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Center for
Freedom and Prosperity
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CF&P E-Mail Update, September 18, 2003

Center for Freedom and Prosperity's E-mail Update

1) Washington Update

2) CF&P's Ottawa Conference on Tax Competition, Fiscal Sovereignty and Financial Privacy

3) Why is Tax Competition Important?

4) U.S. Chamber of Commerce Urges Withdrawal of Proposed IRS Rule

5) Banking Coalition Opposes Proposed IRS Interest Reporting Regulation

6) US Treasury Under Fire For Foreign Interest Reporting Regulation

7) Globalisation's 'dark side': OECD reforms help big countries, disadvantage small

8) Glenn Hubbard: A fairer tax deal for all America's companies

9) Dan Mitchell:  Common Sense, Human Rights, and Money Laundering

10) Robert Stewart: The Moral Case for Tax Efficiency and Tax Havens

11) De Rugy: Death By Taxes

12) UK Plans New Law to Force EU Directive on Cayman Islands

13) Dennis Prager: Socialism kills

14) De Rugy: European Politicians Want to Tax U.S. Companies

15) European Holiday:  Europeans wonder why Americans have it so good. The answer: We work hard for it while they take vacations

16) Alan Reynolds: Europe's dabbling hands in U.S. business affairs

17) James B. Burnham: Why Ireland Boomed

18) Alvin Rabushka: The Flat Tax in Russia and the New Europe

19) CF&P Clips

 

1) Washington Update

The OECD is holding a "Global Forum" in Ottawa, Canada, next month. The Paris-based bureaucrats hope to convince more than three-dozen countries and jurisdictions that it is in their self-interest to sacrifice their economic future in order to prop up Europe's antiquated welfare state. To help defend against this effort, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity will hold a tax competition conference October 13, the day before the OECD's meeting, to explain why tax competition should be celebrated rather than persecuted. October 13 is Thanksgiving Day in Canada, so the target audience are participants in the Global Forum rather than Canadians (though Center meetings, unlike OECD meetings, are open to the public). Below in this update is more detailed information on the event. 

Opposition to the IRS's interest reporting regulation continues to grow with letters from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Treasury Secretary Snow and a coalition letter from three of America's largest banking trade groups, including the American Bankers Association.  The regulation is approaching its third anniversary with little or no support outside a few ideologues from the U.S. Treasury. On the other hand, opposition is growing on a daily basis (see link below for a list of the hundreds of Congressmen, Senators, trade association and think tanks that oppose the proposed rule.)
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/against-irsreg.pdf

We feature another article on how the world's largest private banks are increasing their operations in Singapore in anticipation of "up to a trillion US dollars worth of offshore assets in Europe may be looking for a new home in the next couple of years." The article goes on to state "changes in banking secrecy and tax laws due to take effect in the European Union from 2005 are expected to encourage offshore investors in traditional havens like Switzerland and Luxembourg to start moving their money to other centers." If nothing else, this illustrates the fallacy of the EU savings tax directive. There is no way that Europeans can dictate tax policy for the rest of the world.  There will always be a Singapore, a Hong Kong, a United States and even a China willing to accept capital investment if the EU continues down this path.

Also, we have links to seminal articles to make sure that everyone has access to the best information. Our next update in a week to ten days will feature other such articles.  Also, please remember that all of these articles can be found on our web page under our Tax Competition Issue section (http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Articles/articles.shtml)

The rest of this e-mail brings you up-to-date on several of the issues we are tracking and also shares with you some great articles on tax competition from around the world.

Best regards,  AQ

 

2) CF&P's Ottawa Conference on Tax Competition, Fiscal Sovereignty and Financial Privacy

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity announced a Tax Competition Conference to be held in Ottawa Canada on Monday, October 13 at 4 p.m. in the Macdonald room of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel followed by a reception. The Conference is being planned to coincide with the OECD's Global Forum on International Tax Policy that starts the next day. This will be the Center's fifth forum over the last few months discussing the virtues of tax competition and the folly of European-instigated tax harmonization policies.

