(By The Pragmatic Pundit)
Tax Haven – a country or place which has a low rate of tax so that people choose to live there or register companies there in order to avoid paying higher tax in their own countries.
Middle Class Americans have been waiting all these years for the wealth to trickle down, only to discover that the only thing it has done is stream and gush into tax havens like Switzerland and the Caymans. Why aren’t people outraged?
On the off-chance there are those who don’t grasp why we should all be enraged, allow me to explain:
Tax havens offer secrecy and other special advantages that attract corrupt dictators, drug cartels, terrorists, corporate heads and the likes of Mitt Romney. They all share the same political and social dynamics; avoiding and evading their responsibilities to the societies that sustain them. And they do so with impunity.
Havens allow companies and wealthy individuals to reap the rewards of the onshore benefits of taxes; like good infrastructure, clean water, education and the rule of law, (all the stuff they didn’t build) while using the offshore world to escape their responsibilities to pay for it. The rest of us shoulder the burden. Allowing corporations and the wealthy to escape taxes and regulations increases inequality and poverty, corrodes democracy, distorts markets and curbs economic growth.
The reason Mitt Romney’s business dealings and Bain Capital are important is because he and the company he represented indulged in activities that literally stripped this countries’ financial assets and relocated them to other countries, depriving the United States of jobs, investment capital and desperately needed tax revenues. As we lose tax revenues, the country becomes more dependent on the loans and interest that helps to increase our debt. Those liabilities are the public debts of the government that end up shouldered by the Middle Class. So the next time you want to talk about the debt and the deficit, look towards a tax haven where corporations and the wealthy who have been enriched with U.S. government contracts, loopholes, subsidies and income tax refunds have chosen to pledge their allegiance.
We may not like them, but taxes are the nexus between government and citizen, while tax revenues help to fulfill the social contract. Tax havens shift the tax burden away from capital and onto labour and the Middle Class creating a dramatic rise in income and wealth inequality. What’s worse is havens like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are allowed to enjoy wealth by appropriating taxes that should be paid to the United States.
They offer not only low or zero taxes, but allow people and corporations to get around the rules, laws and regulations. Tax havens and tax dodging are nothing more than forms of corruption. Companies build secret monopolies by using them to hide their identities in order to collude and fix prices. The secrecy fosters criminal activities like insider trading, market rigging, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, the illicit funding of political parties and more.
Perhaps, most offensive is that those who avail themselves to the use of tax havens remove themselves from sharing the costs involved in maintaining a healthy society, while they remain actively involved in the democratic process by lobbying, buying elections and as in Mitt Romney’s case, even running for office. They distort markets and undermine market competition and they thrive because of secrecy.
Mitt Romney’s tax returns are important because they give us a blueprint of the kind of patriot he really is. While he bemoans the 47%, what share of taxes has he been allowed to avoid? More importantly, what kind of person concerns himself with the taxation of someone who earned $20,000 in an entire year, while he ducked, dodged and deferred taxation on $20 million in income? He is an economic free-rider and traitor.
It should be show-and-tell time. Romney claims he has paid all taxes due and has done nothing illegal, so what is there to hide? Where is the media or a few good investigative reporters? Are they just too lazy or too beholden to corporate interests to seek the truth? Imagine the response if President Obama had a sheltered account and refused to share the details.
Why isn’t the public raising hell about Romney’s tax returns? Why aren’t investigative reporters raising the roof? Why aren’t the Democrats still making demands? Is it me? The idea that anyone would cast a vote for Mitt Romney without full disclosure of his tax returns and business dealings is absolutely mind-boggling to me.