Tags: U.N. | Global | Tax | Police | Coming | Get | You

U.N. Global Tax Police Coming to Get You

Wednesday, 02 January 2002 12:00 AM

This scheme is not coming from that great deliberative body on the Potomac, but from the third world-dominated General Assembly on the East River.

The details will emerge at the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Mexico in March. Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo chairs a panel that recommends creating within the U.N. an agency called the International Tax Organization.

The new organization would:

Furthermore, The Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation reports Zedillo’s group is calling for a doubling of foreign aid from larger nations, more social welfare spending, higher taxes and an international bureaucracy that may prevent countries from setting their own labor and environmental policies.

Daniel Mitchell of the Heritage Foundation did not mince words in his analysis of the proposals. Mitchell said the United States should stop the United Nation's plan and that "to preserve prosperity and opportunity around the globe, Congress and the President should tell the bureaucrats at the U.N. to take a long walk off a short pier."

Zedillo’s panel admits taxing currency transactions could be difficult. Although they estimate the tax could collect as much as $400 billion a year, currency traders could find ways to avoid the tax or create instruments that would be difficult to tax.

The fossil fuel tax proposal would be easier to implement. The panel envisions taxing fuels according to their contribution to greenhouse gases at levels high enough to discourage consumption (even though less consumption would mean less revenue).

Despite the committee’s stated intention of helping nations develop, developing nations would pay dearly under this plan.

What would the International Tax Organization do? Its goals could make life difficult for individuals and nations alike. While the ITO would likely collect statistics and monitor tax policy developments, it could also help implement drastic changes in how nations shape their tax policies.

Perhaps the most ominous responsibility of the International Tax Organization would be to restrain tax competition. The committee members did not explain how competition between nations is harmful.

Mitchell said this aspect of proposed duties of the ITO is a threat to both high-tax countries like France and low-tax nations like the United States. A lack of competition could lead some countries to raise taxes.

Companies and individuals that seek to better their income by moving their capital to lower-tax countries would be denied that opportunity.

In fact, individuals seeking a better life could find themselves chained to their old tax system. One of the ITO’s responsibilities would be to facilitate the taxation of emigrants.

While the committee claims this would help countries who suffer economic loss when productive people leave, it makes those people government property.

This proposal puts the United States in a difficult situation. Throughout U.S. history, people have come here seeking a better life. American officials would likely oppose efforts by other countries to tax income earned within the U.S. The problem is, the United States already taxes income its citizens earn overseas.

Finally, the new organization would require governments to collect financial data on individuals and share it with other nations. This would facilitate the taxation of emigrants and its effect on the American economy could be devastating.

International investors might re-consider putting their money into the American financial markets if they knew they faced both the disclosure of their income to their home country and the imposition of higher taxes.

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This scheme is not coming from that great deliberative body on the Potomac, but from the third world-dominated General Assembly on the East River. The details will emerge at the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development in Mexico in March. Former...
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2002-00-02
Wednesday, 02 January 2002 12:00 AM
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