More Swiss banks are dropping out of the U.S. banking program that the IRS supposedly uses to prevent American citizens from stashing cash overseas to avoid taxes. Known for 100 years as the original tax haven, free from the prying eyes of governments around the world, Swiss banks have provided banking services that guaranteed anonymity to arms dealers, Nazis, and law-abiding Americans alike.
Offshore banks, especially Swiss banks, are not generally used to evade taxes, however. The government already has enforcement mechanisms in place to prevent tax evasion by the use of offshore banks by American citizens. No smart, rich person, with competent advice, would attempt such a thing. Instead rich people—like the few doctors left who have money-- use offshore banks to protect assets from lawyers and lawsuit seekers who would try to take those assets away. If assets are stashed overseas, they are generally immune from attachment by lawyers. In the asset protection world, this is known as a lawsuit avoidance strategy.
But using this as an excuse their hunt for tax cheats-- and the war on terror-- the United States has been pushing overseas banks for access to private banking information from banks with no legal obligation to cooperate with a government that has no jurisdiction over them.
Like banks in Switzerland.
Now, however, some Swiss banks are having second thoughts.
At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources.
Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U.S. authorities in a programme brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding tax evasion.
The key here is the phrase “make amends”. There is no mention of illegality here because Swiss banks fall under Swiss laws. But instead we are presented with a “Golly, gee, we sure are sorry that we broke no laws that we are bound to enforce, so have some cash anyway”-type pledge from Swiss banks that make it seem like the U.S. government and Swiss banks are really swell friends who need to make up.
And since U.S. banks are playing the same game with Obama and Eric Holder, I think the Swiss banks ought to be applauded for stopping that type of nonsense. No one should evade taxes, but the heavy hand of the government is prying into areas into which they have no legal right to go.
Like Switzerland. And home mortgages.
Why? Money, that’s why.
Because the program cited in the Swiss banking example is a variation on a scheme that the government is using here at home
There’s a growing need for banking reform in the United States. But it’s not the type of reform that Obama and his pals favor. Instead, using all the coercive powers of the federal government, the administration from “Chicago” has engaged in a greenmail campaign, long ago perfect by liberal special interests.
Growing up in Chicago I was witness to how Jesse Jackson Sr. and Operation PUSH would shake down companies for money in return for not being “hit” by special interests with the tag of being racist by the King of Black people.
It worked, keeping the Reverend Jackson and his various community organized confidence schemes in funds that he still lives off of.
So it’s hardly surprising that the Emperor of Black America, Barack Obama—who is at least Chicago-plated-- would bring this tactic to D.C.
Under Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, the administration has tagged banks as the bad guys—banks that are mostly the creation of the Obama administration genetic experimentation in banking. The government mixed Countrywide with Bank of America, JP Morgan with Bear Stearns, selling off parts of one bank to government-funded banks that were guaranteed by the Obama administration to make profits.
The ruse works like this: The Obama administration in conjunction with various “community organizations” have been chatting up the terrible wrong-doing that banks did in the 2008 financial crisis. These evil banks loaned the banks' capital to people for whom default was more likely, leaving the bank with large losses. The banks did this because if they didn’t they’d be hit with charges of racism by government types, community organizations and the various enforcement arms of various governmental units.
And for a while everything was lovely. The banks made more profits-- with an implied guarantee from the federal government that they wouldn’t lose money-- the government got their hooks deeper into banks, the real power in capitalist America. But when the economy slowed down and home prices stopped making ridiculous gains year after year, the scheme fell apart. That in part is why we had the 2008 financial crisis in the first place.
So after taking control of the banking system by bailing it out, Holder and Obama have now been going around engaging in “settlement” talks with U.S. banks over supposed abuses in regards to risky mortgage loans that banks took loses on. In return for the quid pro quo of not pursuing criminal charges against JP Morgan employees, for example, Holder and Obama have agreed to take a $13 billion settlement from JP Morgan for loans in made in 2005-2007 by a company that Obama made JP Morgan-- Bears Sterns-- buy with government money during the financial crisis.
$9 billion of that settlement goes to the federal government.
But it’s the criminal charges part that is so worrisome.
It’s why the Swiss should be applauded.
There are too many here in this country that would trade their liberty for a $13 billion settlement that means they—or their employees—won’t have to tangle with a greedy government that has the coercive power to put them in jail. And while the Swiss banks don't have anything like that at stake, they do have the one thing that Swiss banks are supposed to care about: Money.
By giving Eric Holder the finger it means they won’t be parting with any.
For me it’s just refreshing for one party, like Swiss banks, to be doing exactly what they should be doing under the law that applies to them.
I remember when that was the rule, not the exception.
Hopefully it spreads here at home.
Time to Scrap Labor Day for 9/11 Day
Note: I'll be running this column on Labor Day until I get my way. It's much easier than holding my breath.
For labor unions around the country, this last Labor Day served as a painful reminder that when they decided to go all-in for Obama in 2008, they alienated the rest of us non-government, non-union members- the 99 Percent- who have to go out and earn our keep every day. And that alienation is being expressed in political defeats by unions around the country.
I’m wondering if the unions are starting to regret their investment in Obama.
