Monday, July 23, 2012

Between $20 and $30 TRILLION are hidden offshore by the Super Rich

"The very existence of the global offshore industry, and the tax-free status of the enormous sums invested by their wealthy clients, is predicated on secrecy," according to James Henry, former chief economist for the global business consulting firm McKinsey.

This is the financial club Mitt Romney belongs to.

This story broke on the front pages of the British newspapers The Guardian and The Observer over the weekend. The articles discuss the burden wealthy tax evaders place on everyone else, not just by evading taxes but by removing their massive cash hoards from the economies where they earned them (and evaded taxes). The amount of hoarded cash is greater than the GDPs of Japan and the US combined. Need a reason for the global recession? This is it.

The summary in the Guardian

The details, in the Guardian

The world of private banks where our economy is being held hostage

Analysis of the problem

The white paper with all the numbers

Mitt Romney is the poster child for this elite group of super rich. They may have homes in this country, but their wealth is safely offshore where what they earn can't be touched to build roads or schools or hospitals. Or, for that matter, to pay the lifetime of healthcare for wounded veterans. They are above obligation to any country, especially the United States. We all try to minimize our tax bill, but for people like Romney it is a major effort of evasion that employs many banks and very complex schemes.

The article about Romney's tax havens in this month's Vanity Fair

The question then is: should Mitt Romney be running instead for the presidency of Bermuda?

Or the Cayman Islands? Or the Bahamas? Or Switzerland? It doesn't really matter what it says on his birth certificate. What matters is what it says on his tax returns. Where is he invested? Whose economy does he care about? Does he fulfill the basic duty of citizenship, the duty we all fulfill? Does he pay the taxes that pave the roads and educate our kids? Or does he evade them?

This matters.

The collusion of the big banks to rig global interest rates matters.

The involvement of major banks in money laundering for international terrorists and drug cartels matters too.

What's disturbing is they are laundering billions for ordinary American billionaires as well, helping them hide what they earn from the tax obligations that are a vital part of citizenship.

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