The Call for Global Government
Soros's desire for a worldwide welfare structure is consistent with his general preference for some form of global government. In 1998 he wrote that “insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.” “The greatest opposition to this idea,” he added somberly, “is coming from the United States.”
Soros has continued to espouse this perspective ever since. At a 2003 event, a questioner asked Soros whether he and his foundations could “help to bring more foreign influence into the United States instead of relying on what is essentially a balance between Democrats and conservative Republicans, which hasn't worked and is not about to start working.” Soros replied:
“I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order. And that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup. I don't think you can correct it by giving the Chinese government a vote in Congress. But it is a flaw, and I think this is where American leadership is needed, to take into account and respect the interests of others as well, in order to retain the dominant position we currently enjoy.”
This call for increased “foreign influence” in American political life is congruent with President Obama's position on the matter. In March 2009, for instance, Obama appointed Harold Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, as legal advisor to the U.S. State Department. Koh is an advocate of transnationalism, a concept arguing in favor of “global governance” as opposed to the constitutional sovereignty of independent nation-states. This perspective holds that the world's most challenging problems are too complex and deep-rooted for any single country to address effectively on its own. The solution, says Koh, is for all members of the international community to recognize a set of supranational laws and institutions whose authority overrides those of any particular government.26
In March 2007, Koh chastised the U.S. for having “unwisely disengaged from various institutions that promote fundamental human rights, chief among them the International Criminal Court [which would subordinate American criminal-justice procedures in certain cases to those of an international tribunal] and the newly established Human Rights Council” of the United Nations¯a Council whose membership includes a number of nations known for their unrestrained anti-Semitism and human-rights abuses.27 President Obama ultimately announced, in 2009, that the U.S. would join the Council for the first time.28 In November 2010, this Council made headlines when it harshly berated America for its alleged discrimination against Muslims, its barbaric police practices, its use of torture against enemies abroad, and its religious intolerance.29
Another Obama official¯Eric P. Schwartz, the administration's assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration¯formerly served as director of the U.S. Connect Fund, a Soros-financed organization that promotes global governance.
Just a few days after Barack Obama was elected President, George Soros stated: “I think we need a large stimulus package which will provide funds for state and local government to maintain their budgets¯because they are not allowed by the constitution to run a deficit. For such a program to be successful, the federal government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, another infrastructure program is necessary. In total, the cost would be in the 300 to 600 billion-dollar range....”31
Soon thereafter, as one of the first priorities of his presidency, Obama pressured Congress to pass a monumental $787 billion economic-stimulus bill whose text was 1,071 pages long¯and which few, if any, legislators read before voting on it. Obama stressed the urgency of passing this bill at the earliest possible moment, so as to forestall any further harm to the U.S. economy. Notably, the legislation repealed numerous essentials of the 1996 welfare-reform bill against which George Soros had so strongly rebelled.32 According to a Heritage Foundation report, 32 percent of the new stimulus bill—or an average of $6,700 in “new means-tested welfare spending” for every poor person in the U.S.—was earmarked for social-welfare programs.33 Such unprecedented levels of spending did not at all trouble Soros, who said: “At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable.”34 In December 2009, Obama concurred again—outlining a set of new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals while explaining that America must continue to “spend our way out of this recession.”35
In a 2008 interview with Bill Moyers, George Soros derided wealthy Americans who wished to have their tax burden lightened. According to Soros, such people were selfishly eager to “enjo[y] the fruits” of their affluence even as they viewed the act of “paying taxes” as “an absolute no-no”—indeed something veritably “unpatriotic.”36
By Soros's telling, taxes are inherently desirable in good times and bad alike. In 2010, for instance, he stated that although the U.S. economy was in the midst of a prolonged downturn, it would be imprudent for lawmakers to extend the Bush-era tax cuts which were due to expire on January 1, 2011; such a course of action, he warned, would be “the wrong policy” and would cause the recession to deepen further.37 Soros proposed, instead, that the existing tax rates be permitted to return to their previous, higher levels, and that whatever extra revenue those elevated rates might generate should be used to finance yet another federal “stimulus” program.38 This suggestion was consistent with the funding priorities Soros has long pursued through his Open Society Institute. A substantial percentage of the organizations bankrolled by OSI favor high taxes to fill the coffers of an ever-expanding, government-run welfare state.
