Bernie Sanders called it. The newly leaked Panama Papers uncover how everyone from the prime minister of Iceland to human traffickers hide not billions, but trillions of dollars in secret offshore tax havens. The papers have identified 140 politicians and public officials, but there are more scoundrels to come.
Way back in 2011, Sanders gave a speech to the Senate on the Panama Free Trade Agreement (PTFA), where he questioned our country’s motives, given that Panama has long had a reputation as a tax haven. Sanders said that the US was giving up any power to catch tax cheats:
“…the trade agreement with Panama would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama. In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities.”
Conversely, Hillary Clinton was an energetic supporter of the PTFA:
“The Free Trade Agreements passed by Congress tonight will make it easier for American companies to sell their products to South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will create jobs here at home. The Obama Administration is constantly working to deepen our economic engagement throughout the worked and these agreements are an example of that commitment.”
“The Free Trade Agreements passed by Congress tonight will make it easier for American companies to sell their products to South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will create jobs here at home. The Obama administration is constantly working to deepen our economic engagement throughout the worked and these agreements are an example of that commitment.”
The Panama Papers come from a large group of investigative journalists and contain 11.5 million documents. That is a lot of tax cheaters, and the German paper” Sueddeutsche Zeitung,” which leaked the papers, has not even released any information on the US!
According to author of “The Hidden Wealth Of Nations: The Scourge Of Tax Havens Gabriel Zucman, tax havens hold $7.6 trillion in individual assets or approximately 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth. Zucman thinks US citizens stashed a minimum of $1.2 trillion offshore, losing $200 billion per year in lost taxes!
Zucman points out that US multinational corporations save $130 billion by avoiding paying the taxes they legitimately owe.
In Sanders’ speech, he noted that Panama’s economy was just $26.7 billion a year. It wasn’t as if the little country would help our country’s economy in any significant way. It didn’t create a noticeable number of jobs.
Sanders pointed out that Panama is one of the drug cartels’ favorite money laundering locations:
“Finally, Panama is also listed by the State Department as a major venue for Mexican and Colombian drug cartel money laundering. Should we be rewarding this country with a free trade agreement? I think the answer should be a resounding no.”
People don’t trust Clinton. Their instincts have proven to be exceedingly accurate.
Check out Sander’s early warning in his speech to the Senate:
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