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity's event is designed to give non-OECD policy makers useful information as they prepare to meet with the OECD.  CF&P will bring together leading international tax experts to discuss how best to preserve tax competition, financial privacy, and fiscal sovereignty. The time and location for the event will be announced in the near future, and the OECD will be invited to participate.

The OECD has convened their Global Forum to convince the targeted non-OECD jurisdictions that there is a "level playing field" between them and the 30 OECD countries, notwithstanding the fact that numerous OECD member nations do not share information with foreign tax authorities.

Link to more information on the Ottawa Conference Announcement:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/press/p09-08-03/p09-08-03.shtml

 

3) Why is Tax Competition Important?

Over the next four weeks, before the Ottawa Tax Competition Conference, we will be highlighting articles and studies that show the importance of preserving tax competition, fiscal sovereignty and financial privacy.  The four studies below are great primers and/or backgrounders on tax competition, fiscal sovereignty and financial privacy.  These are oldies but goodies. But first, "Why is Tax Competition Important?"

Tax competition occurs when individuals can choose among jurisdictions with different levels of taxation when deciding where to work, save, and invest. This ability to avoid high-tax nations makes it more difficult for governments to enforce confiscatory tax burdens. In effect, tax competition pressures politicians to be fiscally responsible in order to attract economic activity (or to keep economic activity from fleeing to a lower-tax environment).

Tax competition can occur between countries or between state and local governments. Like other forms of competition, tax competition protects against abuses. For example, when there is only one gas station in a town, consumers have no options and likely will be charged high prices and given inferior service. But when there are several gas stations, their owners must pay attention to the needs of consumers in order to stay in business.

Tax competition promotes responsible tax policies. Lower tax rates reduce the burden of government on businesses and create an environment more conducive to entrepreneurship and economic growth. Without competition, politicians can act like monopolists, free to impose excessive tax rates without fear of consequences.

Competition between jurisdictions creates a check on this behavior. Whether this is desirable, of course, depends on one's perspective. Those who want lower tax rates and tax reform favor competition between countries. Those who want more power for the government and higher tax rates do not like such competition.

Studies:

July 20, 2001, The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, by Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D., "A Tax Competition Primer: Why Tax Harmonization and Information Exchange Undermine America's Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy."
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1460.cfm

December 18, 2000, Tax Notes International, by Marshall Langer; "Harmful Tax Competition: Who are the Real Tax Havens?."
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Articles/tni12-18-00.pdf

September 18, 2000, The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D.; "An OECD Proposal To Eliminate Tax Competition Would Mean Higher Taxes And Less Privacy."
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1395.cfm

November 8, 2002, Tax Notes International, by Kevin Hassett and Eric Engen, "Does the U.S. Corporate Tax Have a Future."
http://www.aei.org/docLib/20021222_raengehass0212.pdf.

 

4) U.S. Chamber of Commerce Urges Withdrawal of Proposed IRS Rule

Yet another major US organization has urged the Treasury to withdraw its misconceived 'interest reporting' regulation, which would have banks report non-residents' interest receipts to their home tax authorities. The Chamber of Commerce is just the latest of dozens of organizations that have protested the regulation, and wrote to Treasury Secretary John Snow, excerpt below:

 

"On behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and professional organizations of every size, sector and region, I am writing to urge you to withdraw the proposed regulation (133254-02) that requires American banks to report the interest they pay on the deposits of nonresident aliens.

"The proposed regulation, which would not improve the safety or soundness of the US banking system, places an undue burden on banks. The IRS estimates financial institutions would each spend approximately 500 man-hours annually on compliance and other stakeholders have argued the hours would be considerably higher. The waste of resources would reduce the profitability of US banks." Link to full letter below:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/chamber-irs/chamber-irs.shtml

September 4, 2003, LawAndTax-News.com, by Glen Shapiro, US Chamber Of Commerce Attacks Treasury Over Interest Reporting
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13205

 

5) Banking Coalition Opposes Proposed IRS Interest Reporting Regulation

Joint banking trade association letter sent to Treasury Secretary John Snow in opposition to the proposed IRS interest reporting regulation from the American Bankers Association, the America's Community Bankers and the Independent Community Bankers of America

Link to letter:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/ltr/bank-coalition/bank-coalition.shtml

 

6) US Treasury Under Fire For Foreign Interest Reporting Regulation

[Excerpt]

The unpopular proposal has been heavily criticized by the banking industry, as well as by conservative politicians and free market think tanks, who fear a mass exodus of foreign money invested in the country. Many observers have also expressed bemusement at the keenness of the government to push through a regulation that is a holdover from the Clinton government.

