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REPORTS 2002:   Mar 20    Mar 22    Mar 23    
On the Way to Johannesburg and Global Taxation
International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD).
Eagle Forum Correspondent Cathie Adams reporting from Monterrey, Mexico.
March 23, 2002
The International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, is over. The greatest concern during the meeting was that the United Nations (UN) would adopt a global taxing scheme, which did not materialize although it was indeed discussed. In typical UN fashion, such a move will be incremental.

The first step along the way to global taxation was for rich and poor nations to agree upon development goals requiring new funding, which was done at the 2000 Millennium Summit. In Monterrey, nations reached "consensus" on increasing foreign aid funding, forgiving Third World debts and replacing future loans with grants in order to meet the Millennium Summit's Development Goals.

Although the UN wanted rich nations to agree to grant 0.7% of their Gross National Product (GNP) to poor nations in order to pay for the development goals, the U.S. stopped short. As a matter of fact, U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte made it clear on the opening day of the Monterrey conference that the U.S. rejected the idea.

The European Union (EU) has already adopted the 0.7% GNP foreign aid goal and tried to badger Americans while in Monterrey to adopt their aims by nagging about "equity." French President Jacques Chirac went a step further adding that nations "need to ponder more deeply the possibilities of international taxation." The EU hopes that America will eventually agree with the socialist notion that uniting the global economy through global taxation would bring peace to the world.

Adopting the 0.7% GNP foreign aid goal could rob America's federal coffers of funds needed to pay for our own national interests. At that point, global taxation could appeal to politicians charged with finding new money. Of course, like the political vices of regulation and fees, the proposed tax on international monetary transactions, called the Tobin tax, would be a hidden tax on American taxpayers that would fund the UN.

While America must be careful to avoid accommodating the redistribution schemes of our socialist allies, President Bush did commit to ask Congress for a $5 billion annual increase over current foreign aid levels. He also proposed giving more aid in the form of grants rather than loans.

Bush also spoke about focusing on "results achieved" rather than "resources spent," and he directed Secretary of State Colin Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to come up with standards in order to measure them. When asked how the U.S. would measure the new standards, Andrew Natsios, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, responded that the U.S. already has 90 field missions. America must be careful to avoid paving the way for a UN monitoring system under the guise of achieving results.

The UN has completed the first two conferences of a three-part series intended to create its independent funding source: a global tax, which would jettison the UN into global governance, their ultimate goal. America has cooperated in the first two steps; we must be on the lookout for snares along the way to Johannesburg, as well as for ambushes that surely await us in South Africa.

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