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 P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia
22310-9998
202-285-0244

CF&P Press Release,  September 23, 2003

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
202-285-0244
 
www.freedomandprosperity.org

Coalition for Tax Competition Praises Sweeney for
Fighting UN and OECD Tax Schemes;

Groups say U.S. Taxpayers Should Not Fund International Bureaucracies that Advocate Global Taxation and Tax Harmonization Policies that Hurt the U.S.

Washington, DC (September 23, 2003) -- The Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joined by more than 30 of the country's largest and most influential free-market groups, praised New York Congressman John E. Sweeney for his defense of America's economic interests. Sweeney, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, has taken a lead role in opposition to tax harmonization schemes promulgated by the United Nations (UN) and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

The letter to Rep. Sweeney from members of the Coalition for Tax Competition stated, "Recent events have demonstrated that international bureaucracies often are hostile to US interests, but this antipathy is not limited to 'foreign policy' issues. We believe the tax harmonization and global taxation plans of the OECD and UN are bad tax policy and we also believe that American taxpayers should not subsidize their statist agendas. If these bureaucracies insist on pursuing anti-free market tax policies, they should do so without any financial assistance from the United States particularly since poor people around the world will suffer if developing countries are discouraged from using tax policy to promote economic growth."

Andrew F. Quinlan, president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, commented, "The OECD and the UN both receive about 25 percent of their budgets from American taxpayers, yet both bureaucracies have been pursuing initiatives that are contrary to U.S. interests." Quinlan also praised H.R. 1206, legislation introduced by Congressman Sweeney to cut off U.S. funds to international bureaucracies that pursue anti-U.S. tax agendas. According to Quinlan, "This bill is a shot across the bow to both multinational bureaucracies. The U.S. will cease its subsidies for the UN and the OECD if either bureaucracy insists on pursuing policies that would undermine America's economy."

Daniel Mitchell, Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow, commented, "The OECD and UN are seeking to prop up Europe's welfare states by inhibiting the flow of jobs and capital to nations that adopt free-market tax policy. American taxpayers should not subsidize this anti-growth, anti-tax reform agenda." Mitchell also noted that, "Congressman Sweeney's efforts are particularly well-timed since the OECD is holding a global forum in Canada next month. The bureaucrats hopefully will be less enthusiastic about creating a tax cartel when it could result in a smaller OECD budget and thus threaten their tax-free salaries."

Veronique de Rugy of the Cato Institute said that, "Uncompetitive welfare states like France and Germany have the right to impoverish their own citizens by maintaining bad tax laws, but they should not be allowed to enlist international organizations in a campaign to undermine tax competition and create an OPEC for politicians. In any event, American taxpayers should not foot the bill for this statist agenda."

The Coalition for Tax Competition letter was signed by representatives of the following 32 organizations:

Center for Freedom and Prosperity; The Heritage Foundation; The Cato Institute; American Conservative Union; American Enterprise Institute; American Legislative Exchange Council; American Shareholders Association; Americans for Tax Reform; Capital Research Center; Citizens for a Sound Economy; Club for Growth Advocacy; Competitive Enterprise Institute; Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; Discovery Institute; Empower America; Free Congress Foundation.; Freedom Alliance; Frontiers of Freedom Institute; Galen Institute; Independent Women's Forum; Institute for Policy Innovation; Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation; The James Madison Institute; National Center for Policy Analysis; National Retail Sales Tax Alliance; National Tax Limitation Committee; National Taxpayers Union; Public Interest Institute; 60 Plus Association; Small Business Survival Committee; The Sovereign Society and United Seniors Association.

Link to the full text of the Coalition for Tax Competition Letter:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/sweeney/sweeney.shtml

PDF Version of Coalition Letter:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/sweeney/sweeney.pdf

CF&P's Press Release Supporting Rep. Sweeney's Bill HR 1206:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/press/p04-16-03/p04-16-03.shtml

**********************************************************

Text of Letter:

COALITION FOR TAX COMPETITION

September 23, 2003

The Honorable John E. Sweeney
Member of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
416 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Sweeney,

We are writing to applaud your efforts to protect American taxpayers from the tax harmonization and global taxation schemes of international bureaucracies. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and United Nations (UN) both receive about one-fourth of their budgets from American taxpayers, yet both bureaucracies have been pursuing initiatives that are contrary to U.S. interests.