Another body opposed to the measure is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FDIC chairman Donald Powell wrote a letter to the Treasury earlier this year complaining that the proposal would especially harm "smaller institutions whose survival is dependent on stable sources of deposits."

A true measure of the opposition to the proposal which exists in the United States can be seen in the fact that some thirty members of the House and eighteen Senators have added their names to letters opposing the regulations; more than thirty think tanks, including the CATO Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity have expressed opposition; and of the 217 public comments made during the Treasury's 90 day consultation period, only one supported the measure.

It is estimated that there is over $1 trillion invested in US banks by overseas residents, and around $200 billion of this is likely to be caught by the new reporting rules.

In a critique of the IRS proposal earlier this year, Veronique de Rugy of the Cato Institute cited Federal Reserve data showing that "more than $40 billion was taken out of savings accounts in the first quarter of 2001 after the Clinton Administration first unveiled the proposed regulation."

"One can only imagine what will happen if the regulation is actually implemented," Ms de Rugy concluded. [Link to article below:]

August 15, 2003, AMS Group, US Treasury Continues To Push For Foreign Interest Reporting
http://www.iofc.net/amsgroup/story.asp?storyname=13001

 

7) Globalisation's 'dark side':  OECD reforms help big countries, disadvantage small

[Excerpt]

The initiatives taken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development represent the "dark side" of globalisation, especially for small and vulnerable countries, a top Government official said Saturday. . . .

. . . "The underlying rationale for the OECD's initiatives is that offshore jurisdictions are perceived as having a negative impact on the revenues available to other countries, particularly those OECD member countries," he said. "Thus the overarching objective is to remove the comparative or strategic advantages of offshore financial centres and force the return of capital onshore in those countries."

When viewed in the context of small economies that are extremely vulnerable to international or external influence like The Bahamas, the significance of OECD's initiatives "could spell economic doom", he said.

For example, he said, in The Bahamas, that lacks a "significant agricultural base" and "natural resource endowment," heavy dependence is placed on service industries such as tourism and financial services. [Link to full article below:]

September 15, 2003, The Nassau Guardian, By Martella Matthews, Globalisation's 'dark side': Sears: OECD reforms help big countries, disadvantage small
http://www.thenassauguardian.com/business/296675893818414.php

 

8) Glenn Hubbard:  A fairer tax deal for all America's companies

[Excerpt]

While economists and pundits debate the economic effects of the tax cut President George W. Bush signed into law in May, new corporate tax cut bills have begun to surface in the US Congress. The likelihood of a further cut in corporate tax is high but what form would it - or should it - take? The bills in Congress are answers; but what is the question?

At 35 per cent, the US corporate tax rate is surpassed only by that of Japan's among leading industrialised nations. For US multinationals, the story is particularly bleak. Double taxation of US companies' overseas operations raises the cost of capital, damping investment in economic activity at home and reducing the competitiveness of US companies' exports.

This is where the new tax cut bills come in. Discussion centres on international tax policy because the US needs to replace US export subsidies judged illegal by the World Trade Organisation. But this necessary change offers an opportunity to tackle wider problems in corporate taxation.

In the US Congress, we are at a fork in the road. On the one hand, a recent bill sponsored by Phil Crane and Charles Rangel would try to replicate the status quo with special-interest tax laws. The bill proposes a reduction in corporate tax for domestic manufacturing operations but seeks to recover the cut from foreign manufacturing activities. Such a proposal pits manufacturing companies against non-manufacturing companies and suggests US companies producing overseas are damaging American growth and jobs.

