Coalition for Tax Competition
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Coalition for Tax Competition Urges White House to Defund the Paris-based OECD
Washington, DC (Thursday, February 9, 2006) – The Coalition for Tax Competition today sent a letter urging Joshua B. Bolten, the Director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, to "strongly consider eliminating or at least dramatically reducing funding" to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In the letter sent to Director Bolten, representatives of more than 30 of the country's largest and most influential free-market groups stated, "The OECD used to focus on gathering statistics and publishing innocuous studies. Although it is doubtful that these activities were ever a particularly good use of American tax dollars, the OECD's more recent pursuit of policies that undermine America's competitiveness is deeply troubling. … The Paris-based bureaucracy has also pursued an anti-tax competition agenda that would hinder the flow of jobs and capital to the U.S. economy. …American taxpayers should not be subsidizing a bureaucracy that is actively pushing anti-market and anti-American policies."
"For the last eight-years, the OECD's Fiscal Affairs Committee has been pushing tax harmonization policies that are contrary to America's economic interests," stated Andrew Quinlan,
president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation. "Along with the letter, we sent Director Bolten a recent paper published by the CF&P Foundation that documents the activities and policies of the OECD that undermine the interests of the United States. There is no reason why U.S. taxpayers should fund this Paris-based bureaucracy," added Quinlan. [Link to study below]
Dan Mitchell a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, added, "Tax
competition is a liberalizing force in the world economy, and America is one of the biggest beneficiaries. Subsidizing an international bureaucracy that seeks to prop up Europe's high-tax welfare states is a
reprehensible waste of American tax dollars."
Veronique de Rugy of the American Enterprise Institute, commented, "As a
refugee from France, I worry that America will travel down the same path of bigger government and higher taxes. It adds insult to injury, however, when American tax dollars are being used to advocate a French-style
tax system in the United States."
Comments from other members of the Coalition for
Tax Competition who signed the letter:
John Berthoud the president of the National Taxpayers Union: "To the extent that the United States supports any international economic policy organizations such as the OECD, the primary focus of these groups should be encouraging all nations to follow free market policies that are proven to raise living standards around the globe – including: lower taxes, smaller government, and free trade. When bureaucracies such as the OECD stray from this core mission, the President and Congress should not hesitate to withhold taxpayer support."
Grover Norquist the president of Americans for Tax Reform: "The federal government wastes a lot of money, but wasteful spending is better than harmful spending. When American taxpayers subsidize the OECD, their tax dollars are used to pursue an agenda that undermines global economic growth and threatens U.S. competitiveness. There is a pressing need to control federal spending, and eliminating funding for the OECD should be high on the list."
Tom Giovanetti the president of the Institute for Policy Innovation: "The statistics gathered by the OECD are useful, but its recommendations are typical of international bureaucracies--awful. The OECD has become just another forum for big-government bureaucrats to try to foist their failed policies onto other countries from the top down. Not only should the OECD's recommendations be ignored, but the U.S. should make it clear that the OECD needs to get out of the business of offering opinions and recommendations.
"One way to do this would be to dramatically scale back the U.S. contribution to the OECD. In a budget climate where the administration says it is looking for ways to save money, here's a
great way to save some taxpayer dollars and stop some mischief at the same time."
Karen Kerrigan the president of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council: "A competitive tax environment, and specifically low taxes, are critical to a vibrant small business sector. The U.S. cannot continue to allow the OECD to advocate policies that undermine the progress, and promise, that the benefits of entrepreneurship bring to individuals and our economy. U.S.-based entrepreneurs are already struggling in a domestic policy environment that puts us at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace -- we don't need more costs and burdens prescribed by the OECD added to the mix."
Link to complete list of signers and letter to OMB Director Bolten (text below):
PDF version of letter:
Link to CF&P Foundation Paper referenced by Quinlan:
Text of letter and list of signers:
February 9, 2006
The Honorable Joshua B. Bolten
The Office of Management and Budget
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20503
Dear Director Bolten:
On behalf of the organizations listed below, we urge you to closely examine what we believe to be counter-productive federal spending on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD). Based in Paris, the OECD is an international bureaucracy that receives nearly one-fourth of its budget from American taxpayers. Yet, because the OECD has in recent years begun advocating
policies that are contrary to the best interests of the United States, we believe that the Administration should strongly consider eliminating or at least dramatically reducing funding to the OECD.
