Accuracy in Media

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton is quoted in Thursday’s Washington Post as saying that while the U.S. supports more development assistance to those countries that demonstrate an ability to use aid effectively, “the U.S. does not accept global aid targets or global taxes.” This marks a breakthrough. The paper’s U.N. correspondent, Colum Lynch, has finally noted that the issue of “global taxes” has been on the table at the U.N. He still hasn’t disclosed that the “international community” wants to soak the U.S. for an additional $845 billion.

The comments were included in the final paragraph of Lynch’s story about how Bolton is objecting to various provisions of the “draft outcome document” being prepared for world leaders at the U.N.‘s World Summit next month. The comments followed charges by Jeffrey Sachs, a top adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, that Bolton is trying to “gut” the document.

But Bolton’s comments should be big news. America is a nation born in a tax revolt when King George tried to tax us. Do Americans support global taxes for the U.N.? We anxiously await the results of major media opinion polls on this question. 

Until Lynch quoted Bolton’s comments on the matter, our Big Media had carefully concealed this fact from the American people. The key global tax proposal is for a “a solidarity contribution on plane tickets to finance development projects.” This is U.N. doublespeak for an international tax on airline travel. The French, who are pushing the idea, want a tax of about $6 per passenger worldwide, with a $25 surcharge for business class, generating about $12 billion a year. But this is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. A global tax on energy could generate tens of billions of dollars a year while an international tax on currency transactions could generate trillions.

The world body is pushing global taxes, in the name of fulfilling the U.N.‘s “Millennium Development Goals” for increased foreign-aid spending, because it knows that the U.S. would never voluntarily turn over another $845 billion. This is the amount of money that Sachs says the U.S. is obligated to spend, over and above what the U.S. is already providing. Sachs says the U.S. is “short” by $65 billion a year. Over a 13 year period, from 2002, when the U.N.‘s Financing for Development Conference was held, to the target year of 2015, that adds up to $845 billion.

Now that Bolton has objected to this looting of the American government and taxpayer, the U.N. and its collaborators are fighting back. Taking the media assault to a new level, the Los Angeles Times accused Bolton of seeking changes in the U.N. document that would result in millions of deaths. NGOs are spewing out anti-Bolton press releases saying that the U.S. is turning its back on victims of AIDS and poverty. One group, which calls itself Results, claims that Bolton’s “trashing” of the summit document will result in lowering the bar “for humanity’s progress.”  The Results group organized a conference call for journalists on Wednesday with Annan adviser Sachs, who was scheduled to discuss the “implications of U.S. proposed revisions” in the summit document “for poverty reduction around the world.” 

Meanwhile, the U.N. has announced that Annan himself has “reiterated his full support” for including the Millennium Development Goals in the summit document and says that any effort to remove the targets “would hurt billions of people.”

So the number of Bolton’s potential victims has now risen into the billions!

It should be apparent that we are witnessing a carefully orchestrated campaign trashing Bolton and his staff, who are working overtime to correct major flaws in a U.N. document that is designed to expand the authority and power of the U.N. at the literal expense of the U.S. Our media have openly taken sides against the U.S. position.

The campaign is facilitated by the fact that the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA), the group of journalists covering the U.N. on a daily basis, enjoys a very cozy relationship with the world body. The relationship is so close that one journalist, The Nation’s U.N. correspondent, has taken money from the world body. Other reporters are paid by the U.N. to appear on the U.N. “World Chronicle” television program. UNCA’s conferences are subsidized by pro-U.N. organizations funded by billionaire George Soros and Ted Turner, which helps explain why our major media refuse to examine the big money behind the pro-U.N. lobby.

The Results group, for example, listed the Soros-funded Open Society Institute as its largest donor in 2003, having contributed at least $200,000 to the organization. In his book, The End of Poverty, Sachs himself praises Soros as a “world-class philanthropist and financier” and one of the “miracle workers in promoting global justice who have generously helped me in my own activities?”

For his part, Sachs advocates a “global tax on carbon-emitting fossil fuels?” that “would finance a greatly enhanced supply of global public goods.” A book prepared by the U.N., New Sources of Development Finance, endorses such a proposal.

The headline in the Post should say, “U.N. Wants to Raise Global Taxes on Gasoline.” But if a reporter wrote a story to go with that headline, that might generate negative feelings toward the U.N. at a time of rising gas prices in the U.S. Some people might even get the impression that the U.N. wants to play the role of a new King George.

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