The International Platform Association

on the occasion of its Annual Convention, to be held in Washington 8-12 August 2001,

in cooperation with the Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers,
and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity,

organizes a
 

Roundtable on International Bureaucratic Lawmaking

to be held on Thursday, 9th August 2001, 4 to 6 pm
at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Ticonderoga Ballroom
400 New Jersey Ave NE, Washington (reservations  202-7371234)
 
 

Is Big Brother the Taxpayers' Friend or Foe?
or
When Taxmen are Allowed to Dictate the Law

OECD Harmful Tax Competition,
FATF, and other anti-privacy initiatives
endanger markets, tax reform and the U.S. economy




Identifying tax dodgers and their stashed-away earnings in foreign tax havens is ok; making them pay up even helps reduce the tax burden of honest taxpayers.   Right?   Think again!   You wouldn't accept all citizens to be jailed in order to make sure all lawbreakers are off the streets, would you?  So why violate each citizens' privacy rights in order to stem the flight of capital abroad, particularly if making one's own economy attractive would also do the trick? Moreover, the United States is already the biggest tax haven on earth, with foreign investments in its economy securing millions of jobs.  Driving away, misleading and selling out foreign investors to their high-tax home countries would thus inevitably hurt, not serve US interests.   The same is true when international organizations are allowed to promote international tax data exchanges, and even to dictate to sovereign countries what their tax regime should be.  For such international bureaucratic lawmaking undercuts democratic institutions, turns US banks into foreign agents and opens the door for foreign snooping right here in America.   These are some of the issues to be discussed at this Roundtable.
 

those wishing to attend this publicly televised no-admission-fee roundtable,
please confirm as soon as possible by e-mail to
David Pearl, Secretary General, International Platform Association, 101 North Center Street,
Westminster, MD 21157, at: d4p4@earthlink.net  (t: 410-840992)
or contact
Anton Keller, Secretary, Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers, cp 2580, 1211 Geneva 2,
Switzerland, at: swissbit@capp.ch  (t+f: +4122-7400362, m: +4179-6047707)
 
 
 

Talking Points

-    What were economic crimes in socialist countries are often seen as indispensable market functions in the West.
-    The OECD has been set up to promote and strengthen, and not to undercut market functions; reflecting a trend towards international bureaucratic lawmaking operating outside the control of constitutional lawmakers, OECD's secretive Fiscal Committee and Working Group #8 on Tax Avoidance and Evasion have produced ill-considered recommendations, guidelines and conventions which depart from time-tested fiscal and other fundamental principles, may thus damage national interests and eventually provoke groundswells of betrayed taxpayers and side-lined lawmakers who have been concerned about fiscal sovereignty, tax competition and financial privacy.
-    Tax avoidance is not only not a crime but a - if not the - key function in any market economy worth its name;  as such it is not only a right but an obligation of each enterprising citizen, and an international organization engaged in "combating tax avoidance" (official mandate of the OECD Fiscal Committee) cannot fail to gravely undermine key fiscal principles and the very market system it was set up to serve.
-    The INTERFIPOL, ie the 1988 OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters which provides for a Big Brother global tax data exchange and gave rise to the G-7/OECD Financial Action Task Force (FATF), was developed and, in 1995, stealthily pushed into force under the leadership of U.S. Treasury officials.
-    For those who might have forgotten: the Berlin Wall fell in our direction - not eastwards!
-    The easier and cheaper, yet Orwellian pursuit of the money trail is no substitute for genuine, solid police work.
-    The pursuit of genuine crime - ie murder, terrorism, hostage-taking, etc. - is not helped but undercut by spreading scarce police resources over ever more socially questionable and often made-believe crimes.
-    Ignoring the lessons from both the Prohibition Era and the Soviet Era, using drug abuse as justification and pretexts for ever more intrusive constraints of individual freedoms, market functions and sovereignty rights, the OECD, its INTERFIPOL and its international police arm, the FATF, need to be reviewed by the constitutional lawmakers of member countries with a view to bring them back in line with OECD’s original intent and purpose and its statutory obligations - if need be with the congressional power of the purse!

-   Niklaus Blattner et al., "Asset Management by Banks in Switzerland", Haupt Bern 1996 (http://www.geneve-finance.ch):

"In 1993, Chase Manhattan Private Bank calculated Switzerland's international ranking.  The bank's specialists reached the conclusion that banks in Switzerland manage 35% of global "off-shore" private wealth, i.e. assets of private clients entrusted to asset managers abroad.  However, we have no information on institutional clients." p.5
-   estimated total global financial assets (in billion US$), off-shore: 6000, managed by Swiss banks: 2000, invested in US through Swiss banks: US$ ~700 billion;  sources:
-    "World Wealth Report", Merrill Lynch 1998
-    "Die Banken in der Schweiz 1999 - Vorabdruck", Swiss National Bank, Zurich 7 June 2000 (http://www.snb.ch/d/aktuelles/pressemit/pre_000607.html - global assets under Swiss bank management: CHF 3522 billion, 1880 of which from abroad)

-   total foreign-held US financial assets: US$ 6277 billion ("Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States", Federal Reserve Board, Washington 9 June 2000;  http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/Z1/Current/)

see also:  Stephen J. Entin, "Treasury's Qualified Intermediary Regulations and the OECD Tax Haven Initiative: Threats to International Capital Mobility and Investment", IRET Congressional Advisory, #116, 28 June 2001 ftp://ftp.iret.org/pub/ADVS-116.PDF