Likewise, Barack Obama's long track record in support of high income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes for “the wealthy” is well documented.39 Thus it was not surprising that Obama, through most of his early presidency, adamantly opposed any extension of the Bush tax cuts beyond their scheduled expiration date. But as the economy foundered and the President's popularity waned—to say nothing of the historic losses suffered by congressional Democrats in the midterm elections—Obama began to restrict his calls for a tax hike only to those in the highest income brackets.40 In the end, the President, recognizing that the electorate fiercely opposed higher taxes for anyone, pragmatically agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two more years—a move that displeased George Soros greatly.41
Soros's public stance in favor of higher tax rates for the wealthy is nothing short of remarkable, in light of the fact that he himself has taken some noteworthy measures to avoid paying taxes of his own. Consider, for instance, that his multi-billion-dollar Quantum Fund is actually incorporated on the tiny island of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, located in the Caribbean. As such, Soros avoids paying U.S. taxes on it. Americans who invest in his Fund likewise escape the tax man entirely. Their interest, dividends, and capital-gains earnings are taxed only if they are brought into the United States.42 And these investors are precisely the types of high earners who, according to Soros, should be willing to do their “patriotic” duty and pay the taxes that they can well afford; the minimum investment for the Quantum Fund is $100,000.43
By no means has the Quantum Fund been Soros's only foray into tax-avoiding, offshore business enterprises. Indeed, Soros's real-estate company, Mapeley Steps, is headquartered in yet another tax haven, Bermuda. In 2001 this firm purchased more than 600 buildings from Inland Revenue (Britain's equivalent of the IRS) and then leased them to the British government for a princely sum—but paid no taxes, thanks to the Bermuda address.44
Just as Soros has spoken out against calls to reduce income taxes, so has he consistently sided against proposals to lower or eliminate the estate tax (a.k.a. “death tax”), calling it “a valuable taxation” because it “does not interfere with wealth creation” and it “increases social equality.”45 In 2003, Soros and some fellow billionaires went so far as to sign a public letter stating that a repeal of the estate tax “would enrich the heirs of America's millionaires and billionaires while hurting families who struggle to make ends meet.”46 Yet Soros has creatively found a way for his own heirs to avoid paying any estate taxes, as he once explained:
“A charitable trust is a very interesting tax gimmick. The idea is that you commit your assets to a trust and you put a certain amount of money into charity every year. And then after you have given the money for however many years, the principal that remains can be left [to one's heirs] without estate or gift tax. So this is the way I set up the trust for my children.”47
Environmental and Energy Policy
George Soros is an avid proponent of cap-and-trade,48 a tax-based policy proposal designed to reduce Americans' consumption of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—and to speed up the nation's transition to alternate forms of energy such as wind and solar power. The idea of cap-and-trade is founded on the planted axiom that the carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by human industrial activity create a greenhouse effect that is causing the earth's climate to grow dangerously warm. Under cap-and-trade regulations, companies would be subject to taxes or fees if they exceed their government-imposed limit for CO2 emissions. Economists predict that such legislation, if enacted, would impose colossal costs on businesses¯costs that would be passed on to consumers, who in turn would pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand extra dollars each year in energy costs.49 But to Soros, such a policy is well worth the price. “Dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment” and thus “will be painful,” he acknowledges, but “at least” it will enable humankind to “survive and not cook.” When asked in 2008 whether he was proposing energy policies that would “create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world,” Soros replied succinctly, “Yes.”50 By Soros's reckoning, America today has “a great opportunity,” through cap-and-trade, “to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence.”51
In 2009, Soros announced that he intended to spend $10 million over a ten-year period to fund the formation of a new Climate Policy Initiative, designed to address global warming by “help[ing] nations achieve low-carbon development” in “the new energy economy.”52 In remarks he made at a January 2010 Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations, Soros impugned the U.S. as “the laggard” that, by not endorsing the initiatives which that been proposed a month earlier at an international climate-change conference in Copenhagen, had failed to provide adequate leadership with regard to environmental policy.53
Barack Obama, like Soros, is an unwavering backer of cap-and-trade. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said: “[U]nder my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations.”54
