Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Senator Max Baucus & His Long History with Offshore Tax Havens

Robert Reich called Obama's offshore tax exclusion crack down a strategic bargaining chip for health care reform. Senator Max Baucus, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, controls both tax policy and health care reform. Max wasn't as keen on the offshore measures. The AP reported:

Sen. Max Baucus said the plan needed further study, even though similar ideas have been around for years.

I recall the Wylys' case coming before Max's committee. It was May 3, 2007. This is Senator Baucus' opening statement:

World trade has certainly generated a good return: the world’s pension, insurance, and mutual fund business now totals at least $46 trillion, the world’s stock market capitalization is more than$40 trillion, and the world’s credit derivatives market amounts to more than $250 trillion.
It took another year and a half for that rosy scenario to implode. Max issued a charge that spring 2007 day:

So today we will examine the effort to combat tax evasion. In days to come, this committee will ask where our tax system should fit in the new global economy.

Bush Pioneer level donors, Charles & Sam Wyly, took up hundreds of pages of a report on offshore tax dodges. Max spoke of their scheme.

Consider these offshore tax scams that have recently come to light: two brothers (Sam & Charles Wyly) from Texas set up 58 separate trusts as shell corporations, sheltering tens of billions of dollars of assets on which they avoided paying taxes.

The Telegraph UK had this to say about the Wyly's in 2008. It didn't mention their offshore tax avoidance. The brothers were #51 on a list of most influential U.S. conservatives:


The Wyly brothers or "Wyly coyotes" are billionaire Texas businessmen and major Republican donors who paid for television advertisements that blasted John McCain in 2000 but later gave money to his 2008 campaign. Are estimated to have given about $10 million to Republican causes and $90 million to charity.

Born in Louisiana, Charles is the elder brother while Sam reportedly enjoys the higher net worth. Founded the craft chain Michaels and their interests include oil, mining, restaurant and retail holdings. Intensely private, their political contributions make them major players behind the scenes.

Max's committee and a Corporacrat Congress did nothing. Senator Baucus never spoke the names of the influential tax avoiding brothers during his Senate Finance Committee hearing. That's funny as the pair took up hundreds of pages of the report.

The good Senator needs more time to think? Right! He may need time to protect his corporate sponsors. Rest assured, Max will look after his business benefactors under any scenario, individual mortgage cram under bankruptcy, reining in offshore tax abuses, and health care reform.

Expect Max to look after corporations under health care reform. Think "individual pays, private plans." The Senate Finance Committee's tea leaves indicate continued corporafornication.

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