As the European Union tussles over tax policy, it seems to have adopted the euphemism of “improving the working of the EU’s single market.” But this is competition, EU-style. We can’t set the bar too high.

“Improving EU’s single market” boils down to this: As poor Eastern European countries such as Estonia enter the EU, they need to attract capital investment through low tax rates. But higher-tax Germany and France are colluding to resist competitive tax policies. It seems some historical bitterness has been fueled as relatively low-tax Ireland and England attract plentiful foreign investment at the expense of their continental neighbors.

Now France and Germany are ready to throw fits if heaven forbid true competition creeps into European Union policy. According to the Brussels-based EU, low tax rates amount to “unfair tax competition.” Sounds more like sour grapes.