Saturday, October 15, 2011

Doug Saunders nails it: Tax the Crooks!

Doug Saunders
Still wondering what the Occupation Movement is protesting about in New York, thousands of other American cities, and now hundreds of cities throughout the world?

Then read the article headed We need a global army of tax collectors in today's Globe & Mail. In it, Doug Saunders does the world a favour by calling our attention to a study which shows the vast riches hidden from the tax authorities by wealthy people living in the developed and poor countries.

Here are some extracts for you to ponder, and sprinkle into your conversation with your family, friends and colleagues for the next week or so:
But, as it happens, there’s a trillion to be found. It could easily be obtained without raising taxes: We just need to start applying our current taxes to all the money people actually earn. In fact, the debt crisis would end overnight if we did that in a concerted way.

The monitoring group Global Financial Integrity estimates that people and companies are stashing away $9.4-trillion in secret offshore banks in places such as Luxembourg, Singapore and the Virgin Islands to avoid paying taxes on it. That’s $2-trillion more than all the money held in all the banks in the United States. Taxed at 11 per cent (a fraction of what’s actually owed on it), this would yield an instant trillion.
And the problem of crooks not paying taxes is not restricted to the developed countries:
This isn’t just a problem for wealthy countries; in fact, it’s probably the biggest problem in the developing world. As Anatol Lieven observes in Pakistan: A Hard Country, “barely 1 per cent of the population pays income tax, and the wealthiest landowners pay no direct taxes at all.” As a Peshawar tax auditor told him, “If anyone took taxes seriously, I’d have the most difficult job in the world, but as it is I have the easiest.” And Pakistan, from what I’ve seen, is far from exceptional.

Poor countries, according to Global Financial Integrity, lose more than $1-trillion in tax revenues a year to tax-free offshore banks. That’s about 10 times the world’s foreign aid combined, and four or five times the annual sum that some believe would end poverty completely.
So the OccupyWallStreet protestors now have some really good ammunition to back up their general complaints about the system being broken, the 1% getting away with murder, and the 99% being shafted.

Thanks, Doug!


  1. income tax was always a bullshit tax .. import . export ,, 10% sales tax thats it if you save you income its yours if you buy expansive stuff you pay its your choice not the gov.

  2. When a person has millions of dollars which they cannot spent, sensibly, why do they have to cheat to get more?????
    I consider myself a conserative and believe in capitolism but honesty must be a large part of the system

  3. Malcom, it's greed, pure and simple, coupled with the lack of morals on the part of the last four presidents, Senates and Houses. Were these men and women so engrossed in their own little worlds that they did not realize that their policies were gutting America's industrial base, without at the same time enlarging the world economic pie by demanding that the other developing nations with whom free trade treaties were entered into, increase the standard of living of their own people, allow unions to protect their workers, regulate their polluters?

    This gutting of American might in the name of globalization and free trade has done more damage to America's strength than any number of Bin Ladens could ever hope to do.

    And today we see the financial system back to its greedy ways, without proper regulation, and with American workers continuing to lose ground while the fat cats make more and more.

    Where is the leader that America so badly needs?

  4. The problem is that the fat cats are using their power to make policies which benifit themselves and this includes politicians, Liberals, Conservatives and NDP.
    Who is left to start proper regulation ?


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