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« Speaking of Objects | Main | Extrajudicial »

September 26, 2006

Gaffney on Globotaxes

In today's Washington Times, the Center for Security Policy's Frank Gaffney echoes Mark Steyn's rant against the U.N., refering to last week's Chavez and Ahmadinejad tag-team as a "spectacle of buffoonery and bombast". But he also warns thusly:

Incredibly, despite this performance and the U.N.'s rampant corruption, scandals and virulent hostility toward the Free World, the organization has taken a major step toward becoming a supranational government, unaccountable to and ever more routinely at odds with the United States.

In fact, Gaffney reminds us that an ability to tax is an ability to govern, and apparently the U.N. does indeed have designs on your wallet. Of course, the first step is a popular and sympathetic cause -- AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- via the UNITAID initiative:

UNITAID will, for the first time, rely for its institutional funding on what the U.N. euphemistically calls an "innovative financing mechanism." Another word for it is "globotaxes" -- levies imposed on international transactions, in this case, airline tickets.

Gaffney explains that, while only a handful of countries have signed on with the globotaxation scheme, the U.N. and its proxies claim that the U.S. has a standing commitment to provide over $800 billion in public foreign aid between now and 2015 to developing nations. Gaffney's expectation is that the U.N. will expect the U.S. to use such "innovative financing mechanisms" to pay what they "owe."

(By the way, Gaffney also explains the intriguing role that Bill Clinton -- ever in search of a positive legacy -- has played in all of this.)

While I appreciate Gaffney sounding the alarm, I tend to think that the American people would never stand for such an intrusion. The establishment of any taxation authority would clearly provide the U.N. with a legitimate role in actual governance, which the American people would rightly reject. But I do wonder if they would be sentimentally swayed by the fact that the ends are help for people around the world in desperate need. "It's only a few dollars; it's the least I can do." I hope not. After all, the American people are the most generous in the world, and they've shown themselves to be so without the "help" of a monstrous, inefficient, and ... ahem ... "integrity-challenged" organization like the United Nations.

The problem isn't the ends, of course.  It's the means.  And there are better means out there -- far better.

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Phil Rispin

It is difficult to trust our own government, which is an elected body, (and in theory at least responsible to us) to use our money in a wise manner. How much less a body of leaders many of whom are little more than dictators themselves to use our money wisely. It would be very foolish to allow our government to follow this path.

Phil Rispin

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