Because Hillary’s socialized medicine plan failed, the good times continued.
Because even a Democratic Congress couldn’t stomach the Clinton BTU energy tax, the good times continued to roll.
Because the GOP Congress forced Clinton’s hand on welfare reform, he finally signed the third bill that was sent to him. And good times rolled on.
Because about half the American people today own stocks, bonds or employer-provided retirement portfolios of some kind, Democrats in the '90s had to abandon their '80s rhetoric about capital gains tax cuts as being "for the rich." Clinton signed a "compromise" package that included capital gains tax cuts. And the good times rolled on.
Twenty years of prosperity from a country whose concepts of free enterprise were basically intact despite all the assaults on it. To the high-tax welfare states of Europe, this just wasn’t "fair." Here the U.S. had 4 percent to 5 percent unemployment, while their unemployment rates were in the double digits. How can they compete in the world markets with that kind of competition? Something must be done to stop it.
That something, it seems, is the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This organization, based in Paris, lacks formal authority, but is bringing the pressure of high-tax nations to bear on low-tax countries. If one nation’s low-tax policy is deemed by OECD to be "unfair competition," this international body intends to punish that "offending" country by isolating its banks from world commerce.
Richard Rahn, president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, cites
The Clinton administration, perhaps frustrated by its inability to advance its socialist agenda nearly as far as it would have liked, supported this global offensive against so-called unfair tax competition.
Worldwide pressure is being brought to bear on the new Bush administration to do likewise. As in the Kyoto "global warming" treaty, which President Bush has rejected, the U.S. is effectively asked to sign what amounts to an economic suicide pact. Columnist Bob Novak Monday expressed some pessimism that the Bush people may decide to go along.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey has referred to this outfit as "a global network of tax police."
As is the case with anything that is intrusive or simply awful, another name or rationale must be found for it. And so we are told this is aimed at closing in on "tax havens" and money-laundering.
Columnist Paul Craig Roberts, in a Monday piece, says, "A Frenchman, for example, who parks some money in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands with retirement in mind, will find his bank there required to report his holdings to the French government."
Back the early '80s, there was a proposal in the U.S. to reach into personal banking accounts and deduct taxes on interest earned before we ever got to see it. That caused a gigantic uproar, not because it would cost anyone any money in the final analysis, but just because of the very idea of Big Brother reaching out to your banking account and grabbing anything out of your hands like that. There is something personal and private about your own savings account. Americans felt it then. It was a matter of privacy.
A similar principle applies where Big Brother reaches out worldwide, wherever you go through an international body to keep tabs on your money and what you’re doing with it.
Right now, the OECD has concentrated on the smaller countries. Once it is built up, tax cuts for Americans in the future might be deemed "unfair." In fact, Rahn points out that if the OECD applied its criteria evenhandedly, the United States, Britain, Switzerland and Hong Kong would have been considered "tax havens." But they won’t pick on the U.S. yet. At least not until this country gives its cooperation with the OECD.
In the early '80s, tax cuts caused this country’s economy to take off like a rocket. Socialist high-tax welfare states don’t want to see that happen again. This may be their way of preventing a repetition.
The Bush tax cuts? That congressional debate could ultimately be moot if this international body has its way.
Privacy? That’s out the window if governments are allowed to tax income and activities outside their borders.
Sovereignty? How can you square that with a situation where supposedly sovereign nations can no longer determine their own tax policies? Or to put it in more personal terms, as we did the last time I wrote about this on Oct. 4, where "some socialist bureaucrat in a far-off country will already have made a decision as to whether you should be allowed to keep more of your own money."
This issue may be the sleeping giant of the Bush administration.
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