The OECD used to focus on gathering statistics and publishing innocuous studies. Although it is doubtful that these activities were ever a particularly good use of American tax dollars, the
OECD's more recent pursuit of policies that undermine America's competitiveness is deeply troubling.
In recent years, for example, the OECD has repeatedly suggested adoption of a value-added tax in the United States. The Paris-based bureaucracy has also pursued an anti-tax competition
agenda that would hinder the flow of jobs and capital to the U.S. economy. The OECD has even sided with unions in a campaign against competition in the market for ocean shipping. Most recently, the OECD has begun
interfering with the right of U.S. states to control their own corporation laws.
Fortunately, the Administration has been able to thwart most of these initiatives. But it is nonetheless vexing that the Administration and other advocates of international tax and economic
competition have been forced to spend time and energy fighting schemes that are subsidized with U.S. tax dollars. Moreover, the aforementioned issues are just a few examples of bad policies advocated by the OECD.
For a more complete picture, we have attached a recent study that details additional policy lapses by the OECD.
Federal spending is consuming too much of America's economic output. Reducing the size of government should be a top priority. Reducing or eliminating U.S. funding for the OECD makes a
virtue out of necessity. American taxpayers should not be subsidizing a bureaucracy that is actively pushing anti-market and anti-American policies.
Andrew F. Quinlan -- President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation
Daniel J. Mitchell -- Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Veronique de Rugy -- Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
John Berthoud -- President, National Taxpayers Union
Grover Norquist -- President. Americans for Tax Reform
Tom Giovanetti -- President, Institute for Policy Innovation
Karen Kerrigan -- President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
Doug Bandow -- Vice President of Policy, Citizen Outreach
Roland Boucher -- Chairman, United Californians for Tax Reform
Daniel Clifton -- Executive Director, American Shareholders Association
Rick Durham -- President, Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc.
Richard Falknor -- Executive Vice President, Maryland Taxpayers Association
Kerri Houston -- Vice President of Policy, Frontiers of Freedom
David A. Keene -- Chairman, American Conservative Union
Matt Kibbe -- President and CEO, FreedomWorks
Thomas P. Kilgannon -- President, Freedom Alliance
Michelle Korsmo -- Vice President, Americans for Prosperity Foundation
Charles W. Jarvis -- Chairman, USA Next
James L. Martin -- President, 60 Plus Association
Chuck Muth -- President, Citizen Outreach
Karl Peterjohn -- Executive Director, Kansas Taxpayers Network
George Pieler -- Senior Fellow, Institute for Policy Innovation
John Pugsley -- Chairman, The Sovereign Society
Don Racheter -- President, Public Interest Institute
Amy Ridenour -- President, The National Center for Public Policy Research
Terrence Scanlon -- President, Capital Research Center
Thomas Schatz -- President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Bill Sizemore -- Executive Director, Oregon Taxpayers United
David M. Stanley -- Chairman, Iowans for Tax Relief
David M Strom -- President, Taxpayers League of Minnesota
Henry L. Thaxton -- Director, West Virginians Against Government Waste
Pat Toomey -- President, Club for Growth
Lewis K. Uhler -- President, National Tax Limitation Committee
Paul M. Weyrich -- National Chairman, Coalitions for America
Andrew Quinlan can be reached at 202-285-0244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Mitchell can be reached at 202-608-6224, email@example.com
Veronique de Rugy can be reached at 202-862-7165, VdeRugy@aei.org
John Berthoud can be reached at 703-683-5700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grover Norquist can be reached at 202-785-0266, email@example.com
Tom Giovanetti can be reached at 972-874-5139, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Kerrigan can be reached at 202-785-0238, email@example.com
Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation
P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia 22310