Sunday, April 7, 2013

Off Shore Tax-haven data leak

Evidently there has been some kind of massive leak about off shore financial information revealing how the rich evade taxes through off shore investment. The concept is no secret. It’s been going on for years. I guess the details of who’s doing what has actually been released.

Canadian Senator Pana Merchant has been named in the release. CBC is covering the data leak. They have an interactive map on the topic. They posted a list of countries affected as well as a list of 5 big leaks of offshore financial data. However, they aren't releasing all the data about Canadians yet. They're going to sort through it first.

Nobody likes taxes. Michael Moore talked about the historic shift in tax rates for the wealthy. Previously the more money you made the higher tax bracket you were in and the more taxes you paid. At one point the extremely rich were paying up to 80% of their earnings in tax. I do think that was extreme.

Yet Michael Moore pointed out how we have gone to the other extreme where the very wealthy pay next to no income tax through off shore investments. That is wrong. It doesn’t help build the local economy and forces the middle class to pay all the tax revenue.

As I’ve said before, no one wants to be over taxed yet the fact that Warren Buffet pays less tax than his secretary shows there is something wrong with the system. His secretary pays income tax at a rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent. Over taxing the rich or the large corporations isn’t the answer but letting them pay no or very little tax isn’t the answer either.

The other example is the fraudster Donald Trump. In two of his recent tax returns he paid no income tax at all. That just isn’t right. I don’t think anyone no matter how much money they make should ever have to pay more than 50% of their income in tax. Yet having the wealthy pay little or no tax is just plain wrong. It is tax evasion and these off shore accounts help them do it.

The solution is simple. We should stop rewarding people for investing off shore.


  1. Even 50% is a ripoff and everyone knows it. And we certainly know that a lot of tax dollars go to fund lavish dinners for politicians and other luxuries and perks, first class travel so they don't have to mix with the public, even government jets, "fact finding" trips, etc.. No wonder so many unethical and shady people want a career in "public service".

    The truth is, no one should pay more than 10%. Flat tax, across the board, nothing fairer than that. Government exists to serve the people, not the people to serve the government. The State exists to serve the people, not the people to serve the state.

  2. Yes 50 % income tax is excessive. I'm just saying not long ago it was much more than that for the rich in the US and I don't support going that far back. I'm just saying the rich paying nothing because of all these off shore tax loop holes is tax evasion. If everyone paid 10% straight off with no loop holes everything would be fine. The problem is the rich aren't even doing that because of all the loop holes and that is exactly what Mitt Romney's Bain Capital supported.

  3. New York Times.

    Tributes Pour In for Margaret Thatcher.

    LONDON — Margaret Thatcher, a towering, divisive and yet revered figure in British politics whose impact on British life and society was enduring and contentious, died on Monday of a stroke, her family said. Politicians called her influence on her country’s destiny among the greatest since Winston Churchill, and the authorities said she would be buried with military honors."

    “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother, Baroness Thatcher, died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” a statement from her spokesman, Lord Tim Bell, said, referring to her son and daughter."

    "President Obama said in a tribute released by the White House that Mrs. Thatcher’s achievement as Britain’s first female prime minister taught “our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered.” He added that the “world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.”

    True-er words were never spoken.

    "Mrs. Thatcher, 87, was Britain’s first female prime minister, serving for 11 years beginning in 1979. She was known as the Iron Lady, a stern Conservative who transformed Britain’s way of thinking about its economic and political life, broke union power and opened the way to far greater private ownership."

    "The daughter of a grocer, she was leader of Britain through its 1982 war in the Falklands and stamped her skepticism about European integration onto her country’s political landscape for decades."

    Mrs. Thatcher was the greatest, most important AND successful (elected three times) of the whole twentieth century, and an inspiration for millions, such as myself.

  4. "Margaret Thatcher also won the respect of some interlocutors in Moscow, most notably Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, who described her on Monday as “a politician whose word carried great weight.”

    “Our first meeting in 1984 marked the beginning of a relationship that was at times difficult, not always smooth, but was treated seriously and responsibly by both sides,” Mr. Gorbachev, 82, said, according to Reuters."

    “We gradually developed personal relations that became increasingly friendly. In the end, we were able to achieve mutual understanding, and this contributed to a change in the atmosphere between our country and the West and to the end of the cold war.”

    link above.

    1. I did not like her. Northern Ireland and the Falklands. I see her as just another power hungry dictator. The only tribute that comes to my mind is Pink Floyd’s Post War Dream - Maggie what have we done:


  5. Wayne Smith, a lobbyist, contends that our federal tax code has become extremely bloated and complex, the result of "democracy, plain and simple, as practiced these last decades." But in reality it's just the opposite. This "mess" is the result of plutocracy. The richest 1 percent of Americans has influenced Congress, mostly through lobbying and campaign contributions over the past 40 years, to pass legislation that benefits them exclusively.

    In their most recent investigative book, "The Betrayal of the American Dream," Donald Bartlett and James Steele provide extensive detail on how government policies are systemically destroying the middle class, not only through personal and corporate tax structures, but also through trade policies.

    Like Mr. Smith, Bartlett and Steele propose a simplified tax code, but not the flat tax that Smith and other Republicans constantly tout which would shift the tax burden even more onto the middle and lower classes and further enrich the richest.

    1. Sounds like a good read. Michael Moore ran a good segment on Citibank’s leaked document talking about plutocracy. It’s just insane.

  6. I've also read a few flat tax proposals where dividends would not be taxed at all.
    This would let many investors and the founders and descendants of many huge corporations structure their income so they pay no tax at all and again the middle class would suffer.

    After the rich cuts the poor off the headlights will be on the middle class

    1. We can create tax incentives for dividends. If they are invested in Canadian or American companies. Not if they’re invested off shore. The latter is just shooting yourself in the foot.


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