If I was Captain Ahab in a Herman Melville novel, my Moby Dick would be the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. I have spent more than 15 years fighting that Paris-based bureaucracy. Even to the point that the OECD threatened to throw me in a Mexican jail.
- My main gripe is that the OECD, in hopes of propping up the European welfare states that dominate its membership, tries to enable big tax increases by undermining tax competition.
- It also galls me that the bureaucracy reflexively embraces just about every kind of tax hike,
including class-warfare taxes on income, big new energy taxes, business taxes, and money-vacuuming value-added taxes.
- Additionally, I get irked when the OECD advocates other big-government policies such as Keynesian spending, green energy, and government-run healthcare.
- I also don't like the OECD's dodgy, dishonest, and misleading use of data on issues such as poverty, pay equity, inequality, and comparative economics.
- And, to add insult to injury, the bureaucrats at the OECD get a special exemption so their gold-plated salaries are tax free, even though they spend so much time trying to impose higher taxes on the rest of us.
So when I had a chance earlier today to comment on the OECD's statist agenda, I could barely contain myself
Notwithstanding the glitch at the beginning (the perils of a producer talking in my ear), I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to castigate the OECD.
Indeed, returning to my Moby Dick analogy, I'm increasingly hopeful that the harpoons I keep throwing at the OECD may finally draw some blood.
In his budget, President Trump has proposed to cut overall spending for international organizations. And we're talking about a real budget cut, not the phony kind of cut where spending merely grows at a slightly slower rate.
The budget doesn't specify funding levels for the various bureaucracies, but various Administration officials have told me that their goal is to completely defund the Paris-based bureaucracy.
To quote Chris Matthews, this definitely sends a thrill up my leg.
But I'm trying not to get too excited. It's still up to Congress to decide OECD funding, and the bureaucrats in Paris have been very clever about currying favor with the members of the subcommittee that doles out cash for international organizations.
Though as I mentioned in the interview, the OECD didn't do itself any favors by openly trashing Trump last year. Even if they have their doubts about Trump, I suspect most GOPers in Congress aren't happy that the bureaucrats in Paris were trying to tilt the election for Hillary Clinton.
Here are some examples.
The OECD's number-two bureaucrat, Doug Frantz, actually equated America's president with the former head of Germany's National Socialist Workers Party.
"if you look at the basis ‘us and them’ that Donald Trump sets up, that Hitler set up, that Mussolini set up, then you can begin to at least be concerned and I’m concerned: I think any right-minded person should be concerned...The person who sits in the White House is the most powerful person in the world and if that person is someone who follows every whim and appeals to the most base instincts of a population, then we’re all under real threat".
And another news report caught the OECD's Secretary General, Angel Gurria, basically asserting that Trump is racist.
says the word "racist" can be applied to Donald Trump. ...Gurria tells UpFront's Mehdi Hasan: "I would tend to agree with those who say that this is not only misinformed, but yes, I think the word racist can be applied. I think that because the American public is wise, it will then act in consequence," Gurria adds.
By the way, I'm making sure to share these partisan statements with lots of people in Congress and the Administration.
In an ideal world, lawmakers would defund the OECD because it is an egregious waste of money. But if they defund the bureaucracy because its top two officials tried to interfere with the US election, I'll still be happy with the final outcome.
I'll close by recycling the video on the OECD that I narrated for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
P.S. In the interest of fairness, I'll acknowledge that the OECD occasionally produces good work. I've even favorably cited research from the bureaucracy on issues such as government spending, tax policy, and expenditure limits.
But even if the bureaucracy ended its statist advocacy agenda and gave staff economists carte blanche to produce good papers, that still wouldn't change my view that American tax dollars should not be funding the OECD. Though I confess it would be a much less attractive target if it returned to its original mission of collecting statistics and publishing studies.