On Oct. 5, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) will release its “final package of measures for a co‐ordinated international approach to reform the tax system under the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.” In plain English, what theOECD bureaucrats are attempting to do is put in place minimum international corporate tax rates, and companies will be required to share sensitive and proprietary information with non‐Americans who may misuse it. History tells us that governments often fail in their promises to keep sensitive information confidential, and once a new minimum rate is established for a tax, it is quickly raised. The U.S. income tax started out with a top rate of only 7 percent, which only affected the few millionaires back in 1914.
There are a few important facts that most members of the global political class willfully choose to ignore. In most countries the individual and corporate tax rates and government spending levels are well above the revenue and welfare maximizing rates. Much government spending is also wasteful and even harmful because the bureaucrats are spending other people’s money rather than their own. For instance, this past week, it was revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency — the same agency that a month ago heavily polluted a river in Colorado, causing great environmental damage — has been caught spending taxpayer dollars on unneeded exotic furniture. To be exact, one official bought a chair costing $4,047, and another spent $813 on a pencil holder. All of this is small potatoes as government spending goes, but it does illustrate how many in government treat hard‐earned taxpayer dollars — and why economic growth declines as government gets bigger.