The principal motive underlying the cap-and-trade policies that Obama and Soros support has been articulated by Obama's “regulation czar,” Cass Sunstein, a longtime proponent of “distributive justice” whereby America would transfer much of its own wealth to poorer nations as compensation for the harm that U.S. environmental transgressions have allegedly caused in those countries. Sunstein speculates that “desirable redistribution” can be “accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct foreign aid.”55
Transforming America Through Immigration
In the spring of 2006 and again a year later, television viewers were treated to innumerable images of massive throngs of demonstrators flooding the streets of cities all across the United States, as they protested America's allegedly unjust and punitive immigration policies. The participants in these rallies demanded such things as amnesty for illegals, paths to citizenship, expanded guest-worker programs, loosened border controls, an end to workplace immigration raids, and a generalized expansion of rights and privileges for illegal immigrants in the United States. These grievance-filled spectacles generated considerable public anxiety; in their size, scope, and execution, they were reminiscent of the “velvet revolution” demonstrations that Soros had bankrolled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The following groups -- all heavily funded by, or otherwise affiliated with, George Soros and his Open Society Institute -- were among the key organizers of the “immigrant-rights” demonstrations: ACORN, the American Friends Service Committee, the Center for Community Change, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, and the Gamaliel Foundation.56
The immigration-related agendas of Barack Obama fit hand-in-glove with those of the foregoing Soros-affiliated activist groups. Indeed, the President has repeatedly called for “comprehensive immigration reform” -- a euphemism for incremental amnesty. This is but an extension of the voting record that Obama compiled in the U.S. Senate, where he opposed workplace immigration raids; favored a “path to citizenship” so as to “bring people out of the shadows”; advocated laws that would permit illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses; supported the DREAM Act, which would allow illegals to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents; and opposed a Senate amendment calling for the withdrawal of federal assistance to “sanctuary cities” that flout federal immigration laws.57
In 2007 and 2008, Obama was a featured speaker at the annual conventions of the National Council of La Raza, which lobbies for racial preferences, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens. He lauded those in attendance for having worked so hard to “strengthe[n] America together.” “It's been the work of this organization for four decades,” Obama said, “lifting up families and transforming communities across America. And for that, I honor you, I congratulate you, I thank you, and I wish you another forty years as extraordinary as your last.”58
While generally adorned with carefully crafted rhetoric of human rights and “family reunification,” there is in fact a more politically sinister motive underlying Obama's and Soros's support for groups that would not only transform illegals into U.S. citizens, but would also open the floodgates to further mass immigration from impoverished countries below America's southern border. Obama and Soros alike are well aware that the vast majority of first-generation Hispanic immigrants, once naturalized, tend heavily to vote Democrat. Thus there is a great imperative to import, naturalize, and register as many of these voters as possible in the most expedient practicable manner.59 The ultimate, long-term objective is to establish a permanent Democratic voting bloc in the U.S. for generations to come.
A “Living” Constitution
With fidelity to his “open society” tenet that truth is an ever-evolving and ever-elusive concept, George Soros firmly rejects the notion that the U.S. Constitution is a document of unique or unrivaled merit¯or, by logical extension, that its original intent must be permanently revered and adhered to, rather than deconstructed or reinterpreted as the changing needs and preferences of the times may dictate. In April 2005, Soros's Open Society Institute was a leading financial sponsor of a Yale Law School conference called “The Constitution in 2020,” promoted as an effort to produce “a progressive vision of what the Constitution ought to be.” Other major sponsors of the event included the American Constitution Society and the Center for American Progress¯both major recipients of Soros funding.60 Speakers at the conference repeatedly stressed the “evolutionary character of constitutional law”¯a premise crucial to the work of anyone who, like Soros, seeks to fundamentally transform a society.61
Barack Obama, who himself has openly vowed to “fundamentally transform” the United States, shares precisely this same view of the Constitution. In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that the Constitution “is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.” Moreover, he asserted that, if elected to the White House, he would not appoint a strict constructionist -- one who seeks to apply the Constitution's text as it is written and without further inference -- to the Supreme Court.62 True to his word, President Obama has thus far appointed two Supreme Court Justices -- Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -- both of whom reject strict constructionism.
