The Democratic Party platform is like a bag of pork rinds. You never know what high-fat liberal government morsel you're gonna get.
Buried in the 94-page document [PDF] is a noble-sounding proposal to create a "Social Investment Fund Network." The program would provide federal money to "social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations [that] are assisting schools, lifting families out of poverty, filling health care gaps, and inspiring others to lead change in their own communities." The Democratic Party promises to "support these results-oriented innovators" by creating an office to "coordinate government and nonprofit efforts" and then showering "a series of grants" on the chosen groups "to replicate these programs nationwide."
In practice, this Barack Obama brainchild would serve as a permanent, taxpayer-backed pipeline to Democratic partisan outfits masquerading as public-interest do-gooders. This George Soros Slush Fund would be political payback in spades. Obama owes much of his Chicago political success to financial support from radical, left-wing billionaire and leading "social entrepreneur" Soros. In June 2004, Soros threw a big fundraiser at his New York home for Obama's Illinois Senate campaign. Soros and family personally chipped in $60,000. In April 2007, Obama was back in New York for a deep-pocketed Manhattan fundraising soiree, with Soros lurking in his shadow.
No doubt with Soros' approbation (if not advice from the hands-on "progressive" activist or his advisers), Obama fleshed out his Social Investment Fund Network plan last December. In concert with his mandatory volunteerism pitch and $6 billion anti-poverty plan, Obama called for the creation of a "Social Entrepreneurship Agency" to dispense the funds in unspecified amounts. The agency would be a government-supported nonprofit corporation "similar to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting," which runs public television. (And we've all seen how fair and balanced that lib-dominated, Bill Moyers-boosting private-public enterprise turned out.)
Obama cites the Harlem Children's Zone, which provides after-school activities and mentors to children in New York, as an example of a program that should be funded. (HCZ's former senior leader Shawn Dove is now an official at Soros' Open Society Institute.) The problem with such initiatives, as Mitchell Moss pointed out in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal several years ago, is that these private-public partnerships formed under the guise of economic renewal often become nothing more than fronts that coordinate "an enormous safety net for social services." Private donations give the illusion of self-help and philanthropic independence, but in reality, the "clients" are never weaned from the teat of the welfare state. They simply learn how to milk it more efficiently.
Even more troubling is how the Democratic Party/Obama plan would siphon untold millions or billions of public tax dollars into the Soros empire without taxpayer recourse. Obama promises "accountability" measures to ensure the money is spent wisely. But who would assess effectiveness of the spending? Why, experts in the social entrepreneurship community, of course. Fox, meet henhouse.
Soros has donated some $5 billion of his fortune to left-wing nonprofit groups through the Open Society Institute—an institution committed to Soros' militant ideology of toppling the "fascist" tyranny of the United States, which he says must undergo "de-Nazification" in favor of "justice." The mob at Obama-endorsing MoveOn, purveyors of the "General Betray Us" smear against Commanding General, MNF-I, David Petraeus, is the most notorious Soros-backed political arm. But scores of other activist nonprofits have received Soros funding under the guise of doing nonpartisan "community" or "social justice" work—and it is exactly such leftist activist groups that would be first in line for the Democratic Party/Obama's "social investment" seed money.
Point in case: ACORN. As I've reported before, Obama's old friends at the Chicago-based nonprofit now take in 40 percent of their revenues from American taxpayers. They raked in tens of millions in federal antipoverty grants while some of their operatives presided over massive voter fraud and others were implicated in corporate shakedowns and mortgage scams across the country. Soros has donated at least $150,000 to the group, according to Investor's Business Daily, and "heads a secretive rich-man's club called 'Democracy Alliance' that has doled out $20 million to activist groups like ACORN."
Once the spigot is turned on, there's no turning back.
Where are fiscal conservatives on this far-left boondoggle? Well, if you're wondering why the McCain campaign doesn't raise hell over this proposed left-wing nonprofit/government pipeline, it's because McCain himself is a Soros beneficiary. His "Reform Institute," a tax-exempt, supposedly independent 501(c)(3) group focused on campaign finance reform, was funded by the Soros-funded Open Society Institute and Tides Foundation.
Birds of a Big Government feather flock together—and look out for each other. Watch your wallet.
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Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow's review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin's latest book is "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."