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Author: Subject: WAGING WAR ON PROSPERITY

Peach Extraordinaire





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  posted on 3/3/2009 at 02:55 PM
As usual Dick "The Kinkmeister" is spot on.

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
Published in the New York Post on March 3, 2009

President Lyndon Johnson's administration was known for his War on Poverty. President Obama's will become notable for his War on Prosperity.

We're speaking, of course, of Obama's plans to hike income taxes on the most wealthy 2 or 3 percent of the nation. He's not just raising the top rate to 39.6 percent; he's also disallowing about one-third of top earner's deductions, whether for state and local taxes, charitable contributions or mortgage interest. This is an effective hike in their taxes by an average of about 20 percent.

And soon the next shoe will drop - he'll announce that he's keeping yet another of his campaign promises: to apply the full payroll tax to all income over $250,000 a year. (Right now, the 15.3 percent Social Security tax only applies to the first $106,800 of income - you neither pay the tax on income above that, nor accumulate added benefit.) For many taxpayers in this bracket, this hike will raise their total taxes by about half.

Finally, he's declaring war on investors by raising the capital-gains-tax rate to 20 percent.

These increases are politically insignificant: The top 2 percent of the nation casts only about 4 percent of the votes, barely enough to attract the notice of even the most meticulous pollsters.

But they have enormous economic significance. Those who earn more than $200,000 pay almost 60 percent of America's income taxes and account for a third of its total disposable income. If these spenders and investors are hunkering down, waiting for the revenuers to beat down their doors, their confidence will be anything but robust. Their spending will drop; they'll be unlikely to invest (except in new tax shelters).

Franklin Roosevelt's presidency was marked by an emphasis on recovery in his first term and class warfare (which he called "reform") in his second. Campaigning for re-election in 1936, FDR famously declared, "I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I would like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master."

Obama seems to have skipped the first-term FDR program and jumped right into the class divisions and warfare of the second.

But the president would do well to remember that Roosevelt's assault on the rich led directly to the recession of 1937-39 - when unemployment soared back up to 19 percent. (It was brought down only by World War II.)

Obama must realize that his tax hikes will dampen investment and consumer spending and prolong and deepen the economy's woes - this is presumably why he's postponing most tax hikes until 2011. But taxpayers, particularly wealthy taxpayers, are not dumb: They'll know what's coming, and look to secure the hatches in advance by sitting on their money.

But then, Obama must also realize that his stimulus package, with its massive growth of government, is going to kindle huge inflation in coming years. And he surely realizes that he can't expand government health insurance as massively as he intends introducing rationing of medical services.

He must know, but not care.

Here is a president who would rather redistribute income than create wealth. He thinks it more important to grow government than to fight inflation. He believes that it is crucial to expand health care to the young and middle aged, even if it means cutting it back for the elderly. He's more committed to effecting "broad change" in his first term than he is to winning a second one.

We have a president, in short, who will stand on his principles. Unfortunately, they're bad ones.

 

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As a patriot and a loyal member of the opposition I pledge to offer our new President the very same benefit of the doubt and unwavering support that the left offered George Bush over the last eight years.

 
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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 10:52 AM
Truth bump.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 01:30 PM
I am pleased that by raising the gains tax back to 20%, that will increase real estate tax deferred exchanges. This will now encourage sellers to sell and buy replacement properties to defer payinmg that tax and as such may help to spur the sagging real estate economy. He did not say whether there will be a reivsion of the current gains tax rules as they relate to residentai sellers. Hopefully he will not toy with that or maybe make it more attractive to encourage sales if there is a gains tax incentive to sell.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 01:35 PM
Has Dick paid his back taxes yet? How unAmerican can you get?

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 04:14 PM
Truth bump

 

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As a patriot and a loyal member of the opposition I pledge to offer our new President the very same benefit of the doubt and unwavering support that the left offered George Bush over the last eight years.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 04:15 PM
quote:
Has Dick paid his back taxes yet? How unAmerican can you get?
Truth bump

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 05:21 PM
When taxing the "rich" doesn't close the deficit gap, and it won't, the war will become much more local to EVERYONE who pays taxes. So, everyone be prepared. He'll make Clinton's record tax increase seem like child's play.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 05:58 PM
Gotta try something.

