Contact Information:

Center for
Freedom and Prosperity
 P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia 22310-9998
Phone: 202-285-0244
Fax: 208-728-9639
                                            

CFP Update, October 17, 2001

Center for Freedom and Prosperity's Weekly Update

1) Washington Update

2) CFP Strategic Memorandum: Why the OECD still should be resisted

3) Dan Mitchell's Heritage backgrounder on why the "Money-Laundering Bill Should Target Criminals, Not Low Taxes"

4) Contact Congress…Ask them to pull the OECD/EU tax agenda language from Money Laundering Bill

5) National Review Online: Dirty Money, Foolish Laws: How not to fight money laundering

6) Congressman Ron Paul's statement on the Anti-Terrorism bill

7) Establishment media gets it wrong (again) . . CFP's position misrepresented (what a surprise!)

8) Privacy Villain of the Week: The OECD

 

1) Washington Update

Congress is set to pass new Money Laundering legislation.  This is, at best, a mixed blessing. The Center supports the effort to crack down on rogue countries that harbor and promote terrorists and/or their money. Unfortunately, the legislation does not achieve this goal. Instead, lawmakers in Congress have used this occasion to add language that could be used to punish low-tax countries and advance the OECD/EU tax harmonization agenda.  This legislation will undermine cooperation in the fight against universally recognized crimes like terrorism.

On a more personal note, the Center has been attacked in the past for our "right-wing" ideology.  We have even been accused of being knee jerk, tough-on-crime conservatives. That is why it is so amazing now that we now are being attacked by left-wing publications that are usually associated with being soft on crime. The links to a Time magazine story and a U.S. News and World Report article (item 7) show that some are willing to paint the Center as inadvertently aiding criminals. I strongly suggest that everyone read Dan Mitchell's new Heritage paper below (item 3) for a detailed analysis on how best to fight international crime. I will give you one hint: Money laundering proposals that bury law enforcement in a blizzard of reports and paperwork are counterproductive. Instead of having government investigators search for the proverbial needle in a haystack, legal resources should be refocused on the identification, investigation, and prosecution of criminals. And lest there be any doubt, any country that consciously harbors terrorist money should be treated as harshly as any nation that harbors terrorists.

2) CFP Strategic Memorandum: Why the OECD still should be resisted

[Excerpts] The OECD has launched a desperate drive to get some low-tax jurisdictions to "commit." The Paris-based bureaucracy clearly wants to exploit the recent terror attacks, and is bullying jurisdictions to surrender their fiscal sovereignty. Before making any rash decisions, public sector and private sector leaders of persecuted jurisdictions should consider the following two points:

  *  The United States position on so-called "harmful tax competition" has not changed

  *  Give full cooperation to criminal investigations, particularly the search for terrorist assets

Policy makers in the United States have not changed their mind on tax policy. Indeed, the terrorist attack is spurring additional tax cuts in America. These new reforms will make America's tax system even more competitive. The Heritage Foundation and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, joined by some two dozen other major organizations, will be working to make sure that legislators continue to resist any and all efforts to undermine tax competition.  Link to full Memo below:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/memos/m10-17-01/m10-17-01.shtml

3) Dan Mitchell's Heritage backgrounder on why the "Money-Laundering Bill Should Target Criminals, Not Low Taxes"

"The despicable attacks on September 11 in New York and Washington have underscored the importance of international cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism. Regrettably, however, some politicians are using this effort as an excuse to attack low-tax countries. Claiming that financial privacy laws in "tax havens" hinder worldwide law enforcement, they want to restrict America's economic relationships with these low-tax jurisdictions. Money-laundering bills moving through the House and Senate, for instance, would allow the Secretary of the Treasury to label any jurisdiction a "primary money laundering concern" merely because it has a low-tax economy. . . ."

"The short-term goal for Washington should be the identification and punishment of the terrorists and all those who gave them aid. The long-term goal should be implementing policies that make it much more difficult for terrorists and other criminals to operate across national borders. Laws focused on criminal activity--combined with good police work and intelligence gathering--are the right approach. Sweeping new regulations on the financial services sector and unwarranted attacks on low-tax nations are not."

October 16, 2001, The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, by Dan Mitchell, Money Laundering Bill Should Target Criminals, Not Low Taxes:
http://www.heritage.org/library/backgrounder/bg1492.html

4) Contact Your Representatives and Senators in Congress…Ask them to pull the OECD/EU anti-tax competition language from Money laundering Legislation.

Below is a memo that explains what is wrong with Section 301 of the House Money Laundering Legislation (argument can be the same for Section 101 of the Senate Money Laundering Bill). We still hold out hope that we can stop politicians from exploiting the recent terrorist attack by adding OECD/EU tax harmonization language to anti-money laundering legislation. We believe the legislation should focus on jurisdictions that are guilty of sheltering terrorist funds rather than democratic countries with low-tax rates, financial privacy and healthy financial service industries. Link to memo below:
http://www.freedomandprosperity.org/Papers/m10-09-01/m10-09-01.shtml

5) National Review Online: Dirty Money, Foolish Laws: How not to fight money laundering

October 11, 2001, National Review Online, by John J. Miller & Ramesh Ponnuru's, Dirty Money, Foolish Laws: How not to fight money laundering.
http://www.nationalreview.com/daily/nr101101.shtml

6) Congressman Ron Paul's statement on the Anti-Terrorism bill

October 12, 2001, Congressional Recorded, U.S. Representative Ron Paul, Mr. Speaker, Statement on the Anti-Terrorism bill
http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2001/cr101201.htm

7) Establishment media gets it wrong (again) . . CFP's position misrepresented (what a surprise!)

October 22, 2001, U.S.News & World Report, by Marianne Lavelle, Helping the money launderers: Banks find reasons to resist efforts to crack down on terrorist cash flow
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/011022/biztech/22launder.htm

October 22, 2001, Time, Banking On Secrecy, by Adam Cohen, Terrorists oppose scrutiny of offshore accounts. And so do many U.S. bankers and lawmakers
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101011022-179467,00.html

8) Privacy Villain of the Week:  The OECD

[Excerpt] "IN the month since the terror attacks on the United States, you've been reading in this space about the unfortunate tendency for those with an agenda to capitalize on the fear and uncertainty of the citizenry in order to achieve their objectives. One such group is the Paris-based international bureaucracy known as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its corps of would-be banking globocops, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). OECD and FATF have even announced an "extraordinary" meeting at the end of the month to ramp up their plans in the name of fighting terror." Full article linked below:
http://nccprivacy.org/handv/011011villain.htm

The Privacy Villain of the Week and Privacy Hero of the Month are projects of the National Consumer Coalition's Privacy Group. For more information on the NCC Privacy Group, see www.nccprivacy.org.

Best regards,

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
President
202-285-0244
208-728-9639 (efax)
quinlan@freedomandprosperity.org
www.freedomandprosperity.org
 

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