haven't done. in the past and bringing us up to date. So a support the idea behind the legislation. It has nothing to do with whose supporting it.
 

Mingus

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I don't want to start some kind of a war here on this site, we don't need it, but let me ask everyone here, how much in foreign aid does the rest of the world provide? I ask this because I truly don't know the answer.

And as for everyone getting on my back about my good friend sending this to me, let me state that it has gone through about a hundred forwardings before he got it. I left all that out of my original post as I didn't see the relevance of putting in all of the screen names and addresses of everyone it has gone through.
I'm not touching on the gun control issue. There are other threads dealing with it, and it's not, as I have said, germane to the argument at hand. As for what your friend sent you, I'm not bothered about that, either, although we could have avoided some misconceptions if you had read the bill before taking the email at face value.

Foreign aid in 2004 was approximately 1.1% of budget expenditure (excluding Iraq reconstruction), and 0.2% of GDP. It is a *tiny* piece of American expenditure. Our foreign aid, as measure in Congressional foreign appropriations, in 2004 totalled $19.27B. 'International assistance programs', as noted by the 2004 Federal Budget, took up a gross outlay of $28.340B. As a comparison, in 2004 we spent a similar sum on energy. The greatest expenditures in 2004 were defense ($381B), health and human services ($572B), treasury ($408B), and social security ($538B). Those are the line items budgeted at more than $100B.

Compared to other countries, we give the most in terms of net expenditure. However, we give the least as a proportion of GNP, among major donor countries. In 2002, the leading members of the international aid community transferred $58.3B in aid. That is the total donated by members of the OECD development group. Among these countries, in 2002 the US gave just over half as much as the average transfer measured as a proportion of GNP. We give more in terms of money, but proportionately we give far less than any country in a similar position.

Your points about the use of aid in some countries have merit, but aid encompasses a massive variety of programs and projects. Some of these do not necessarily rely on state implementation, although it helps. Moreover, it is worth bearing in mind this statement from a State Department briefing paper on foreign aid: "Many argue that the foreign aid program brings significant indirect financial benefits to the United States, in addition to the direct benefits derived from reflows of aid dollars. First, it is argued that provision of military equipment through the military assistance program and food commodities through P.L.480 helps to develop future, strictly commercial, markets for those products. Second, as countries develop CRS-20 economically, they are in a position to purchase more goods from abroad and the United States benefits as a trade partner." These are among many arguments, from a strictly state-interested perspective, in favour of international aid.

Finally, it is inaccurate to say that our foreign aid is the cause of our substantial foreign debt. Major expenditure on defense, social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are much larger contributors to ballooning deficits and an expanding debt.

Sources: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/31987.pdf
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2004/pdf/spec.pdf (large file, might take a while to load on a slow connection)
 
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