Monday, September 27, 2004

Chirac: ‘Time for Global Tax’

French President Jacques Chirac is the latest leader to call for a global tax on arm sales and financial transactions to help fight poverty. Both he and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hope the proposal will cut global poverty in half by 2015. 110 countries have signed a document urging governments to consider the proposal.

Leave it up to a de facto socialist to back such a proposal. Why should countries pay for the results of other countries’ jacked-up fiscal policies? What’s the incentive for a country to learn from its mistakes and try a different path? And why arm sales? Why not, oh say, wines, cheese, cigarettes, and clothes? Ah, that would affect the French too much.

The way to reduce poverty is how Ireland, Portugal, China, India, Singapore, and other countries have done: reduce trade barriers, reduce regulations that inhibit business creation, reduce corruption, and reduce taxes.


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