Tags: U.S. | Rebuffs | Tax-Happy | European | Bureaucrats

U.S. Rebuffs Tax-Happy European Bureaucrats

Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM

Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill issued a statement Thursday saying the OECD initiative to eliminate "harmful tax practices” is "too broad.”

Thus, once again, the Bush administration takes action to roll back an anti-American policy of the Clinton White House.

Among the "harmful tax practices” the OECD frowns upon is the comparatively low taxes imposed by those nations that are deemed "unfair” to the high-tax welfare states. The high-tax states, you see, can’t compete with those countries that keep their tax rates low.

Given that U.S. taxes are generally lower than those in Europe, this policy of the international body is viewed by some as a dagger ultimately to be aimed squarely at the United States and, more personally, at American taxpayers. The idea that bureaucrats could dictate American tax rates is not bound to go over very well on this side of the Atlantic.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, tried without success to persuade the Clinton administration to take note of this. Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers paid him no mind. His more recent letter to O’Neill got the new administration’s attention.

Besides being a victory for U.S. taxpayers, Thursday’s statement by the secretary appears to be an internal victory for Bush loyalists over Clinton holdovers at Treasury who tried to convince the newcomers that the commitment to the OECD policy was a "done deal.”

"I would like to congratulate Secretary O’Neill for his recognition that” the OECD initiative "is fatally flawed,” said Armey. "It would, in effect, create a tax cartel of high-tax nations, dismantle privacy laws, and create a global network of tax police.”

The House leader added that the secretary had taken "a principled stand” and that he would work with the administration "to prevent illegal evasion of tax laws as we work together to simplify and lower taxes.”

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Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill issued a statement Thursday saying the OECD initiative to eliminate harmful tax practices" is too broad." Thus, once again, the Bush administration takes action to roll back an anti-American policy of the Clinton White House. Among the ...
U.S.,Rebuffs,Tax-Happy,European,Bureaucrats
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2001-00-10
Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM
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