Welcome to THE COMMONS – News and Views for Windham County, Vermont
The Pandore Pafter, published in early October, are the product of massive data leaks carefully analyzed by more than 600 journalists around the world. They unmask the secret ways the world’s super-rich hide billions of dollars and dodge taxes – not just on a sandy Caribbean island, but right here in the United States.
Billionaires and crooks around the world now view the United States as an offshore tax haven. They bring their treasure to “secret jurisdictions” such as South Dakota, Delaware, Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire.
My role in the publication of the Pandora Papers was to serve as an advanced source for foreign journalists to understand the American system of wealth concealment. I sat down on my farm in Guilford and spoke to reporters in Mexico, Brazil, England and Argentina about why their crooks and oligarchs were parking money in the United States.
The Pandora list doesn’t include many super-rich Americans, even though they use the same toolkit of offshore banks, anonymous shell companies, and blackout trusts.
That’s because this mine of leaks comes from offshore wealth consultancy firms in 12 countries, including Samoa, Cyprus, and Belize – not places super-rich American citizens go to for financial services.
And more often than not, American billionaires don’t need to go abroad.
The United States has become a tax haven over the past 30 years because a number of states have changed their laws to accommodate anonymous shell companies and unlimited life trusts.
South Dakota comes under scrutiny in this report, as it leads the pack of entities known as “dynasty trusts,” where wealthy families bet billions with the intention of making money. ‘avoid taxes for centuries.
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Tits hidden–richness system causes six serious damages to Vermont and to communities around the world.
1. It allows the plundering of the wealth of nations, particularly hurting the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world. Some of the shady figures backing their assets in the United States are dictators and politicians who have stolen public funds as well as business owners who have broken their country’s laws.
The United States is now complicit in these crimes, providing a getaway car in the form of secret trusts and anonymous companies.
2. The hidden wealth system leads to tax hikes on the non-rich. When billionaires and global corporations dodge and evade their tax responsibilities, they are passing the costs of public services on everyone.
When the rich don’t pay, they burden the rest of us with the bills of pandemic response, veteran care, and funding for infrastructure and schools.
3. The secret funding system empowers bad payers and criminals, allowing them to mix funds in secret.
4. The system reduces donations to nonprofit charities, our vibrant independent nonprofit sector. Philanthropy experts are finding that tax havens are increasingly diverting money from charities.
5. Money is pouring into the US real estate markets, driving up the cost of housing for the non-wealthy and contributing to the extreme affordable housing crisis in many communities.
Many land and home purchases are not even occupied – they are âwealth storage unitsâ for the world’s rich looking to park their assets in stable markets.
6. Finally, the hidden wealth system contributes to the growing inequality of wealth. It allows some families to create dynasties of billion dollar inherited wealth while making everyone else’s life more economically precarious.
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we legislators could shut down this hidden wealth system if they mustered the political will to do so.
They could invest in tax enforcement, rebuild the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to monitor the financial gambling of the super-rich, and enforce existing tax laws.
They could regulate or ban trusts and transactions that serve no purpose other than tax evasion.
Following the Pandora Papers, some lawmakers introduced the ENABLERS Act, to require due diligence declaration laws for “intermediary” entities involved in the flow of wealth such as lawyers, art dealers and asset managers. patrimony.
At the end of the day, it’s a global system. And the United States will need to adhere to global treaties to raise standards and ensure global cooperation to eradicate money laundering.
The rest of the world is leading the way and the United States must join the movement.
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