UN Taxation of Americans – A Persistent Problem

Posted: May 23, 2006 3:15 PM

The United Nations continues advancing a global taxation agenda. Americans who believe in national sovereignty are indebted to Clifford Kincaid for his diligent monitoring of an important issue that “mainstream” news media long has ignored. The quotations which Kincaid has compiled in a publication issued recently by his organization, America’s Survival, A CHRONOLOGY: UN CAMPAIGN FOR GLOBAL TAXES ON VERGE OF SUCCESS, clearly demonstrate the deepest desire of UN bureaucrats – to pick our pockets. Wasting the regular contributions made by our Government and others is simply not sufficient to sate their appetite for money.

The UN rarely expresses its intention in such crass terms, preferring the more diplomatic euphemism “new and innovative sources of funding” to mask intent.

The drive to establish international sources of tax revenue extends to at least the mid-1990s, when the World Summit for Social Development was held. Chapter 5 of the report from that Summit declares, “Nothing short of a renewed and massive political will at the national and international levels to invest in people and their well-being will achieve the objectives of social development.” The Chapter includes this call to develop a revenue stream for projects aimed at improving the developing world:

    “Developing innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for social programmes, and creating a supportive environment for the mobilization of resources by civil society for social development, including beneficiary contributions and individual voluntary contributions.”

Kincaid in 1995 issued his own book, GLOBAL BONDAGE: THE U.N. PLAN TO RULE THE WORLD, which casts a hard look at the objectives of the UN. Kincaid wrote:

    “Described in the press as just a worthwhile event designed to eradicate poverty, the UN Development Program (UNDP) – the main sponsor – has issued a ‘Human Development Report’ openly calling for ‘world government’ in a featured article written by Nobel Prize-winning economist Jan Tinbergen, who declared, ‘Mankind’s problems can no longer be solved by national governments. What is needed is a World Government. This can best be achieved by strengthening the United Nations system.’”

The UN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 1994: NEW DIMENSIONS OF HUMAN SECURITY features a “Special Contribution” by economist James Tobin, the 1981 Nobel Prize winner, assessing taxation on international currency transactions. Tobin conceded that as efficient as an international currency system would be, discouraging short-term speculation based upon currency fluctuations, it would not be achieved anytime soon. The “second-best alternative” would be a tax on international currency transactions. He concludes by stressing that revenue collected from any international tax must be provided to “international institutions” to be disbursed for “international purposes.” Tobin admitted he did not advance his proposal with the primary intent of increasing revenues for international purposes, but he conceded that goal “has been a major source of the recent upsurge of interest in it.” Taxes on pollution emissions and energy are also revenue-raising options suggested by the Report. No specific tax is endorsed.

The DEVELOPMENT REPORT recommends creation of an Economic Security Council to assess the potential for disruptions from economic and social problems and to rely upon a “global human security fund” to fight ills ranging from pollution to terrorism to nuclear proliferation. A chart actually projects revenue the UN could obtain from 1995-2000 from sources that include a “0.05% tax on speculative international capital movements” and “A global tax on the consumption of non-renewable energy.” Combining the increased revenue with reducing global military expenditures and restructured, increased official development assistance, the DEVELOPMENT REPORT states:

    “These three sources together could raise an annual fund of around $250 billion a year during 1995-2000, seemingly ambitious, but still only around 1% of global GDP. Can humanity do less than this for its collective survival when it has been willing until recently to spend more than 4% of global GDP on the military arsenal.”

Twelve years later the drive to enact UN taxation continues unabated. Kincaid quotes UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a February 28 – March 1, 2006 Paris Conference on Innovative Development: “Financing Mechanisms saying “Innovative sources of financing…are meant to generate even more money for development and to channel resources more effectively.” Jose Antonio Ocampo, UN Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, is more revealing. Ocampo declared that the WORLD ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SURVEY 2005 determined the best revenue generators would be a tax on carbon emissions and a tax on financial transactions. A group to consider “solidarity levies” was spawned by the Paris Conference.

Americans who care about our country’s sovereignty have reason for concern about such schemes. Only a sovereign state has the power to tax. We may be a member of the UN Security Council but we are merely one of many United Nations members. We have no voting strength proportionate to our paying 22% of the UN budget. Our position is continually undermined by countries such as Iran, China, Venezuela and Cuba. The United Nations may have no legitimate power to tax but that does not mean it and allied countries could not try. A left-leaning administration and Congress could become complicit with the UN attempt.

Particularly troubling from a practical standpoint is the long-demonstrated UN lack of fiscal accountability. Here’s an excerpt from the April 27, 2006 prepared testimony by David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, on United Nations: Internal Oversight and Procurement Controls and Processes Need Strengthening presented to the House Committee on International Relations:

“UN funds are vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement because of weaknesses in the UN’s control environment for procurement, as well as in key procurement processes. The UN lacks an effective organizational structure for managing procurement, has not demonstrated a commitment to improving its procurement workforce, and has not adopted specific ethics guidance. While the UN Department of Management is responsible for UN procurement, field procurement staff are supervised by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which lacks the expertise and capacity to manage field procurement. Also, the UN has not established procurement training requirements or a career path, and has yet to adopt new ethics guidance for procurement staff, despite long-standing General Assembly mandates. In addition, the UN has not established an independent process to consider vendor protests despite a 1994 recommendation by a high-level panel to do so as soon as possible. Further, the UN does not consistently implement its process for helping to ensure it conducts business with qualified vendors.”

The UN does have an Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to oversee its procurement processes. Its mission is to provide “internal oversight” but in reality it is a toothless, sleeping watchdog. Walker’s testimony explains:

    “…OIOS depends on the resources of the funds, programs, and other entities it audits. The managers of these programs can deny OIOS permission to perform work or not pay OIOS for services. UN entities could thus avoid OIOS audits or investigations, and high-risk areas can be and have been excluded from timely examination.”

Not only do the OIOS annual reports fail to report on “risk and control issues” confronting the UN; OIOS lacks a framework for determining adequate staffing and possesses “no mandatory training curriculum” to ensure its staff is prepared to provide oversight.

In short, it is not surprising the UN appetite for money never ceases; the desire to implement real reform is non-existent. It’s a disgrace that this institution besmirches the idealism that led our country and others to spearhead its founding. What is even worse is that for decades the corruption within this institution has been overlooked.

Fortunately there are legislators on Capitol Hill who are more than merely wise to the UN taxation con game. They are becoming fed up. Just because the American news media is not paying attention to this issue does not mean the drive for international taxation is not happening. (After all, it’s not just law enforcement which missed 9/11; American newspapers and TV, overly fixated on issues such as Chandra Levy’s disappearance, gave short-shrift to the increasing interest by Islamists on inflicting violence on the West.) It takes gall for UN officials, such as Annan, to run such a wasteful, corrupt organization. Rather than make sure UN appropriations are spent right he is more concerned with extracting money from the “Developed Countries” to finance seemingly endless trickle-down schemes. After the new money is devoured by the UN bureaucracy what’s left is dribbled out to aid development.

This is an election year. Conservatives ought to be demanding Congress and the Administration stand up for sovereignty. The United States must say “No” to UN global taxation talk. Enough is enough! Reform – not new revenue – is imperative. If the UN insists on continuing its taxation talk we should say sayonara to Big Blue.