What we've been doing the last 8 years worked so well.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 06:23 PM
quote:
Gotta try something.

What we've been doing the last 8 years worked so well.
Let's look at what occurred economically in the last 8 years that has hurt us -

-- Giant deficits, reckless spending, and a big expansion of gov't

-- Giving financial institutions anything they wanted via freewheeling Fed/Treasury monetary policy

-- Lack of oversight


Other than the last one, tell me what economic factor is changing for the better?

Oops - I forgot - taxing the rich is gonna fix everything.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 06:47 PM
quote:
God, you people are so smart. Smarter than our elected officials. Why don't some of you head to Washington and fix this country?
Because you can't get elected in this country unless you promise to give people money, grant favors, or both. People who know how to achieve generally want nothing to do with the scum-filled world of politics. Would you want a daily existence of one hand out to collect money for your next election, compromising your principles with every turn?

Here's a suggestion - spend a day or three watching CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business. They all constantly interview business leaders from all walks of life, corporate and private, big and small. The overwhelming majority are expressing the same thing I do here: Obama's plans are seriously flawed. Of course a few agree with the apparent direction of the new administration, but they are a small minority.

Here's one very blunt assessment -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9NpreXG3V8

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 06:59 PM
I don't look at it as taxing the rich - I look at it as closing some of the loopholes. I probably pay more in taxes than most of those making $250,000 because I don't have the tax shelters they have......

it makes me sick when I talk to people who brag about all the deductions they take because their tax guy 'knows the limits that cause audits'..... most of these people are the same conservatives that send me their right wing emails.....

....as for the capital gains tax - I don't think there will be any to tax ......

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 07:15 PM
yes, all those poor CEO's making $18 million a year are against it.....

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 07:15 PM
quote:
I don't look at it as taxing the rich - I look at it as closing some of the loopholes. I probably pay more in taxes than most of those making $250,000 because I don't have the tax shelters they have


And yet despite all these loopholes, the top 5% still pay 60% of the tab. Pretty amazing. My sincere thanks go out to every one of them.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 07:31 PM
quote:
I don't look at it as taxing the rich - I look at it as closing some of the loopholes. I probably pay more in taxes than most of those making $250,000 because I don't have the tax shelters they have......

it makes me sick when I talk to people who brag about all the deductions they take because their tax guy 'knows the limits that cause audits'..... most of these people are the same conservatives that send me their right wing emails.....

....as for the capital gains tax - I don't think there will be any to tax ......


There are people of every taxable income that play the loopholes game Sang, a lot of people have a "guy" who runs it to the limit. And i doubt you pay more in taxes than those making $250,000 or more. It's just your opinion, no one will ever know.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 07:33 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
I don't look at it as taxing the rich - I look at it as closing some of the loopholes. I probably pay more in taxes than most of those making $250,000 because I don't have the tax shelters they have


And yet despite all these loopholes, the top 5% still pay 60% of the tab. Pretty amazing. My sincere thanks go out to every one of them.


They pay 60% of the tab. What is their percentage of the income?


Hence the term...Class warfare. If I didn't know you were serious John it would be laughable.
Us against Them.

 

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  posted on 3/4/2009 at 07:37 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
God, you people are so smart. Smarter than our elected officials. Why don't some of you head to Washington and fix this country?
Because you can't get elected in this country unless you promise to give people money, grant favors, or both. People who know how to achieve generally want nothing to do with the scum-filled world of politics. Would you want a daily existence of one hand out to collect money for your next election, compromising your principles with every turn?

Here's a suggestion - spend a day or three watching CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business. They all constantly interview business leaders from all walks of life, corporate and private, big and small. The overwhelming majority are expressing the same thing I do here: Obama's plans are seriously flawed. Of course a few agree with the apparent direction of the new administration, but they are a small minority.

