Get ready for the global consumer tax

January 19, 2010

If it isn’t bad enough that the federal government wants to take more of your money, just wait! The United Nations wants it too and has a whole range of taxes proposed to get their hands on it – for the good of the world, of course.

The UN’s dangerous plan for global taxation

George Russell of Fox News has a very important report on a United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) plan “to ask governments to impose a global consumer tax on such things as Internet activity or everyday financial transactions like paying bills online.” As Russell writes:

“Such a scheme could raise “tens of billions of dollars” on behalf of the United Nations’ public health arm from a broad base of consumers, which would then be used to transfer drug-making research, development and manufacturing capabilities, among other things, to the developing world.

The multibillion-dollar “indirect consumer tax” is only one of a “suite of proposals” for financing the rapid transformation of the global medical industry that will go before WHO’s 34-member supervisory Executive Board at its biannual meeting in Geneva.”

And that’s not all: among the new imposts under consideration is a tax on the international arms trade (If arms dealers are the merchants of death, what would that make the UN? Leaches of death?), a per-bit tax on Internet traffic, and a tax on bank account transactions. All of these would net billions for the UN. The article’s author, Nile Gardiner, points out just a few of the problems:

The UN proposal is disturbing for a number of reasons. It represents yet another attempt by the world organization to usurp the power of nation states, and is a major threat to the principle of national sovereignty. It would place extraordinary power and wealth in the hands of faceless bureaucrats, representing a supranational institution with a staggering track record of corruption, inefficiency, unaccountability and mismanagement. The last time the United Nations attempted to manage an international fund on this scale was the Oil-for-Food Programme, which was an unmitigated disaster.

Gardiner is rightfully appalled by this idea, and not just for the almost certain abuses it would be subject to in an infamously corrupt UN. Taxation should be decided by the elected representatives of the People in their national legislatures, not faceless appointed bureaucrats who answer to no one except another faceless bureaucrat. Our own revolution was founded in grievances over distant, tyrannical rule, including taxation without representation. These UN taxes would be just another example.

In fact, the American system of government may pose unique problems for this plan: the constitution demands that all tax measures originate in the House of Representatives, in theory the body closest to the People. The Obama administration might want to play good global citizen and agree to these taxes, but any effort to actually make the consumers pay would be subject to constitutional challenges in court. Of course, Obama could try to ram these through Congress, but, with the mood of the country right now, I wouldn’t give them much chance.

Still, this should serve as a warning: statists and liberal internationalists are forever looking for ways to “strengthen institutions,” which usually translates to larger, more intrusive government and more money taken from your pockets and sent God Knows Where. What’s agreed to in distant meeting rooms and cocktail parties has a direct bearing on your well-being and liberty, no matter how anodyne it’s made to sound by the soothing words of this or that political hack.

So pay attention, and let your representatives and senators know you will not agree to feed Leviathan, no matter how much it’s “for our own good.”

Not talking