Leading up to the Nov. 2012 elections, President Barack Obama told voters that he wanted to get Americans back to work by "investing" (i.e., spending) on local government programs such as education, research and development, infrastructure, and jobs training.
However, a Jan. 16 discovery by the American Freedom blog shows that barely a month after winning re-election, the Obama administration sent $40 million in taxpayer money to fund various foreign labor causes around the world through grants issued by the Department of Labor (DOL).
In Dec. 2012, the DOL listed several funding initiatives, including grants (i.e., donations) for strengthening unions and improving labor conditions, not in the United States, but in South America and Africa. None of the grants received coverage from the mainstream media as news networks focused their resources on last month's Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut.
Here are some of the Obama administration's recent financial grants to bolster the cause of foreign workers:
- $1.5 million to strengthen Colombia's labor rights which is designed to "improve public awareness" of local workers' rights (i.e., funding of a propaganda campaign)
- $2.2 million to fund unions in Haiti and Peru. According to Labor secretary Hilda Solis, your taxpayer dollars will help vulnerable Haitian and Peruvian unions "engage in productive, effective negotiations with government and employers."
- $5 million to promote "decent work" for domestic workers in Indonesia, although the federal government did not define what constitutes "decent work"
- $10 million to combat child labor in Ecuador and Panama. This DOL award is based on racial preferences as the $10 million grant will target "Afro-descendant, indigenous and migrant populations".
- $5.35 million to battle child labor in Peru and Brazil
- $5 million to fight child labor in Burkina Faso. The West African nation has thriving cotton and gold mining industries. Another $10 million was sent to Tanzania.
In Oct. 2012, the government agency doled out $1.5 million to promote collective bargaining and improve labor relations in Vietnam.
Fiscal conservatives are looking to reign in government spending given the state of the U.S. economy and the massive amount of liabilities on the government's balance sheet. The current unemployment rate in the United States stands at 7.8 percent while the first week of January saw initial jobless claims of 371,000.
More importantly, American taxpayers are seeing their tax rates increase in 2013 due to the recent "fiscal cliff" deal between Obama and House Republicans. The national debt stands at $16.45 trillion while the U.S. will reach its debt and borrowing) limit by March 2013.
On Jan. 15, credit rating agency Fitch indicated that it will likely downgrade America's credit rating due to concerns over record debt levels, government spending, trillion-dollar deficits, and projected increases in expenditures due to entitlements such as Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicaid.
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