Posts Tagged ‘tax havens’

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RENDER THEREFORE UNTO CAESAR

May 4, 2009

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When most of us hear economists and pundits talk about off-shore tax havens, we have a general understanding of what that means: large corporations hiding profits in bank accounts in other countries so as not to pay taxes on those profits.

I did a little research on one of the ways that tax havens are used. My illustration is based on an imaginary company because I obviously do not have access to the records of real companies.

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So the company that should pay 35% on the net profit of their printer only pays about 6.4%. Our corporate tax rate might be one of the highest in the industrialized world, but it’s NOT what our corporations are actually paying.

Thanks to the Obama administration, we now have plenty of information on tax havens and the greed being displayed by these corporations and their officers.

The report just released by the US Senate is alarming. It appears that there is in the neighborhood of 12 TRILLION dollars in off-shore tax havens. It also appears that there are nearly 13,000 companies using the same address in the Cayman Islands as their “headquarters.”

It has come to our attention that virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are against closing the tax loopholes that allow these tax havens as President Obama has asked congress to do. What we also know is the reason: many of these corporations have spent millions funding the campaigns of these politicians.

Notice that President Obama is not the least bit concerned about these corporations, which means (for me) that he is not indebted to them.

The GOP is doing everything it can to block this legislation. The Democrats that are also opposed are being less vocal. Warren Buffet had this to say about the super rich tax “burden.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I take advantage of every tax deduction that is allotted me. I am employed full-time by another company and I also have a very small recording studio business whose only employee is me. My taxes are prepared by a CPA who keeps up on all the latest changes in the tax code and uses up-to-date software to insure that my tax return is accurate. My complaint is with the corporations buying access to legislators, thereby influencing tax policy in their favor, which depletes revenues to our government and greatly reduces its ability to provide critical services to our citizens.

These corporate CEOs drive the same highways I drive. They are protected by police, firefighters, and emergency paramedics – same as me. They use the same side streets I use. They are guided by the same street signs and traffic lights. They are provided access to the public airwaves for TV, radio and emergencies, just like me. They have access to clean water, electricity and natural gas and pay the same rates I pay. They use the airports and the services of air traffic controllers, just as I do. Their children have access to public education, just like my children.

And for those CEOs that call themselves Christians, here’s what Jesus had to say in Matthew 22: 20-22:

(20)  “And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?”

(21) “They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

(22) “When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”

If you live in America and enjoy this democratic society that affords us the freedoms and liberties we all cherish, then pay your taxes, damn it!

Rant over.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com