On the other hand, Bill Thomas, (and, separately, Senator Orrin Hatch) have put forward a tax change that would improve the competitiveness of American companies by reducing double taxation and expanding incentives for business investment - the weak spot in the economy's recovery.

The Crane-Rangel bill's approach to tax policy is flawed because it does not deal with the problem of increased cost of capital and ignores the contribution of US multinationals to the US economy. Each business decision taken by a multinational - including how much to invest and where - is influenced by tax policy, particularly how income from foreign investment is taxed. [Link to full article below:]

August 27, 2003, The Financial Times, By Glenn Hubbard, A fairer tax deal for all America's companies
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Articles/ft08-27-03/ft08-27-03.shtml

Other international tax articles:

September 12, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Leroy Baker, Uncertainties Remain Over New US Trade Tax Regime
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13303

August 20, 2003, The Washington Times, By Daniel J. Mitchell, Helping U.S. firms compete
http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030819-094817-9540r.htm

August 19, 2003, National Review Online, By Daniel J. Mitchell, Corporate Squeeze: It's time to turn high-tax lemons into low-tax lemonade.
http://nationalreview.com/nrof_comment/comment-mitchell081903.asp

 

9) Dan Mitchell: Common Sense, Human Rights, and Money Laundering

The Heritage Foundation's Dan Mitchell presented an important paper at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. The attached powerpoint presentation demonstrates that money laundering primarily is a problem in the "onshore" world. Link to presentation below:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/cambridge_files/frame.htm

[Source: Dan Mitchell, "Common Sense, Human Rights, and Money Laundering" Presentation to the 21st International Symposium on Economic Crime held in Cambridge, England, September 13, 2003]

 

10) Robert Stewart: The Moral Case for Tax Efficiency and Tax Havens

[Excerpt]

Alas, Bermuda has a terrible reputation with foreign government elites. It is a mid-Atlantic affront to the American and European Governments who believe they have a right to tell the rest of the world how to live and what their tax laws should be. The guts of the problem is, that Bermudians do not pay income tax on their earnings, capital gains taxes, and even worse there are no corporate taxes on profits. This state of affairs is infinitely worse than throwing eggs at policemen, and is considered to be a greater menace to the financial well-being of Western civilisation than even Jesse Jackson. Many politicians wish to close down, or at least hobble, the activities of pirate countries like Bermuda, The Bahamas, The Cook Islands, Switzerland, and about 35 other financial pygmies that are mere dots on the map of the world. 

August 31, 2003, The Nassau Institute, By Robert Stewart, The Moral Case for Tax Efficiency and Tax Havens
http://www.nassauinstitute.org/news/articles.asp?m=1&c=100&p=0&cat=GUEST%20AUTH ORS&a=303

 

11) De Rugy: Death By Taxes

[Excerpt]

In March 2000, EU leaders, assembled in Lisbon, outlined an ambition and set a target for the European Union: to create the most competitive economy in the world by 2010. Yet, three years later, the EU has not made much progress towards this goal.

With an average tax burden consuming almost 45 percent of GNP, workers in the current 15 EU member states are 20 percent less efficient than U.S. workers. And this will get worse because many European countries have huge government unfunded liabilities, particularly for pensions. By 2050, Europe will have 75 pensioners for every 100 workers. And since pensions in France, Germany and Italy are paid out of current tax revenue; tax will have to soar to fund this unsustainable system.

As the result of these anti-growth policies, unemployment remains very high and Europeans often try to make ends meet by shipping their savings to lower tax jurisdictions. But beware Europeans; the EU now wants this money too.

Today, the EU is at a crossroads. First, it can take the road of good tax policies, cut tax rates and stop punishing productivity and savings. This is the judicious choice made by Ireland in the 1980s. Ireland's approach was a big success. The "poor man of Europe" is now the "Celtic Tiger" with the second-highest living standards in the EU behind tax haven Luxembourg. Interestingly, the EU reacted quite strongly when Ireland cut corporate taxes and continues to point at Ireland's 12.5 percent rate as an example of "fiscal dumping."

