The Taxmen's Union

By Ciesla, Eileen | The American Spectator, April 2001 | Go to article overview

The Taxmen's Union


Ciesla, Eileen, The American Spectator


The world's high-tax governments pledge solidarity forever

Last June, the 30 industrialized nations that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) blacklisted 41 tax havens, mostly small islands and principalities from the Bahamas and Bahrain, to Liberia, Liechtenstein, and the United States Virgin Islands. Alter your financial privacy laws and stop preferential tax treatment for foreigners by July 31, they were told, or face sanctions from member states. So far the Bush administration shows little inclination to alter the U.S. position supporting the blacklist or to extend the deadline.

Despite claims that the intent is simply to expose illegal activity, the clear purpose of the blacklist is to make it easier for OECD states to keep their own taxes too high. "This is really a means of grabbing more revenue for high-tax European nations," explains the Heritage Foundation's Dan Mitchell. If successful, it would "destroy the competitive pressure to keep tax rates down."

Today the havens present a real-- and growing-check on high tax governments. Globalization and the Internet have made it easier for investors to move their assets into offshore tax shelters. The number of such funds has skyrocketed, from 450 in 1986 to 6,000 in 1998. But the OECD claims that over $1 trillion is invested in offshore funds. Peeling back the tax havens' privacy veil, says Mitchell, "is a move towards a worldwide system of taxation based on `information exchange.' That's a system where all countries agree to eliminate financial privacy so their governments can go on fishing expeditions for more revenue."

Spokesman Nicholas Bray denies the OECD is trying to tell any country how to set its tax rates, saying tax cheats are its only goal. "Democracies need governments and governments need to levy taxes in order to provide services," says Bray. "When a person is living in a country, benefiting from these services and not paying their fair share of taxes, it puts an unfair burden on those who do." Or it sends a signal to high tax governments to back off, helping all taxpayers.

Six of the tax havens caved to the OECD pressure right away: Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, and San Marino. But negotiations between the remaining havens and the OECD have made little progress. The Isle of Man and the Netherlands Antilles agreed to cooperate on the condition that the US., Switzerland, and Luxembourg enact the same reforms.

The point is well made. Several of the OECD nations would qualify for their own blacklist, which requires meeting but one of several criteria: that a nation lack "transparency" in its accounting, or have little exchange of information with foreign tax authorities, or attract foreign investment with no substantial domestic activity. Some US. tax practices and preferences certainly fit the tax-haven description, including taxfree foreign deposits.

Though the OECD itself cannot impose sanctions, the penalties it recommends to member states would be stiff. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Taxmen's Union
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.