Unions dumped $450 million into the Obama effort in 2008, according to the New York Times, hoping that they’d buy political clout with Obama that they don’t actually own on Main Street. But besides the auto bailout, and a few years of government stimulus spending, the strategy has been pretty much a disaster.
“This is not about payback,” the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s director of government affairs told the New York Times. “We’re looking to work with the new administration on a shared set of priorities that focus on lifting workers and improving the economy.”
I think he meant “lifting workers’ wallets.”
Because on the other counts, I think you can call their strategy a failure: No payback for unions and no improving economy.
And just another fine job for liberals, who don’t seems to be able to accomplish even those things that they say they desire.
Instead, the mass of the country has turned on unions, union members, bloated union benefits and even- gasp!- public teachers- who used to be as iconic in America as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and, um… Chevrolet?
The laundry list of failures for the union agenda is really staggering. They spent the most money ever. They elected the greatest president EVER.
But what did they really get? The union has faced the longest string of defeats since the losing streak that started at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Well, they wanted to be in politics. Congrats, Mr. Union. You are now in politics.
Card check? The union equivalent of forced busing and segregation? Voters completely rebuked unions on that one.
Then there was Madison, WI and the recall rebuke when Scott Walker took on teachers’ unions. What do you call it when voters vote a governor back in by recall with a wider margin than he originally received in the general election? A permission slip to give the unions detention.
How about that union fiasco with the National Labor Relations Board trying to stop Boeing Corporation from opening a $1 billion plant in South Carolina because it wasn’t a union shop? Another union disaster where they had to lower their colors.Then unions were rebuffed on the most sacred ground. In December 2012, Michigan voters embraced right to work laws that are tough on union organizers because it allows workers a choice to have unions take dues from their paychecks or not. Yes, in the stronghold of the United Auto Workers, voters said enough.
I say the same thing today. Enough.
It’s past time to do away with the throwaway holiday of Labor Day. Let the Marxists keep May Day, if they wish.
Instead, perhaps on the first Monday in September we should remember things that matter, like those people who died in the 9/11 tragedy.
Let's restore some solemnity to our country; give people time off to grieve, to reflect.
Let's make it a holy day, not just a holiday.
If you agree, please contact your state legislative representative through this link and forward to them the resolution below:
A Resolution Setting Aside One Hour on Labor Day
In Order to Memorialize the Events of September 11th, 2001
Whereas, the people of the state of ________________________ remember the tragedy that befell our country on the 11thof September in the Year 2001; a tragedy which was wholly unprovoked by any policy or action of any citizen or government of the United States;
Whereas, eleven years has passed since the murder of our innocent citizens, who were our brothers, our fathers, our sisters, our mothers, our sons and our daughters;
Whereas, U.S. troops remain in harm’s way as a result of the cowardly attack on the 11thof September, 2001;
Whereas, the people of the state of ________________________ are desirous of memorializing the great sacrifices made by those who gave their lives as a result of the cowardly and unprovoked attack on the 11thof September, 2001, an attack made on peaceful citizens who were laboring towards peaceful pursuits;
Whereas, the people of the state of ________________________ wish to thank those law enforcement officers, public safety officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen who labored through the crisis of the 11thof September, 2001 and those who labor to keep us safe today;
Whereas, the people of the state of ________________________ understand that the common experiences that are shared by all Americans make up the dynamic American community and create the historical experience of being American;
Whereas, the United States has seen fit to set aside the first Monday of September, in every year, as a day to celebrate and honor the dignity of labor and it was labor in which our fellow citizens were engaged when they were attacked;
Whereas, we hold that religion has a special place in society in helping sanctify the dignity of labor and the sacrifices of our fellow citizens;
Whereas, therefore, we here assembled do instruct and ask the members of the ________________________ Legislative delegation to introduce a suitable joint resolution in the ________________________ Legislature inviting all ________________________and, in the name of the ________________________ Legislature, to set aside one hour on the day commonly reserved for Labor Day, in the Year 2013, and all subsequent years, to repair to their respective houses of worship and worship their Creator, each in their best understanding of their Creator and give thanks to Him for His help during our hours of trial and to memorialize the dead of the 11thof September, 2001, and those who subsequently gave their lives that our nation might live;
Whereas, we ask religious organizations to make available to their congregants special services on that day and continue to do so in perpetuity, year after year for as long as it’s deemed necessary to hold the day in remembrance;
Whereas, we call upon our non-religious fellow citizens to only remember in their heart, the whole day, the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 and to be tolerant of those citizens who wish to memorialize and dignify the deaths of their fellow citizens as their conscience dictates.
Whereas, since it is fitting and proper that we do so, we here assembled do instruct and ask the members of the ________________________ Legislative delegation to contact their colleagues in the legislatures of the several states that make up our national Union and invite them to introduce similar resolutions, so that all Americans may remember together the events and sacrifices consequent to the events of September 11th, 2001, for as long as it’s deemed necessary to hold the day in remembrance.
Whereas, we submit this resolution to the people of the state of ________________________ and to the judgment of humankind under our Creator;
Be It Resolved by All Here Assembled.