Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Protesters make their feelings about the prime minister known as they march through London. (Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Dodgy Dave and How the Panama Papers Reveal Scandalous Hypocrisy

Jim Hightower

 by Creators.com

It's always educational to observe the behavior of wildlife in their natural habitat. For example, we learn that there's nothing more vicious than a wild animal that's cornered. I would add that there's nothing more devious than a top political or corporate official caught in a scandalous hypocrisy.

"We've known for a while that tax dodging is a common plutocratic scam, but the details from the leaked files of an obscure Panamanian law firm named Mossack Fonseca now gives us names to shame."

We're now bearing witness to this latter phenomenon, for a whole menagerie of political critters have recently been screeching and scrambling after being backed into a corner by the "Panama Papers." This is a trove of thousands of internet documents leaked to global media outlets, revealing that assorted billionaires, rich celebrities, corporate chieftains, and — yes — pious public officials have been hiding their wealth and dodging the taxes they owe by stashing their cash in foreign tax havens. Of course, we've known for a while that tax dodging is a common plutocratic scam, but the details from the leaked files of an obscure Panamanian law firm named Mossack Fonseca now gives us names to shame.

One is David Cameron, the ardently conservative prime minister of Britain, who has loudly declaimed tax sneaks in public. But — oops! — Now we learn that his own super-wealthy father was a Mossack Fonseca client, and that David himself has profited from the stealth wealth he inherited from the elder Cameron's secret stash.

Trapped by the facts, the snarling, privileged prime minister used middle-class commoners as his shield, asserting that critics of his secluded wealth are trying to "tax anyone who [wants] to pass on their home... to their children." Uh-uh, David - we merely want to tax those who try to pass-off tax frauds on the public.

One of Cameron's partisans even claimed that critics "hate anybody who has a hint of wealth in them." No, it's the gross, self-serving hypocrisy of the elites that people hate. Yet now, doubling down on their hypocrisy, Cameron & Company have announced that they'll host an anticorruption summit meeting to address the problem of offshore tax evaders!

The global web of corruption involving thousands of superrich tax dodgers and money launderers that the Panama Paper reveal is an explosive scandal — yet, interestingly, very few names of the moneyed elite in our country have surfaced as players in Mossack Fonseca's Panamanian shell game. Perhaps US billionaires and corporations are just more honest than those elsewhere.

Ha-ha-ha, just kidding! Not more honest, just luckier. You see, America's conniving richies don't have to go to Panama to set up an offshore flim flam — they have the convenience of hiding their money and wrongdoings in secret accounts created right here in states like Delaware and Nevada.

The New York Times notes that it's easier in some states to form a dummy money corporation than it is to get a fishing license. Indeed, the ease of doing it, and the state laws that provide strict secrecy for those hiding money, have made the U.S.A. a global magnet for international elites wanting to conceal billions of dollars from their own tax collectors, prosecutors... and general public.

State officials in Delaware even travel to Brazil, Israel, Spain and other nations to tell "the Delaware story," inviting rich foreign interests to stash their cash in corporate hideaways that the state sets up, no questions asked. Likewise, Nevada flashes a dazzling neon sign inviting the global rich to incorporate their very own shell corporations there, promising — shhhh — "minimal reporting and disclosing requirements." The money-hiding industry is so hot in Nevada that it attracted none other than Mossack Fonseca to get in the action by opening a branch office there.

The law firm is being branded as a criminal enterprise for the rich. OK, but it shares that shameful brand with our own state governments.


© 2021 Creators Syndicate
Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the books "Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow" (2008) and "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos: A Work of Political Subversion" (1998). Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'We Can Do Better' Than Biden's Paltry Student Debt Relief Plan, Says AOC

The president's approach, said the New York Democrat, is "just enough to anger the people against it *and* the people who need forgiveness the most."

Julia Conley ·


Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse

The U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority could soon "obliterate even the mildest of gun regulations in service of its gun lobby masters."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Enough Is Enough!': Thousands Protest Outside NRA Convention in Texas

"I'm just tired of the NRA subordinating children's rights for gun rights," said one gun lobby opponent just three days after the school massacre in Uvalde.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Manchin of the House' Kurt Schrader Officially Defeated in Oregon Primary

"This win proves that voters are hungry for leaders who will fight for working families, not billionaires and Big Pharma," said one group that backed progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Jake Johnson ·


Science Journal Editorial Says 'Minions' of NRA 'Must Be Defeated' to Save Nation

"A nation of children threatened by gun violence does not have a future."

Andrea Germanos ·

Common Dreams Logo