A United Nations panel, for instance, has endorsed the creation of an International Tax Organization that would have the power to impose global taxes. Either of the options discussed in the report either carbon taxes or levies on financial transactions would undermine America's competitive advantage in the global economy. The UN report also seeks to curtail jurisdictional tax competition, a policy that will harm nations such as the United States since our economy benefits when jobs and capital flee high-tax welfare states.

The OECD also has been pursuing policies that hurt America. The Paris-based bureaucracy has a "harmful tax competition" project that is designed to stop the flow of jobs and capital from high-tax nations to low-tax nations. But since America is the world's largest beneficiary of tax competition, this scheme is a direct threat to US national interests. Since the bureaucrats at the OECD receive tax-free salaries, it should come as no surprise that they are insensitive to the importance of lower tax rates and pro-growth tax policy, but that does not mean they should be allowed to attack the sovereignty of jurisdictions that do have policies that boost economic growth.

In any event, American taxpayers should not foot the bill for misguided policies. Recent events have demonstrated that international bureaucracies often are hostile to US interests, but this antipathy is not limited to "foreign policy" issues. We believe the tax harmonization and global taxation plans of the OECD and UN are bad tax policy and we also believe that American taxpayers should not subsidize their statist agendas. If these bureaucracies insist on pursuing anti-free market tax policies, they should do so without any financial assistance from the United States particularly since poor people around the world will suffer if developing countries are discouraged from using tax policy to promote economic growth.

Last but not least, we are concerned that tax harmonization proposals are a threat to fundamental tax reform. All major tax reform plans including the flat tax and the national sales tax are based on important principles such as taxing economic activity only one time and only taxing economic activity inside national borders. Yet the schemes being pursued by the OECD and UN assume that governments should double-tax income that is saved and invested even if the income is earned in another jurisdiction. Needless to say, American taxpayers should not be subsidizing international bureaucracies that are trying to create roadblocks to a simple and fair tax system.

Thank you again for your leadership on this issue.

Sincerely,

Andrew F. Quinlan -- President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Daniel J. Mitchell -- Senior Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Veronique de Rugy -- Fiscal Policy Analyst, The Cato Institute
Paul Beckner -- President and CEO, Citizens for a Sound Economy
Daniel Clifton -- Executive Director, American Shareholders Association
Stephen J. Entin -- President, Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation
Paul J. Gessing -- Director of Government Affairs, National Taxpayers Union
Tom Giovanetti -- President, Institute for Policy Innovation
John C. Goodman -- President, National Center for Policy Analysis
Kevin Hassett -- Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Lawrence Hunter -- Chief Economist, Empower America
Charles W. Jarvis -- Chairman, United Seniors Association
Karen Kerrigan -- Chair & Founder, Small Business Survival Committee
Thomas P. Kilgannon -- President, Freedom Alliance
Richard Lessner -- Executive Director, American Conservative Union
J. Stanley Marshall -- Founding Chairman, The James Madison Institute
James L. Martin -- President, 60 Plus Association
Steve Moore -- President, Club for Growth Advocacy
Grover Glenn Norquist -- President, Americans for Tax Reform
Duane Parde -- Executive Director, American Legislative Exchange Council
Nancy Pfotenhauer -- President, Independent Women's Forum
John Pugsley -- Chairman, The Sovereign Society
Don Racheter -- President, Public Interest Institute
Richard Rahn -- Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute
Terrence Scanlon -- President, Capital Research Center
Thomas Schatz -- President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Fred L. Smith -- President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Grace-Marie Turner -- President, Galen Institute
Lewis K. Uhler -- President, National Tax Limitation Committee
Paul M. Weyrich -- Chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation.
Neal C. White -- President, National Retail Sales Tax Alliance, Inc.
Jason Wright -- Vice President, Frontiers of Freedom Institute

###

__________________________

Center for Freedom and Prosperity
P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia 22310
Phone: 202-285-0244
www.freedomandprosperity.org
cfp@freedomandprosperity.org

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