The EU's second option is to undermine tax competition by making it impossible for money to escape Europe's high-tax economies. Not surprisingly, this is the preferred choice of most Union leaders. In an effort to protect uncompetitive European nations from the discipline of market forces, the EU proposed an initiative seeking to mandate automatic and unlimited exchange of information between nations with regards to nonresident savings. As it is now, the EU taxes savings at an average rate of 53.5 percent. So many Europeans quickly figured out that they would be better off placing their savings in Luxembourg, Switzerland or in the United States, where it could be sheltered from such high tax rates. The measure is designed to make it easier for EU nations losing capital to lower tax jurisdictions to have access to this money and to tax savings outside their borders. [Link to full article below:]

September 8, 2003, Tech Central Station, By Veronique de Rugy, Death By Taxes
http://www.techcentralstation.be/090803F.html

Additional EU articles:

September 11, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Ulrika Lomas, EU Commission To Expand Info Sharing Rules On Direct Tax
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13286

September 9, 2003, European Commission, Direct taxation: Commission proposes strengthening co-operation to combat fraud
http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.gettxt=gt&doc=IP/03/1226|0|RAPI D&lg=EN&display=

September 2, 2003, The New York Times, By Mark Landler, Just East of the West, Unity Has Its Costs
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30A12F83E5C0C718CDDA00894DB404482

September 2003, EU Business.com, EU members opposed to new constitution stage talks in Prague
http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/030901150252.gnh2pijm

 

12) UK Plans New Law to Force EU Directive on Cayman Islands

[Excerpt from Tax-News.com]

UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has purportedly threatened to adopt new legislation that would compel the Caymans Islands to adopt the regulations of the European Savings Tax Directive when it comes into force in January 2005.

Brown made his announcement whilst attending an informal meeting of European Union finance ministers in Stresa, Italy. There he informed fellow ministers that he has yet to receive notification from the Caribbean jurisdiction of how it intends to implement the provisions of the directive sealed earlier this year. [Link to full article below:]

September 16, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Amanda Banks, UK Plans New Law To Force EU Directive On Cayman Islands
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13332

Additional articles:

September 15, 2003, Financial Times, By George Parker, Brown's tax law threat to Cayman Islands
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Articles/ft09-15-03/ft09-15-03.shtml

January 18, 2003, The Guardian, by Paul Lashmar, MI6 role in Cayman investigation exposed as Austin Powers farce
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,877133,00.html

 

13) Dennis Prager: Socialism kills

[Excerpt]

In a period of two weeks during August, more than 11,000 elderly French men and women died of heat stroke. It is important to note that this is not nearly the scandal in France that it would be in America. In fact, upon hearing the news, French president Jacque Chirac decided to stay on vacation in Quebec.

Why has this happened? In large measure because, in the words of British historian Paul Johnson, the French, like most Europeans, and like most left-thinking people anywhere, love ideas more than people. The average educated European can intelligently discuss Hegel or Matisse almost as well as the average educated American – who probably never heard of Hegel or Matisse – can discuss real estate or sports.

Europe has given the world Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, racism, and socialism, all rotten ideas that have caused immeasurable human suffering. But for Europeans and their ideological twins on the American left and at universities, ideas are not judged by their ability to ameliorate huiman suffering or reduce evil, but by their complexity and apparent profundity. An idea is not good because it produces good – that's unromantic American pragmatism – it is good because it sounds good.

Eleven thousand unnecessary deaths occurred in France largely because socialism inevitably breeds hedonism, selfishness, and callousness.

As ironic as it may seem, the fact is that socialism – i.e. cradle-to-grave state welfare – makes people worse.

First, the socialist mind loathes work….. [Link to full article below:]

September 2, 2003, Dennis Prager: Socialism kills
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/dp20030902.shtml

 

14) De Rugy: European Politicians Want to Tax U.S. Companies

[Excerpt]

Fearful that overtaxed consumers might want to escape the value-added tax (VAT), the European Union has concocted a plan to impose the VAT on software, videos, computer games, and music downloaded on the Internet from non-EU companies. This means that U.S. companies selling goods to EU customers might be forced to collect taxes on behalf of European tax collectors. The plan is the EU's way to prevent tax competition, and it will lead to higher prices and higher taxes.

