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 P.O. Box 10882
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202-285-0244

Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation

For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 5, 2006
202-285-0244
www.freedomandprosperity.org

As OECD Lobbies for More U.S. Tax Dollars,
Senators Ask Paris-Based Bureaucracy to
Clarify Misleading Claim About Taxes

(Washington, DC, Thursday, October 5, 2006) -- Earlier this week, United States Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Sam Brownback of Kansas sent a letter to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), asking America's senior representative at the Paris-based bureaucracy to clarify several statements she made at a meeting earlier this year. At that Capitol Hill meeting, Ambassador Constance Morella "stated the OECD does not support a VAT [Value Added Tax] for the United States." The Senators state in their letter, "some found these comments surprising since the OECD has recommended a VAT no fewer than seven times and a plethora of taxes on the U.S. more than one dozen times."

The Senators list many of the instances in which the OECD endorsed higher taxes in the U.S. In fact, the Senators included a page and one-half of footnotes citing the relevant OECD documents.

The Senators note: "To make maters worse, such OECD recommendations almost always are presented as ways to generate more money for government rather than to finance lower tax rates and other pro-growth reforms."

They conclude: "We question the need for the American taxpayer to fund 25 percent of the OECD at a sum of more than $90 million per year if it were to continue to advocate an increased burden of government in the United States?"

Link to text of the Inhofe/Brownback letter:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/morella-vat-oecd/morella-vat-oecd.shtml

Link to original copy of the Inhofe/Brownback letter:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/morella-vat-oecd/morella-vat-oecd.pdf

This inquiry by Senators Inhofe and Brownback is timely since the OECD is now lobbying Congress seeking American tax dollars for its anti-tax competition project.  Many lawmakers, policymakers, and citizen groups are wondering why the U.S. should continue funding an international organization that promotes policies that harm the U.S.

Comments on the letter to Ambassador Morella:

Andrew F. Quinlan, Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation: "We applaud the leadership of Senator Inhofe and Senator Brownback. I hope that the Ambassador clarifies her position and acknowledges that the OECD repeatedly has sought higher taxes in the U.S. No matter how Mrs. Morella tries to justify her statement, the U.S. needs to use its leverage to stop the OECD from promoting global taxes, tax harmonization policies and higher taxes on Americans."

Dan Mitchell, The Heritage Foundation: "Since I was at the meeting where Ambassador Morella claimed the OECD did not support higher taxes in America, I am curious to see how she tries to spin her way out of this quandary. The OECD traditionally has been non-responsive to Congressional concerns, but the Paris-based bureaucracy is nervous since so many lawmakers now question why the US is spending so much money to subsidize an organization that promotes anti-growth policies."

Veronique de Rugy, American Enterprise Institute: "It is rather ironic that OECD bureaucrats receive tax-free salaries, yet they so consistently endorse higher taxes, both in America and around the world. Senators Inhofe and Brownback are protecting American taxpayers and imposing some much-needed oversight."

Kristina Rasmussen, National Taxpayers Union: "Taxpayers simply shouldn't be forced to subsidize the very international organizations that would add to citizens' tax bills here at home and hinder tax competition worldwide."

Ryan Ellis, Americans for Tax Reform: "The OECD is just out of line. This Parisian think tank with a taxpayer-financed wine cellar has gone too far. They're trying to set themselves up as the international tax police, locking up capital and hindering pro-growth countries like the US, Ireland, and the nations of Eastern Europe. They should go back to writing academic papers and leave free people alone."

Additional information:
CF&P Foundation: The Paris-Based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Pushing Anti-U.S. Policies with American Tax Dollars:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Papers/oecd-funding/oecd-funding.shtml

For additional comments:
Andrew Quinlan can be reached at 202-285-0244, quinlan@freedomandprosperity.org
Dan Mitchell can be reached at 202-608-6224,
dan.mitchell@heritage.org
Veronique de Rugy can be reached at 202-862-7165,
VdeRugy@aei.org|
Kristina Rasmussen can be reached at 703.683.5700,
ntu@ntu.org
Ryan Ellis can be reached at 202-785-0266,
rellis@atr.org

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