Sotomayor, for her part, is an advocate of legal realism, which the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes as a judicial philosophy that is “diametrically opposed to the concept of strict construction/originalism as advocated by conservative legal thinkers and judges.” TVC adds that according to legal realism: “[J]udges should do more than interpret the law or look to the original intent of the writers of the law or the Constitution. Judges should bring in outside influences from social sciences, psychology and politics, plus their own views, to craft the law….” Suggesting that the public wrongly expects “the law to be static and predictable,” Sotomayor contends that courts and lawyers are “constantly overhauling the laws and adapting it [sic] to the realities of ever-changing social, industrial and political conditions.”63 Meanwhile, Elena Kagan has approvingly cited former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall's assertion that the Constitution, “as originally drafted and conceived,” was “defective.”64
Promoting Socialized Medicine in the United States
As noted earlier, George Soros has long favored a greater role for government in the American healthcare system. During the political debate over “Obamacare” in 2009 and 2010, one of the most influential pro-reform coalitions was Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a vast network of organizations supporting, ideally, a “single-payer” model where the federal government would be in charge of financing and administering the entire U.S. healthcare system.65 HCAN’s strategy was to try to achieve such a system incrementally, first by implementing a “public option”—i.e., a government insurance agency to “compete” with private insurers, so that Americans would be “no longer at the mercy of the private insurance industry.”66 Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would inevitably force private insurers out of the industry.
In August 2009, Soros pledged to give HCAN $5 million to promote its campaign for reform.67 HCAN's organizational members include a host of Soros-affiliated organizations, among which are such stalwarts as the ACLU, ACORN, the AFL-CIO, the AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Center for Community Change, the Gamaliel Foundation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn.org, the NAACP, the National Abortion Federation, the National Council of La Raza, the National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, the Progressive States Network, and USAction.68 Many of these member groups regularly receive large amounts of Soros funding directly from the Open Society Institute. Some of that money was undoubtedly used to bankroll the healthcare reform crusade, thus we can say with certainty that Soros's real contributions to the cause far exceeded the $5 million he gave to HCAN.
Terrorism As a Criminal Matter, Rather Than an Act of War
Ever since the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, George Soros has emphasized that it is “more appropriate” for the U.S. government to treat such events as “crimes against humanity” rather than acts of war, and that a proper response thus involves “police work, not military action.”69 Numerous Soros-funded organizations espouse this view as well, as evidenced by their efforts to ensure that suspected terrorists are tried in civilian courts rather than in military tribunals.70 The latter venues, where military officers serve as the judges and jurors, are designed specifically to deal with offenses committed in the context of warfare. Significantly, they permit prosecutors to use secret evidence that may have been obtained by means of enhanced interrogation methods, whereas civilian courts forbid the admittance of such evidence. Among the Soros-funded groups that look with strong disfavor upon military tribunals are the American Constitution Society,71 the Center for Constitutional Rights,72 the American Civil Liberties Union,73 and Human Rights Watch.74
Their perspective is very much in line with that of Barack Obama. Immediately following his inauguration, in fact, Obama's first act as U.S. President was to order the suspension of all military tribunals that had been established to adjudicate the cases of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which continued to house more than 200 al Qaeda and Taliban combatants captured by the American military during its post-9/11 wars in the Mideast.75 Obama, like Soros, favors a criminal-justice-oriented approach to terrorism and thus would prefer to try the perpetrators in civilian court¯where they would enjoy the enhanced rights and protections that such courts afford to all defendants.
