From Fred Gedrich of the Freedom Alliance,
Member of the Coalition for Tax Competition
March 21, 2002, Anger in Monterrey
March 15, 2002, On the Road to Monterrey
February 6, 2002, United Nations Seeks $70 Billion Handout From U.S. Taxpayers
March 21, 2002
Anger in Monterrey
by Fred Gedrich
Monterrey, Mexico – Amid the pomp and circumstance of this international gathering of global bureaucrats – a general feeling of disappointment and bitterness exists – it appears the conference will conclude without a requirement for a firm commitment on increasing levels of foreign aid from "wealthy" countries to "impoverished" countries or without any mention of the famed currency transaction tax . In other words – a major victory for U.S. taxpayers.
Organizers of the UN Conference on Financing for Development originally saw this event as a great opportunity to coerce and shame "wealthy" countries, under the guise of fighting a world-wide war on
poverty in a 133 "Third World" countries, into transferring $466 billion annually (an estimated $166 billion on foreign aid and another $300 billion on the currency transaction tax) to the UN in support of a host of
dubious socialist causes including a standing UN army and a global international criminal court.
They viewed "foreign aid and a global tax on currency transactions" as the primary instruments for obtaining this revenue – and the United States as the major funding source.
They blame United States in general and President Bush in particular for them not being able to achieve their goals.
A smattering of criticisms voiced during the conference:
The NGO Global Forum, speaking on behalf of 700 non-governmental organizations, "demanded" an immediate commitment, from the United States and others, to provide 0.7 percent of GDP (U.S. portion is
$70 billion annually) and collection of currency transaction taxes as a means of financing development.
NGO's, in a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, and U.S. Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, Alan Larsen, sharply criticized
the U.S. War on Terror and President Bush's recent initiative to increase annual development spending from $10 billion to $15 billion by claiming "the United States is spending $48 billion on the war on terror and should spend an equivalent amount on development assistance because terror is caused by poverty."
Jeffrey Sachs, Harvard Professor and Special Advisor to Secretary-General Annan on Development issues accused the United States of "being asleep for 20 years and being the stingiest nation in the
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in a Monterrey Conference press appearance, expressed disappointment that the United States was not meeting the annual $70 billion development assistance goals
demanded by the UN and global bureaucrats.
The conference is about to reach its zenith as 60 heads of state and other dignitaries arrive at the conference – and one can assume there will be an discernable increase in rhetoric and
President Bush will arrive at, and address the conference Friday. He should not be dismayed. As indicated in the report accompanying the President's development initiative, the
United States stands alone as the most generous nation in the world.
We will provide a complete report upon the conclusion of the conference.
Fred Gedrich is a senior policy analyst at Freedom Alliance.
March 15, 2002
On the Road to Monterrey
by Fred Gedrich
Washington, D.C. – President Bush and other leaders from around the world are preparing for the UN's International Conference on Financing for Development in
Monterrey, Mexico. Beginning March 18, it promises to be quite a spectacle. UN globalists are pitting "rich" countries against "poor" in a blatant attempt to
redistribute tens of billions of dollars from the "wealthy" to the "impoverished." There is no guarantee that these monies will not be squandered by the tyrants and
human rights abusers who rule a majority of these developing countries. Wanting more money to finance dubious socialist schemes, globalists view the United States
as a treasure trough for their insatiable financial appetite.
The globalists clarified their goals in a Washington, D.C. meeting I attended on March 12. Prepping for the Mexican Conference, the Better World Campaign, Ted
Turner's non-profit brainchild dedicated to promoting the UN's most radical left-wing causes hosted this pre-conference event – which featured a panoply of
ex-Clinton administration officials and sympathizers. Tim Wirth, president of Ted Turner's Better World Fund and UN Foundation, introduced Mark Malloch Brown,
Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and invited him to address the gathering. Mr. Wirth, like many in attendance, has rich credentials in the
Clinton administration and the Democratic Party – having served as an undersecretary in the State Department and as an elected official from Colorado in both sides of the U.S. Congress.
Mr. Malloch Brown, a global bureaucrat by way of Great Britain, didn't disappoint his audience. He views the Monterrey Conference as a "pivotal moment" and wants
the world to strike a "new global deal." He envisions "rich" nations increasing trade, aid, and investment to "poor" nations for development and believes such action will
eradicate poverty and achieve and sustain necessary political and economic reforms in the "developing" world. Pointing to a conclusion reached by a special UN panel
headed by former Mexican President Zedillo – and including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Rubin – he stated that these development goals will require an additional
$50 billion in annual aid – mostly from U.S. taxpayers. The panel also recommended a "World Tax Organization" and international taxes on currency exchanges and energy
that would plump UN coffers by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Mr. Mallach Brown expressed dismay that the United States spends more money on defense than foreign aid, stating that President Bush proposed a $48 billion increase
in defense for the coming year and only a modest increase in the amount of development assistance. He did not mention that much of the proposed increase in
U.S. defense spending will be used to finance the "War on Terror" or that the United States is the world leader in generosity: (1) providing over $3 billion in humanitarian
assistance and food aid, (2) donating over $4 billion to developing countries, and (3) providing over $10 billion of development assistance. Additionally, the United
States led the world in importing goods from developing countries – importing $450 billion in 2000.
Mr. Malloch Brown mesmerized his audience with a typical utopian diatribe and suggested that we tear "down the walls between rich and poor countries" and aspire
to a "secular, liberal, and borderless world." He didn't mention that this Marxist ideology has been disproven or that developing countries should model their
governments on the very things that make the United States great and wealthy: individual liberty, freedom, sovereignty and the creative ingenuity of American entrepreneurs.
When the address finished, Mr. Wirth echoed Mr. Malloch Brown's radical sentiments. Both agree that the world's afflictions can be eradicated with more
money and a borderless planet governed by the UN – but they're wrong – and President Bush realizes that.
In reality, the world is a dangerous place – and history shows that money cannot buy peace – just look at the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict – where the UN has
been woefully ineffective and the United States has sunk tens of billions of dollars into both sides of a dispute without achieving a positive settlement. Moreover, the
UN General Assembly, with direct authority over the UNDP, is composed of 189 countries. Of that number, 133 are considered "developing" countries, seven are
state sponsors of terror, and 84 are human rights abusers – regardless, they have a big say in what the UN does or doesn't do. This begs the question: Will the despots
who rule most of these countries actually give UN donated funds to those citizens who need it most?
No fool, President Bush is advancing a more rational policy for developing poor countries. To eradicate poverty and achieve and sustain necessary political and
economic reforms to developing countries, he has proposed spending $5 billion more on development assistance – but to receive this increased aid, potential
recipients must evidence demonstrable improvements in upholding human rights, adhering to the rule of law, and rooting out corruption.
I will be in Monterrey monitoring and reporting on events as they unfold. President Bush's proposal will likely be met with ridicule and scorn by the globalists there –
but he should stick to his policies and principles. He's clearly on the right side in this debate.
Fred Gedrich is a senior policy analyst at Freedom Alliance.