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, February 8, 2001

Center for Freedom and Prosperity's Weekly Update

1) CFP Going to Panama
CFP issues press release denouncing proposed IRS regulations, asks taxpayers to let the IRS know this regulation should be withdrawn.
Is the EU backing away from tax harmonization?
A tribute to a great man from an interesting source.
Richard W. Rahn speaks on misuse of money laundering laws.


1) CFP Going to Panama

Dan Mitchell of the Heritage Foundation and I will be arriving in Panama tonight February 8), and we will spend the next four days meeting with government officials, media, business leaders and other interested individuals to discuss the OECD's assault on low-tax countries. We will take part in a public conference on Monday, speaking before a forum on the Competitiveness of Panama's Service Export Industry. Mark Warner, an international trade expert with Hughes, Hubbard, & Reed, will join us at the Forum. Interestingly, Mark is a former staff member of the OECD and he will discuss the trade law implications of the OECD initiative. Mr. Warner believes that the OECD proposal may contain elements of impermissible discrimination under various WTO agreements.


2) CFP issues press release denouncing new IRS regulation, calls on tax agency to withdraw misguided proposal.

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity today criticized a proposed IRS regulation that would require US financial institutions to report interest income received by nonresident aliens to foreign governments. Andrew Quinlan, the Center's President, condemned the agency, noting that, "Major changes in tax policy should be decided by elected officials, not bureaucrats seeking to advance an ideological agenda of worldwide taxation based on information exchange."

The Center is encouraging concerned individuals to register their disapproval during the public comment period. This can be done through the IRS website at: Deposit%20Interest%20Paid%20to%20Nonresident%20Aliens.

The Dan Mitchell op-ed that was highlighted last week appeared in the Washington Times, and was appropriately entitled, "IRS stealth attack on the economy?" This editorial largely focused on the QI regulations, but also criticized the IRS's new regulation on bank deposit interest.

"What's the greatest threat to our economy? Is it that interest rates or income taxes are too high? That Americans are saving too little? That federal lawmakers have a talent for spending budget surpluses? Good guesses, all but the answer may turn out to be the Internal Revenue Service. Why? Because the IRS has two new regulations that are going to scare away a lot of overseas investors. And the United States benefits enormously from foreign investment.


3) Is the EU backing away from tax harmonization?

The article linked below, which appeared in BNA's daily report, is good news. Tax harmonization is increasingly unpopular and politicians from high-tax nations understand that they cannot achieve their objective through the political process. Unfortunately, this does not mean they have changed their minds. In other words, we cannot rest on our laurels. The anti-competition forces are still pushing their agenda through the back door. It is the EU, after all, that wants to create a global information exchange regime for savings-related income.

"European Union Commissioner Frits Bolkestein will recommend Feb. 7 that the EU executive body orient its activities toward removing tax barriers for companies in the EU single market instead of focusing on further harmonization. "The Commission indicated the new approach would take a more realistic assessment of the political climate."


4) A tribute to Ronald Reagan, the man whose tax rate reductions instigated a wave of tax cuts around the globe (thanks to tax competition). The article, written by Andrew Sullivan, is entitled "Reagan was right about almost everything."

Here are the closing few sentences. I highly recommend that readers click on the weblink and read the entire article.

"It takes time to recognize greatness and it sometimes appears in the oddest of forms. A B-actor from Hollywood, a cold fish, a man unknown even to his own children at times, a hack-radio announcer for General Electric, and easily the finest president of the last fifty years. When he dies, this country will go into shock. For Americans know in their hearts that this unlikely man understood the deepest meaning of their country in a way no one else has done for a generation. He gave them purpose again, and in return they still give him love. For what it's worth, let me now add my own."
(Full Article)


(5) Today we are honored to feature a speech that Richard Rahn, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute and former Chief Economist for the US Chamber of Commerce, presented at an Anti-Money Laundering Conference on January 30, 2001.

     "It is an unusual honor for me to be invited to speak at a conference where I know that most of the attendees and other speakers will disagree with almost everything that I will say.  If you agree with me after I speak, many of you will feel morally compelled to resign from your current positions on the spot. I do feel some apprehension for, as Voltaire said, "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."

     "Money laundering is a terrible crime right?  Government officials and their allies in the press seem on almost a monthly basis to demand new powers to deal with the terrible menace of money laundering. Exactly what is this crime?

     "If you hesitate while trying to come up with a definition, you have begun to understand part of the problem. Money laundering is hard to define because it is not a crime like murder, robbery, or rape, where the evil act is clear. It is a crime of motive rather than activity.  In fact, two different people can engage in the exact same set of activities, and one can be guilty of money laundering while the other is not. In fact, money laundering has only been illegal in the US since 1986, and it is not illegal in all countries. . ."


Kind regards,

Andrew Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
603-971-9137 (efax)


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