European consumers are shopping online in other nations because the EU has required all member nations to harmonize their value-added taxes at a rate of at least 15 percent. This high tax has increased the popularity of cross-border shopping. Under the new plan, the EU wants to shift the point of taxation to where the good is consumed, not where it is sold.

It's not hard to imagine why the EU wants this plan. Thanks to the Internet, highly taxed Europeans can purchase tax-free goods from non-EU nations. With the cost of shipping in constant decline, buying goods from non-EU online sellers is often a no-brainer for bargain-hunters. The number of EU customers buying from non-EU companies over the Internet has increased dramatically. [Link to full article below:]

September 4, 2003, Cato Institute, by Veronique de Rugy, European Politicians Want to Tax U.S. Companies
http://www.cato.org/dailys/09-04-03.html

 

15) European Holiday:  Europeans wonder why Americans have it so good. The answer: We work hard for it while they take vacations

[Excerpt]

ENVY IS A TERRIBLE THING. Not so much because it makes those whom it afflicts unhappy, or as myth has it, turn green, but because it dulls their analytical skills. At meeting after meeting, in university seminars and in think tanks around the world, envy of America distorts discussions of what accounts for the wealth of nations.

Europeans know that America's standard of living exceeds their own by a very substantial margin. They know this not because they have pored over arcane statistics about output-per-man-hour, or investment in research and development, or other indicia on which economists rely. They know it because they have seen with their own eyes what a modest Holiday Inn at DisneyWorld offers by way of accommodation, service, and food; they know it because they see on television how Americans live, or hear it from relatives living in Florida--or even Detroit; they know it because their policymakers, many of them viscerally and violently anti-American, are always trying to devise programs that will enable their economies to match the performance of America's. When E.U. policymakers are shielded from public view in the safety of a seminar room, they concede that the American economy is the gold standard when it comes to producing the material good things of life.

This knowledge is pervasive. Young Italian men are too poor to set up their own living quarters long after American men have graduated from their starter accommodations. Germans are more frequently out of work, and for longer periods, than even the least lucky Americans. Brits snack on tiny sandwiches taken out of refrigerators that barely house a small bottle of milk and a few daily necessities, while America's housewives shop less frequently because their refrigerators are close to walk-in size. All because American working folks produce more of just about everything in any year than their European counterparts.

Ah, say Europeans, but the availability of material goods is one thing, "happiness" and "the quality of life" are something else, and very different. Start with vacations. Italians get 42 days of paid vacation every year, the French 37, the Germans 35, and the British 28. We Americans, meanwhile, take off only 14 of the 16 days to which we are entitled. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Americans also work a 49-hour-week, which adds up to 350 more hours of labor a year than the typical European worker. Woe unto the frazzled Americans. [Link to full article below:]

September 16, 2003, The Weekly Standard, by Irwin M. Stelzer, European Holiday: Europeans wonder why Americans have it so good. The answer: We work hard for it while they take vacations
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/123ezraq.asp

 

16) Alan Reynolds: Europe's dabbling hands in U.S. business affairs

[Excerpt]

As if it wasn't bad enough to have both state and federal prosecutors trying to fine and regulate American business to death by whim, the European Union is now getting into that game. Microsoft's deep pockets are, of course, an even more tempting target than Wall Street's. And any European pickpocket's best friend is antitrust — a sport where government officials bet with other people's money and make up the rules as the game progresses.

The new European version of the old Microsoft antitrust game has gone on nearly five years, so far. EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monte finally got around to accusing Microsoft of doing something terribly naughty by: (1) giving consumers for free Media Player with Windows, and (2) not giving competitors a free tour of the inner workings of Windows. Those odd complaints were accompanied by threats of big fines, which could theoretically top $3 billion. The stock market took one look at the evident absurdity of the charges and yawned, dropping Microsoft stock by one penny.

