Saturday, January 29, 2005

Jacques' Tacques

Chirac reacts to suggestion of greater French development aid

The words "global" and "tax" were just too ripe for the French not to put them together and propose a new means to try and make France relevant. Jacques Chirac, via video address, has again proposed a global tax to fund international development to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But don't laugh this off as another flight of fancy from the French, because, along with Tony Blair, he seems to have some support for this proposal:

"But Chirac isn't some lone gunman advocating a global tax. There is a growing chorus of supporters in favor of assessing an international levy that would be used for humanitarian purposes. Critics may laugh it off now, but the idea isn't going away soon. "

And how might this tax be levied? Digging deeper into the proposal one finds, besides the airline ticket and air/sea fuel taxes, a proposal to tax e-mails:

“UNDP estimated that globally in 1996, such a tax would have yielded $70 billion. . . the idea continues to stir interest and on February 12, 2002, EU finance ministers approved sales taxes on internet transactions. New technology and changing politics may bring this proposal (email taxes) swiftly forward.”

And it gets even better. These socialist bureaucrats want to create a global lottery as well:

"In the case of the global lottery, the prize structure can be constructed in a way that helps differentiate it from the national lotteries and to avoid the negative effects of potentially very large prizes."

Here's one way to avoid those negative effects. They should raffle off the opportunity to, as Monty Python so aptly quipped, fart in Chirac's general direction.