Dr. Margaret Flowers - Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland - calls for Congressional action to enforce tax justice and stop the hiding of trillions of dollars of individual and corporate wealth in "offshore" accounts in the more than 90 countries and US states such as Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming that serve as tax havens.
According to a study by the Tax Justice Network, a conservative estimate of up to $32 trillion in global assets have been invested virtually tax-free in the international 'offshore economy' - nations or jurisdictions whose laws allow asset holders to remain anonymous and avoid tax obligations. This is equivalent to the size of the two of the top three largest global economies, the United States and Japan.
"As we are re-discovering in the recently-released Panama Papers, which give us a pinhole look into the world of wealth-hiding," said Flowers, "communities, cities and entire nations do not have the tax base they need to provide basic services because trillions in taxable income is being hidden. If this money were kept in country and taxed, many nations would be debt-free. In the US, this wealth could fund improvements to schools and infrastructure or investment in the green energy economy in a way that creates high quality jobs and yearly dividends to the public.
The ultra-wealthy are evading paying their fair share in taxes by hiding their assets in fake companies and secret accounts. This is not news but it is time for a new push for Congress to take action and remedy the situation."
Flowers urges Congress to take immediate action to curb the practice of hiding taxable income, including:
-enforcing stiffer penalties for offending institutions, including revoking the corporate charters of accounting and law firms and banks that facilitate the hiding of global wealth;
-cracking down on U.S. jurisdictions like Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada whose laws allow shell corporations to hold and transfer wealth anonymously;
-creating an independent global commission on tax dodging that has the subpoena power to investigate and bring transparency to this global shadow banking system; and
instituting a global tax on all earnings by US-based multinational corporations.
Flowers rejects repatriation tax holidays that give amnesty to multinational corporations and reinforce their misbehavior.
"Tax avoidance has done great harm to governments large and small by forcing cuts to public necessities," said Flowers. "It has driven severe wealth inequality. These facts have been known for decades and yet little has been done about it because the offending wealthy individuals and multinational corporations finance the campaigns of our lawmakers.
We need to elect more Green Party candidates because they do not accept corporate or PAC donations. In the Senate, I will fight to hold the wealthy and corporations accountable."
Clearing the FOG Radio (The Panama Papers and the Shadow World of Finance): http://goo.gl/YoYaOs
"The Price of Offshore Revisited" by the Tax Justice Network: http://goo.gl/WPo5od
The FACT Coalition Tax Policy: http://goo.gl/OFMrJ3