Here's one very blunt assessment -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9NpreXG3V8




Of course business people don't like Obama's plan. They've been doing what they want to for years causing this economic collapse. Now Obama wants them to be accountable, maybe be forced into sound business practice.
You can't possibly believe that the millions of business owners out there all act like the Wall St. barons, do you?

First, business people didn't cause this collapse. They aided in it - no doubt - but they didn't cause it. The financial industry's misdeeds are but a symptom of the gross mismanagement of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and lack of oversight by regulators. Controlling the currency, the Fed sets most of the rules of the game: interest rates, leverage percentages, availability of money, cost of money, etc. Their insane free money and free credit policies were the fuel from which this whole fire feed.

Let's use a baseball analogy. If the MLB rules committee decided to move the pitchers mound back 10 feet, turning the game into a boring slugfest, who would you be mad at? The players or the rules committee?

The Fed does the same thing in the world of money. I'm not excusing the financial industry, but let's at least understand the source of the problem.

But the financial industry is just a small part of the private sector. Look across the broad spectrum - which was my suggestion above - and you hear very few with anything positive to say. This strategy of demonizing business might have been an effective tactic to win political control, but push it too far and the left will be ruling over an economy in far worse shape than today.

 

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Obamacare: To insure the uninsured, we first make the insured
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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 08:11 AM
quote:
quote:
I don't look at it as taxing the rich - I look at it as closing some of the loopholes. I probably pay more in taxes than most of those making $250,000 because I don't have the tax shelters they have


And yet despite all these loopholes, the top 5% still pay 60% of the tab. Pretty amazing. My sincere thanks go out to every one of them.


And they give far more to charity than anyone else. When their deductions disappear so too will charitable giving. The dirty little secret is non-profits all over the country are shaking in their boots - and they should be.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 08:52 AM

updated 3:34 p.m. CT, Wed., March. 4, 2009
WASHINGTON - UBS AG now says it had about 47,000 accounts held by Americans who didn’t pay U.S. taxes on their assets, but Switzerland’s biggest bank isn’t providing the names of any more of them to the U.S. government.

A Justice Department official said if UBS is found in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to identify the rest of its U.S. clients, the government could proceed with its criminal prosecution of the bank, which has been deferred.

UBS official Mark Branson confirmed the figure of 47,000 accounts as of Sept. 30, at a Senate hearing Wednesday that explored the fight over secrecy and alleged tax evasion.

UBS has accepted responsibility for helping Americans hide assets from the U.S. government and turned over the names of about 300 U.S. clients. But the bank is not giving the Internal Revenue Service the names of all U.S. citizens who maintained secret accounts with the bank.

Branson said nearly all the accounts have been closed and that the bank “has now done all that it can do to cooperate” with the IRS request.

“UBS cannot disclose information to the IRS that would put its employees at serious risk of criminal prosecution under Swiss law,” said Branson, who is the chief financial officer of the bank’s global wealth management and Swiss bank division in Zurich.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of a Senate investigative subcommittee, said that despite UBS “being caught red-handed,” the Swiss government is fighting the IRS request and defending the country’s banking secrecy.

The conduct that UBS engaged in, including tricks to thwart the IRS from tracing Americans’ funds in Switzerland, “actively facilitates tax evasion (and) amounts to a declaration of war by offshore secrecy jurisdictions against honest, hardworking taxpayers,” Levin said at the hearing by the panel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“We cannot allow an environment to develop where wealthy individuals can go offshore and avoid paying taxes with impunity,” said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.

The Obama administration is “committed to taking aggressive action on offshore tax abuse,” Shulman testified.

UBS, meanwhile, announced that former Swiss President Kaspar Villiger will replace Peter Kurer as chairman of the bank’s board next month in an effort to restore its profitability and deal with the growing controversy over the U.S. tax issue.

