By Lucy Komisar
New York – April 16, 2017
The “Trump pay your taxes/tell us what you paid” protests around the country on Tax Day April 15th matter only if they are the beginning of a movement by the Berniecrats (since the Clintonites have finessed the issue) to deal with the institutionalized tax cheating effected by obvious scams such as the carried interest fraud which says that people who run hedge funds should pay a lower rate on their personal incomes than anybody else. Why do they get that? Because they have paid off members of Congress to allow it. The Dems and Trump have said they are against it, but if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.
But more important is the systemic evasion of taxes run through the international offshore bank and corporate secrecy system. I understand that protests like Saturday’s have to be focused, and that the American public doesn’t understand the offshore tax evasion system. Even if Swiss bank accounts show up in crime movies. But it’s about time the Berniecrats and others organizing opposition to Trump explained it, educated the public. And cut off the center-right Democrats who support the tax evasion system because the beneficiaries of the system pay their way.
The photos of the rally and march of some 25,000 people in New York that I saw were inspiring. Showed people of every age and class and color who understood that Trump is gaming the system. Glad a trade union leader was there, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union, (with the gray jacket and red collar at the front of the march).
But now the people who organized that event need to explain in much greater detail how that corrupt tax evasion system works. How the biggest American corporations and the super rich evade their taxes through international offshore scams. And, by the way, so do international criminals and terrorists use the same system to move and launder their money.
The next tax march needs to support legislation to end the offshore bank and corporate secrecy system. To abolish tax havens. This could happen if, under another President (not a Clintonite/Third Way/corporate Democrat), the U.S. Treasury decides that it will not accept bank transfers from banks running secret shell company accounts. (Treasury already bans transfers from banks it deems connected to terrorists.) Game over.
Here are photos of people on the march. They are passionate, committed. They would work to abolish the offshore system in a heartbeat if they only knew about it.
So, yes, it’s very complicated.
But you can’t fight the corrupt offshore system unless the Berniecrats help the public get more sophisticated. Otherwise, they can’t win. Otherwise billions will continue to be siphoned off by the Trump/rightwing/Republicans/Third Way Clintonite Dems. And nothing will change. Time to move beyond simple phrases and educate the public about how the corrupt tax evasion system works. Through tax havens, the offshore bank and corporate secrecy system. Hiding/moving money through secret accounts. Setting up shell (fake) companies that launder profits so they disappear. It’s why some major U.S. corporations pay zero taxes.
I propose a hashtag #abolishtaxhavens.