This approach to terrorism has set the tone for every member of the Obama administration. In March 2009, for instance, Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano broke with her agency's traditional practice of warning the American public about potential “terrorist” threats, and instead began referring to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”76 Two months later the Obama Justice Department¯again demonstrating its preference for treating terrorism as a law-enforcement issue rather than as a military matter¯ordered the FBI to read Miranda warnings to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.77 In November, the Obama administration announced that it planned to try five Guantanamo detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy in a civilian court.78
Then, on Christmas Day of 2009, a Nigerian al Qaeda operative boarded a Northwest Airlines flight (from Amsterdam to Detroit) and attempted, without success, to blow up the plane in midair with a powerful chemical bomb. In public remarks soon after the incident, President Obama referred to the man as an “isolated extremist” rather than as a terrorist or a jihadist. In subsequent days the administration announced that it would offer the perpetrator a plea agreement to persuade him to reveal what he knew about al Qaeda operations in Yemen; if such an arrangement could not be worked out, the government planned to try him in federal civilian court.79
In November 2010, al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani¯responsible for the deaths of 224 people in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania¯became the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court and was acquitted on all but one of the charges against him.80
The "Responsibility to Protect"
In March 2011, President Obama, without consulting Congress, authorized the involvement of the U.S. military in imposing a "no-fly zone" over Libya, to prevent President Moammar Qaddafi's forces from bombing rebels who were challenging his regime. On March 21, the White House announced the initiation of "a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
According to reports, Samantha Power, Obama's National Security Council special adviser on human rights, was instrumental in persuading Obama to take this action against Libya. Power is a longtime advocate of the doctrine known as the "Responsibility to Protect," which encourages the international community to intervene in a particular country's internal affairs -- with military force if necessary -- in order to thwart genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or ethnic cleansing. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, which is the world's leading advocate of this doctrine, is funded by the Open Society Institute. In a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article, George Soros himself discussed the fundamentals of the Responsibility to Protect, writing:
"If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified. By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states' borders to protect the rights of citizens."
Organizations Where the Soros and Obama Agendas Intersect
By way of the many hundreds of pro-Obama groups that George Soros funds on a regular basis, there are literally thousands of political and financial ties that exist between Soros and the President. A comprehensive discussion of these connections could more than fill the pages of a large book. Nevertheless, a few key entities that serve as vital contact points in the Obama-Soros relationship are well worth noting here.
Center for American Progress
The Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) may well have more influence on the Obama presidency than any other organization in existence. This left-wing think tank formulates policy for the administration and supplies the White House with a steady stream of talking points designed to make that policy palatable to the public. In fact, as of December 2008, before then-President-elect Obama had even taken his oath of office, he had already pledged his intent to fulfill some of CAP's chief policy recommendations. These included the Center's call for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq coupled with a buildup of forces in Afghanistan, a plan to implement universal health coverage, and a plan to create “green jobs” designed to combat “global warming.”81 According to Bloomberg.com, CAP “has become ... an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the ... Obama administration.”82
Emblematic of this was the synergy that Obama and CAP displayed in dealing with the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010.83 In May and June of that year, when the crisis was at its height,84 Obama took his cue from the Center on a number of important occasions. For example:
On May 4, CAP’s energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, advised Obama to create an independent commission to examine the causes of the crisis; eighteen days later, the President did exactly that.
On May 21, CAP president John Podesta privately exhorted White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the oil-spill response. A week later, the Obama administration announced that Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen would fill that role.
On May 26, Daniel Weiss advised the White House to demand that BP immediately set up a multi-billion-dollar escrow account to pay damage claims to Gulf-state residents harmed by the spill. Some three weeks later, Obama issued precisely that demand.85
On virtually every policy matter—health-care reform, fiscal policy, civil rights, immigration, housing, labor, national security, foreign policy, media, energy, or the environment—CAP's recommendations fit hand-in-glove with the Obama administration's values and agendas. In many cases, as in the examples cited above, the administration actually follows CAP's instructions. In a very real sense, George Soros dictates his policy recommendations to the Obama White House through the Center for American Progress.
International Crisis Group
One of the more significant beneficiaries of George Soros's funding is the International Crisis Group (ICG), a nonprofit organization that makes policy recommendations ostensibly designed to foster goodwill among nations.86 In 2008, the Open Society Institute gave a whopping $5 million to this entity,87 on whose executive committee Soros himself sits.88 One of ICG's leading figures is its Mideast director, Robert Malley, a Harvard-trained lawyer who in 2007 was named as a foreign-policy advisor to the Obama presidential campaign.
Obama has long held Malley, who formerly served in the Clinton administration, in high regard as a policy analyst. Over the years, Malley has penned numerous articles and op-eds condemning Israel, exonerating Palestinians, urging the U.S. to disengage from Israel to some degree, and recommending that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies such as Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.89 These views are of a piece with George Soros's “open society” ideal, whose moral relativism leads inescapably to the conclusion that one man's terrorist is indeed another man's freedom fighter¯and, by logical extension, that no nation should be so proud as to be unwilling to conduct diplomacy with its foes. In mid-2008, however, the Obama campaign severed its ties with Malley after the Times of London revealed that the ICG official had quietly been in regular contact with Hamas leaders as part of his work for ICG.90