Super Rich hiding $21 Trillion in tax havens.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Wealth!
Actually, the number could be as high as $32 trillion.
That's more than the U.S. and Japanese economies combined.
Mitt Romney has a havens all over the planet, just to avoid taxes.
What he did is technically legal, but shouldn't we expect better behavior from someone who wants to be President?
Relatable Romney, what do you have to say for yourself???
"Even the rich don't go broke like the rest of us." - Selina Kyle
Batman is everywhere.
In all seriousness, can you even imagine how much money $32 trillion is?
not enough to end a migraine...
What happens when the machines freeze or crash?
I can't imagine $32 trillion, though. At some point, reality is just suspended. It does give perspective to value creation though. What if they are really just holding out for the giving pledge? ;)
I became cynical about the Giving Pledge when I saw Larry Ellison's name on it.
Margaret Thatcher said in 1990 about the Euro: "You cannot have a common currency without a common government"
I think it's fair to expand upon that to say "You cannot have a common economy without a common government"
What we're facing here, is a situation where the very wealthy are able to fully detach themselves from any national government and literally shop their domicile to the lowest bidder. I don't believe this is something national governments can effectively combat without some form of global suzerainty, which in itself is far more dangerous and cause more harm than any trans-national elite could ever inflict.
There is a common thread between these tax haven states: almost universally, they do not tax outside their borders, particularly they do not tax _income_ generated from foreign sources.
Since all of these assets are tied up in Panamanian, or Manx, or Jersey, or Lichtensteinian, or Caribbean, or Swiss, or Emirati banks, they cannot be used by first world banks, where it is so desperately needed, to create new (stable, asset-backed) money.
The smart thing to do is to reorient our tax code away from incomes and towards transactions and consumption and let these rich bastards repatriate their money into banks where it could be put to economic use. It isn't 'fair' but the benefits of repatriation will drastically outweigh the ongoing loss of tax revenue.
Consumption based taxes are often regressive since a person who makes 20 million dollars in a year is likely to not spend most of it.
It's a tough problem.
I think the experience of California's wildly fluctuating revenues from it's progressive income and capital gains taxes tends to show us that the wealthy tend to make money in large erratic spurts and rarely at times when governments need the revenues the most. Our tax system needs to primarily rely upon the economic actions of the 99%, which is far more stable over the long term.
What we need is a tax system which is simple, comprehensive, and ubiquitous. I favor a comprehensive negative VAT on goods, services, and securities to replace all taxes except property taxes, with absolutely no deductions except one: natural persons, if they have earned income, can choose either a standard credit of $10000, as under a negative income tax, or to a refund of itemized VAT taxes they've paid on goods and/or services. Corporate persons would not have a choice and would have to itemize, and could not claim a credit greater than the tax collected.
Since a VAT is, essentially, a sales tax where the taxes you pay are deducted from the taxes you 'collect' (on earned incomes it would be a slightly different line item on your paystub), if you include services in the VAT schedule (VATs typically do not include services, they're taxed as income, in order to slam a double whammy on earned incomes) and permit no special treatment, no deductions, no tiered schedules, then such a VAT becomes a transactional tax on consumption, with inherently progressive effects.
A highly profitable company (or person) would 'collect' a much larger tax in selling their goods and/or services and/or labor than they would ever 'pay' in procuring goods/services/labor. Also, excessive debt would be discouraged as interest and fee charges would also be taxed (It's rather silly that rental of money is treated differently from rental of things).
The concept is rather more comprehensive than I care to go into at 1am, but that's the jist of it.
While we're at it, I'd like corporations to no longer get the Prop 13 benefit in California.
I believe they're getting the Lion's Share of the tax benefits of Prop 13, not citizens.