In the real world of political influence-peddling, any theoretical virtues of antitrust soon turn to vice — protecting competitors rather than protecting competition. Europeans are not even shy or subtle about their intentions. The EU Commission claims to have gathered "evidence from a wide variety of consumers, suppliers and competitors." The comment about competitors is certainly true. The commission has been heavily lobbied by the Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents the likes of Sun Microsystems, Oracle and AOL. As Brad Hill remarked in E-Commerce Times, the unseemly sight of watching U.S. companies go after another U.S. company in Europe is "an unusual and perhaps unique precedent."

August 17, 2003, The Washington Times, By Alan Reynolds, Europe's dabbling hands in U.S. business affairs
http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20030816-105050-5315r.htm

 

17) James B. Burnham: Why Ireland Boomed

The great economic success story of the past ten years has been the Republic of Ireland, which suffered from a 17 percent unemployment rate in the mid-1980s but enjoyed nearly double-digit economic growth rates in recent years. The Emerald Island serves as a valuable case study to illustrate how large the payoffs can be from better economic policies in the presence of favorable external factors. [Link to article below:]

Spring 2003, The Independent Review, by James B. Burnham, Why Ireland Boomed
http://www.independent.org/tii/media/pdf/tir74burnham.pdf

 

18) Alvin Rabushka: The Flat Tax in Russia and the New Europe 

[Excerpt]

On January 1, 2001, a 13 percent flat tax on personal income took effect in Russia. It replaced a three-tiered system with a 30 percent top rate on taxable income exceeding $5,000. The old system was complicated, and because of the high rates evasion was widespread. It also produced little revenue. The new flat tax has achieved greater compliance due to its simplicity and low rate. It is producing far more revenue than the former system.

Other nations that have adopted a flat tax, mostly former Soviet satellites, are having similar success. Within a few years, a quarter of the world's people may live under the more efficient, productive and fairer system of a flat-rate income tax.

The United States and other developed countries could learn from the experience of Russia and other emerging market economies. [Link to full article below:]

September 3, 2003, National Center for Policy Analysis, by Alvin Rabushka, The Flat Tax in Russia and the New Europe
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba452/

 

19) CF&P Clips

September 16, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Jason Gorringe, Primarolo Leaning Towards Reform Of UK Domicile Rules
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13330

September 15, 2003, The Washington Post, By Keith B. Richburg, Minister's Assassination Looms Over Referendum on Currency
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9820-2003Sep14.html

September 12, 2003, Reuters, Calif. Legislature OKs Bill Targeting Expat Firms
http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=3437132

September 11, 2003, The Washington Times, By Richard W. Rahn, Dishing out death at the trade table?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030910-093753-2813r.htm

September 3, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Amanda Banks, Antigua & Barbuda Granted Panel Hearing In WTO Dispute With US
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13194

September 3, 2003, Fox News, Study: IRS Advisers Wrong on Tax Law
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96345,00.html

September 2, 2003, The Washington Times, By Richard W. Rahn, Turn off foreign aid?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030901-102353-6190r.htm

September 2, 2003, Business Day (Johannesburg), by Sanchia Temkin, Making the Most of a Taxing Merry-Go-Round
http://allafrica.com/stories/200309030184.html

September 1, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Mike Godfrey, Most Americans Will Be Glad To See The Back Of Death Tax
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=13160

August 21, 2003, The Washington Times, By Richard W. Rahn, Designed to fail
http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20030820-081254-2027r.htm

August 19, 2003, PrudentPolitics.org, by Sean Turner, Hating the Rich
http://www.prudentpolitics.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1 41&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

August 11, 2003, The Washington Times, By Richard W. Rahn, Unintended side effects
http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20030810-103933-6040r.htm

August 11, 2003, Tax-News.com, by Ulrika Lomas, Switzerland Tough On Money Laundering Say Bankers
http://www.tax-news.com/asp/story/story.asp?storyname=12933

June 24, 2003, Cato Institute, by Ed Crane and William Niskanen, Upholding Liberty in America
http://www.cato.org/research/articles/niskanen-030624.html

 

Best regards,

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
President
202-285-0244
quinlan@freedomandprosperity.org
www.freedomandprosperity.org

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