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The Rosett Report

A Modest Proposal for Giving You Your Very Own UN Staffer

September 30th, 2011 - 5:51 pm

Why not amend that, and make it a lot more personal for a select number of average American taxpayers? Instead of paying the UN out of the general pot of federal tax revenues, the U.S. government could pick 44,000 average American working families, divide them into groups of 20, exempt them from all other federal tax claims, and assign each group its own personal UN bureaucrat to support. These taxpaying families could even be invited to take an interest in the individual UN staffers whose salaries have become their direct responsibility. They could peruse the list of UN benefits, cost-of-living adjustments, and other perquisites. They could cruise the web for news of the latest travels, reports, and other accomplishments of their assigned UN beneficiary/bureaucrat. They could drop by the UN offices in New York, and share a cappuccino, and check out the lifestyle for themselves. Then they could go home and get back to work, earning the money to pay the taxes to support the specific UN staffer with that average take-home pay of $119,000.

I’d wager that would provide a degree of valuable oversight to which the UN, during its entire 66 year history, has never, ever been exposed. It could work wonders in clarifying and focusing the current Washington debate over funding for the UN. (It could also have its highly entertaining moments.)

OK, I know. For a lot of very good reasons, U.S. tax policy does not work that way. Nor is it safe to give the UN any opportunity, however odd, to get its hooks directly into U.S. taxpayers. The UN has been angling for that for years, and in that direction lie horrors even worse than what goes on now. But as a thought experiment, it is interesting to imagine the average American working family taking a direct interest in the work habits and lifestyle of the average UN staffer, so richly supported by funds from the U.S. tax pot.  What would they find they are getting for their money?

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