January 9, 2017
Dear Senators and Representatives:
Congress is considering a much needed look at the use of American taxpayer funds to support international organizations that repeatedly work against the interests of the United States and the taxpaying public. While that effort is currently focused primarily on the United Nations, it should be expanded to also cover the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The OECD was founded to serve as a tool for lowering trade barriers and other obstacles to the free market erected by governments. Thanks to decades of mission creep, however, the OECD today often works against those original goals and the best interests of the United States. It aims instead to advance the interests of finance ministers and tax collectors from European welfare states whatever the cost to the global economy. For instance, the OECD has long fought to limit tax competition, with the most recent example being the massive BEPS tax grab widely understood to be aimed at U.S.-headquartered multinationals.
To make matters worse, the organization has become increasingly politicized. Not only did several top officials weigh in on the U.S. presidential campaign with critical comments toward then-candidate Donald Trump, but the organization has for years recommended policies in the U.S. designed to grow government and advance the agenda of the left. These include encouraging adoption of a VAT and other tax increases, supporting big government-style healthcare, endorsing Keynesian-style “stimulus” spending binges, and advocating for cap-and-trade regulations, among other positions.
For these reasons, a broad coalition of free market and taxpayer protection organizations has in the past called on Congress to cut off OECD funding. Congress should make clear that it is wrong to ask American taxpayers to subsidize any organization whose work is fundamentally partisan and counter to the interests of the American public, and should expand its current inquiry to include taxpayer subsidies to the OECD.
Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity