Posted February 27, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.”
– Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Have you ever heard of the phrase “neutral taxation”? How about “tax optimization”? Well, these are terms used by the largest accounting firms in the world to describe, frankly: “tax evasion“. And just who are these large accounting firms – these companies that most people believe are the ones making sure every document adds up to the last penny; that the tax filings of their customers are 100% accurate? And why is it that most people are unaware that the massive tax haven/evasion industry has operated for decades, and that real estate multi-millionairess Leona Helmsley’s viral pre-internet remark made over 20 years ago – “Only the little people pay taxes” – remains true in the year 2014?
The “Big Four” accounting firms responsible for the global tax haven industry:
Price Waterhouse Cooper
Ernst & Young
Most people are unaware of the fact that a massive tax avoidance industry has operated with impunity for decades around the world because no government officials have had the courage to expose the industry or take any action whatsoever to shut it down. Because no media corporations, owned by tax haven users and receiving multi-billions of dollars from corporations using tax havens, have had the incentive to tell the truth.
Because virtually any corporations with the resources to advertise on mainstream media outlets are using the “Big Four” accounting firms to escape payment of taxes, owners of those media corporations would, if their news divisions reported what was truly occurring regarding massive tax evasion by transnational corporations, lose almost all of their best, highest paying advertisers.
Because virtually every member of the United States Congress and Senate depends on campaign contributions from the major facilitators of tax schemes – the finance sector/banking corporations, as well as corporations/wealthy individuals who employ tax schemes – and many politicians use tax avoidance schemes themselves, no laws have been passed to close down tax evasion estimated in the hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars through recent decades.
If not for an explosive expose and release of banking records from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) a few years ago by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ – icij.org), comparable to recent leaks of “inconvenient” information from Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and others, the tax haven industry would have kept humming along as it has for decades. Seeing that ICIJ released their explosive, avalanche of records around three years ago, and that tax havens continue to operate in dozens of locations around the world, it would seem that the industry is for the most part still humming along.
It is of no small interest to note that the government in the BVI has considered creating laws which result in prison sentences up to 20 years for persons leaking financial records after ICIJ’s massive release of records.
“Tax Free Tour” is a film which delves directly into the secretive world of tax havens and tax avoidance schemes facilitated by the previously mentioned “Big Four” global accounting corporations, the largest banks operating on every continent in the world, the highest priced law firms, and, frankly, elected political officials from low, medium, high, and highest levels of power.
These political “leaders”, when pressed to comment on the huge amounts of revenues being squirreled away and out of the public’s notice (remember, this industry has hummed along for decades), respond with empty words while feigning outrage. Statements to the effect of “this is intolerable…” and “we will put a stop to this…” and “steps must be taken..” etc., have not been met with the actions required to match the empty words. The hypocrisy displayed by politicians on this enormously important matter, the lying expressed by “I am just learning about this secretive practice” – while every politician has been fully aware of tax havens all along – is profoundly stunning.
Like all true criminals, corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals utilize deception, trickery, and disguise to carry out their crimes of tax evasion. One of the most damaging results of this worldwide practice is the aiding and abetting being done by the elected representatives of many nations around the Earth. The worst consequences have been felt by what has become known as the “99%” of the human race, now enduring depression-like conditions in nations around the Earth.
Most men and women remember the enormous media reporting that occurred surrounding the Bill Clinton impeachment proceedings. The issue was whether or not the President of the United States had, or did not have, “sex with that woman”. Across America (and around the world) citizens endured bombardment with news reports about Clinton’s impeachment day after day after day, night after night after night, week after week after week, and month after month after month.
And how many reports on tax havens – a worldwide trillion-dollar tax evasion scheme that has been secretly running entire nations and populations into the economic ground for decades? That has resulted in the greatest level of wealth inequality in the history of mankind here in the year 2014?
How many reports?…
(Thank you to VPROinternational at YouTube)