Global Taxation

Your article “U.N. development goals fall short” (World, yesterday) explores the United Nations' “millennium development goals,” another in a series of efforts to redistribute wealth to so- called “developing” countries, most of which aren't, despite billions in aid over the past five decades from successful states, including the United States.  What the article missed, however, was the prospect of global taxes to enable this transfer of wealth further by doubling it to $100 billion per year, announced last month by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The proposals being considered include a carbon tax on fuel use, a tax on currency transactions (the failed “Tobin tax”), an arms sales tax, a global lottery and a tax on international airline travel. Regarding the proposal, which is expected next month, U.N. Under Secretary-General Jose Antonio Ocampo, head of DESA, offered the understatement of the year: “Some key countries are very strongly opposed to these proposed global taxes [but] a number of developing countries are giving them careful consideration.” Even the redistributive European Union is divided on the establishment of an International Finance Facility (IFF), with EU Commissioner Poul Nielsen stating in June 2004: “A sleight of hand with the rules of public finance—that mortgages future aid programs – is no substitute for the hard political task of securing and sustaining the will to provide increased aid, now and for many years to come. This leads me to say that the IFF is really not the right way to go. Fighting global poverty is not something we should leave to be paid for by our children and grandchildren.” <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />