$50 Billion Missing!
According to media reports, aides to Obama say that within weeks of taking power he'll introduce stringent anti-tax haven measures within. He'll be doing this in a bid to capture what his aides claim is an estimated US$50 billion in supposedly lost U.S. annual tax revenue.
The public relations excuse for this major disruption of free capital flow and trade policies will be its inclusion in a wide-ranging revenue-raising and tax "reform" package.
After all - the argument will go - who can oppose grabbing an alleged $50 billion from tax evaders when the U.S. budget and economy are in such terrible shape?
Just as Bush used the 9/11 terror attacks as false justification for the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act, Obama will use the domestic and world financial crisis as cover for his own aggressive violation of constitutional rights.
Key provisions in this radical plan include full disclosure on ownership of trusts that are now private, restrictions on fees for specified offshore tax services by U.S. professionals and "tighter surveillance," (whatever that means), of offshore jurisdictions which refuse to kow-tow to IRS demands for accessing offshore tax information.
Washington sources say leading accountancy and legal professionals, expecting a fierce battle to improve the worst of these proposals, have already hired lobbyists.
This all fits in with growing international pressure to outlaw tax havens as a part of "reforms" to the world's faltering financial system. The leaders of the world's 20 most powerful economies will gather for a major conference in Washington next weekend. Look for the meeting's agenda to include an attack on tax havens and an endorsement in principle of Obama's anti-haven plans.
BOB BAUMAN, Legal Counsel