March 8, 2002
President George W. Bush
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
At the "International Conference on Financing for Development" in Monterrey, Mexico, you will be facing demands from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the rest of the world for more foreign aid from American taxpayers for bankrupt and deadbeat Socialist and Communist regimes. Rather than build up foreign countries by developing their own resources in the context of capitalism and free markets, this conference, and the "global forum" of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) preceding it, want to loot America's wealth and transfer our money to the rest of the world. We are writing to urge you to resist these demands, condemn plans for a global tax, and urge the U.N. and world leaders to promote private property rights, private investment, economic growth, and less government. These policies will help the Third World far more than foreign aid.
In the U.S., welfare reform has reduced the number of loafers and deadbeats on the public payroll. But reform of the global welfare system hasn't even been attempted yet. The record is clear: foreign aid creates dependence and more poverty. What's more, the system is plagued by corruption. A recent study from Save the Children found that foreign aid to Africa was being used to sexually exploit children. Dr. Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor who spent 18 months inside North Korea, says foreign aid funneled through the U.N. is propping up the Communist regime there.
Despite this, in an effort to generate more foreign aid money, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has promoted the concept of an "International Tax Organization" to harmonize tax laws and collect a global tax. The U.S. Mission to the United Nations says it opposed global taxation schemes at the preparatory meetings to the Monterrey conference and worked to eliminate references to that item in the final conference document. But the U.S. delegation was not completely successful. The final conference document includes language recognizing the value of exploring "innovative sources of finance." This opens the door for global taxes and a global IRS. The U.N.'s favorite idea is the "Tobin Tax," named after left-wing economist James Tobin, which taxes international currency transactions. NGOs want Europe to impose the tax and then they expect the U.S. to ago along. The money, estimated in the billions or even trillions of dollars annually, would go to the U.N. and other international agencies. This plan undermines the U.N. Charter, which holds that the organization should be funded by voluntary contributions from member states. It is reminiscent of King George's foreign taxes on the American colonists. We didn't stand for it then. We shouldn't stand for it now.
In addition to condemning this scheme in strong and clear language, the U.S. should act to punish those U.N. agencies pushing it. The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) in particular has been promoting this tax for years. It published a 1999 book, Global Public Goods, which states that a Tobin Tax "must be considered" and that "a world tax organization" must be "contemplated." A 1994 edition of the UNDP "Human Development Report" featured an article by Tobin himself promoting and describing the idea. The same document included an article declaring:
"Mankind's problems can no longer by solved by national governments. What is needed is a world Government."
We do not believe U.S. taxpayers should be forced to subsidize U.N. lobbying for a global tax or a world government. Rather than increase the UNDP's budget from $97.1 to $100 million, as your budget proposes, restrictions ought to be placed on the money that is provided and severe reductions in funding should take place. The U.S. Mission to the U.N. should undertake a comprehensive examination of how the U.N. and its agencies are promoting global tax schemes. However, our understanding of the U.N. leads us to believe that only the threat of a complete U.S. withdrawal from the world body will get their attention.
It is increasingly clear that the U.N. and most of its members stand in opposition to U.S. success in the world. You have courageously rejected their one-sided global warming treaty, the dangerous International Criminal Court, and a flawed protocol to the biological weapons convention. Now is the time to reject demands for more foreign aid and global taxes. It is time to promote the American model of development - free enterprise and private property rights -- for the rest of the world. We are ready to assist you in this effort.
S/Cliff Kincaid, President, America's Survival, Inc.
S/Tom Deweese, President, American Policy Center
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