April 5. The most important service done by the releasing of the “Panama Papers” is not revealing the names of the big shots hiding money in banks where they pay no taxes. Better it makes very public the fact that trillions and trillions of dollars are hidden away from the tax man and employees by the super rich. The whining by the 1% that companies “can’t afford” raises or that taxes would “soak the rich” and kill the “golden goose” are shown to be spectacular lies.
It’s known for many years that trillions are kept “offshore”, but the writing of the tax experts never got that much attention. The term “offshore” applies to money supposedly invested in little island nations that charge little or no taxes for people to park their money there. I say supposedly because lots of the money is actually being “managed” right in the U.S. with the overseas account as a fig leaf of foreign ownership.
Back in 2012 James S. Henry, former director of economic research for McKinsey and Company gave this estimate of the amount of money being held “offshore”:
“A significant fraction of global private financial wealth — by our estimates, at least $21 to $32 trillion as of 2010 — has been invested virtually tax free through the world’s still expanding black hole of more than 80 “offshore” secrecy jurisdictions. We believe this range to be conservative…”
Gabriel Zucman worked at the numbers a different way in his 2015 book “The Hidden Wealth of Nations” and came up with a much lower, but still amazing $7.6 trillion in hidden money. The book was widely and positively reviewed. Henry and another hidden money researcher John Christensen say the number is “way too low”. They make a good case.
At any rate the amount of money hidden away by the really rich is really, really enormous. So when they say they can’t pay you can safely and precisely say, “Bull$**&”!
Here’s a mini-booklet on the subject from a couple of years ago here. It doesn’t even have to be updated.