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Freedom Alliance

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 world."

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 anti-American sentiments.

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.


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