Posted on June 1, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.”
– THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1858-1919) 26th President of the United States
The men and women who’ve attended Bilderberg 2014 will take no action to end the decades-old, global tax evasion/tax haven industry. If anything at all is done, it will be dramatic speeches which feign outrage against such an injustice, while resulting in more “working on it” and “we are studying the issue.” It’s astonishing to notice that in France, where Francois Hollande called for an end to tax havens – the only national leader to issue such a direct statement on the issue – that the right-wing in that nation won in recent voting.
Recently, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a plea-bargain agreement with Switzerland mega-bank Credit Suisse for an over 2 billion dollar fine for tax evasion efforts the bank carried out for wealthy American clients. Credit Suisse did not lose its license to operate in America, and none of Credit Suisse’s executives will spend a day in jail. Many journalists have compared the sentence of a woman Occupy protester to three months behind bars for elbowing a police officer to the lack of jail time/sentencing for any Credit Suisse executives.
And that comparison pretty much sums it up regarding the two-tiered criminal justice system on Earth. The U.S. Justice Department missed a tremendous opportunity to apply a real deterrent by holding Credit Suisse and its executives’ feet to the fire. The DOJ could have demanded the names of every American citizen who broke the tax laws with Credit Suisse’ help by threatening to take away their license to do business in America, but this may have been “a little embarrassing” for those Americans – so the monetary penalty option was chosen.
Perhaps more relevant than embarrassment would be worldwide publicity for the tax criminals, as well as even-more elite-distressing widespread awareness of the tax haven industry by men and women from that rapidly shrinking segment of the population that gets their “news” from the corporate media, 6-o’clock broadcasts. Could it be that the DOJ in America didn’t push all the way to obtain those Swiss tax-criminals’ names because keeping the names secret would avert an “American shit storm”?
Yes, it not only could be – it was the reason.
How ironic that a woman – Cecily McMillan – who participated in protests against the “1%” on Wall Street – the same 1% represented by Credit Suisse and its American tax cheat clients – will spend three months behind steel bars, while Credit Suisse executives receive punishment the equal to average folks’ leaving a tip at the restaurant on Saturday night after the movie. Yes, it certainly is ironic, just like the Alanis Morissette song which gained popularity years ago.
(Thank you to A&E @ YouTube)
Perhaps there is some value in probing a little deeper into the contrast between Cecily McMillan’s “crime” and the criminal actions of Credit Suisse and its American clients. A good place to begin is identifying the motivation of the separate cases and individuals. Ms. McMillan had as a primary motivation the wish to help create a fairer, more just, and better world for all people everywhere. Credit Suisse and its clients were primarily motivated in breaking the law through evasion of tax payments, in the overall scenario where both clients and bank owners would increase the numbers in their respective bank accounts.
Ms. McMillan threw an elbow at another human being, the results of which, with regard to causing any permanent injury of any kind, are unknown. In the case of Credit Suisse, people will never know the true extent of monetary loss to the United States government because a lump sum, without investigation and accounting to arrive at an actual dollar amount, was the option “agreed on.” During the “decades” which Eric Holder told reporters was the amount of time Credit Suisse had engaged in tax evasion services for clients, how much money did the mega-bank make?
The settled-upon fine was a little over 2 billion dollars. Has Credit Suisse netted profits well over that amount in the past twenty or so years? Could their profits from tax evasion services been 20 billion, or 40 billion, or 100 billion? Let’s say it was 100 billion. Credit Suisse probably put that money through the years into interest-earning instruments, so the total amount from tax evasion services may greatly exceed 100 billion dollars.
According to James Henry of Tax Justice Network, the mega-bank’s stock rose in price after the plea-bargain arrangement was reached, so people can understand why one of Credit Suisse’ top executives said after the deal, “this will have trivial, minor effect on our performance.” And what offer did Cecily McMillan get so that she could pay a fine instead of going to prison? Was she ever offered a “plea-bargain”, the chance to fork over some cash and avoid jail-time?
As we compare the two different class-related cases, Ms. McMillan has a felony on her record, the Credit Suisse executives do not. Ms. McMillan didn’t embezzle the police officer’s bank account(s) to the tune of multi-billions of dollars, and she didn’t take a penny from the government accounts that hold funds for financing the United States’ food stamp program. Ms. McMillan didn’t take a penny from any university students struggling to pay their tuitions and living expenses. She never reached into anyone’s pocket and stole jobs held by teachers, police officers, or firefighters, or Veterans Administration physicians.
Ms. McMillan elbowed a law enforcement officer, but she didn’t steal billions of dollars from the United States government. She was never proven guilty of taking money from government accounts which paid for psychological treatment of veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, or Korea.
Now, who are the real criminals on this Earth? The 99% or the 1%?
For the answer turn your eyes toward Bilderberg.
Visit the Tax Justice Network
(Thank you to TheRealNews @ YouTube)