In a cross-border battle, the IRS has been trying to pry from UBS the names of wealthy Americans who maintain secret accounts with the bank. UBS maintains that turning over the account names would violate Swiss privacy law and jeopardize its license to stay in business.

The Swiss government — which is providing financial support to UBS as it struggles with massive losses stemming from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis — refused to send a representative to Wednesday’s subcommittee hearing in protest of the IRS lawsuit against the bank.

Cloak-and-dagger tactics the U.S. government said were employed by UBS — coded language in internal e-mails and memos, foreign shell companies and phony charitable trusts, use of pay phones and foreign area codes and credit cards — were on display at Wednesday’s hearing.

UBS allegedly staged training sessions so that “client advisers” could travel frequently to the U.S. — on average 30 days a year each — to consult with secret U.S. customers without attracting the attention of tax agents or law enforcement officials. The advisers were told to rotate the hotels they stayed in and to “protect the banking secrecy” if they were questioned by any authorities, according to excerpts of UBS internal documents filed in the IRS suit and provided by the subcommittee.

The dispute has prompted heated debate in Switzerland over the country’s cherished banking secrecy, a tradition that has helped transform the nation into one of the world’s richest.

UBS on Feb. 18 agreed to pay $780 million in fines and restitution for conspiring to help American citizens violate their country’s tax laws by hiding assets — estimated to be worth at least $14.8 billion — from the U.S. government. In the deal struck in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Justice Department agreed to defer criminal prosecution of UBS in exchange for the payment of fines and restitution, and the names of up to 300 U.S. clients.

The bank says it has shut down the improper foreign-account business, and taken corrective measures to tighten its compliance and internal control systems.

The agreement didn’t cover the much broader list of as many as 52,000 customer names now sought by the IRS, but both sides knew the U.S. government would ask for them.

In its civil suit against UBS, the IRS has asked a federal judge to enforce so-called “John Doe summonses” seeking information about the Americans’ accounts. Another federal judge approved the summonses in July 2008, but UBS never complied.

By providing the 300 or so names, Branson said in his testimony that UBS has complied with the summonses as fully as it can without violating Swiss law.

If UBS fails to meet the conditions of the deferred prosecution, the government may proceed against it, said John DiCicco, acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s tax division.

The hearing was the latest in an extensive series by the Senate panel examining offshore tax abuse, which is estimated to cost the U.S. $100 billion a year in lost tax revenue.

Recovering tax revenue has taken on amplified urgency amid the economic crisis, when the federal deficit is expected to balloon to about $1.7 trillion, or nearly four times the highest level in history as hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on the bailout for financial institutions and the economic stimulus plan.

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said President Barack Obama supported legislation authored by Levin that would tighten U.S. tax laws and close loopholes to fight offshore tax-haven abuses.


 

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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 09:17 AM
quote:
But the financial industry is just a small part of the private sector. Look across the broad spectrum - which was my suggestion above - and you hear very few with anything positive to say. This strategy of demonizing business might have been an effective tactic to win political control, but push it too far and the left will be ruling over an economy in far worse shape than today.


If the financial sector is just a small part, then any disturbance should be easily contained and not cause a world wide recession, so it must be bigger than you claim. The Fed is to blame, but it has more to do with their economic model, supply side or voodoo economics. This, in addition to the anti union and anti worker philosophy, which is part of the supply side model, led to a massive inequality situation and it toppled over. This is all standard conservative status quo crap. Time to learn the lesson again.

 

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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 01:17 PM
quote:

updated 3:34 p.m. CT, Wed., March. 4, 2009
WASHINGTON - UBS AG now says it had about 47,000 accounts held by Americans who didn’t pay U.S. taxes on their assets, but Switzerland’s biggest bank isn’t providing the names of any more of them to the U.S. government.

A Justice Department official said if UBS is found in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to identify the rest of its U.S. clients, the government could proceed with its criminal prosecution of the bank, which has been deferred.

UBS official Mark Branson confirmed the figure of 47,000 accounts as of Sept. 30, at a Senate hearing Wednesday that explored the fight over secrecy and alleged tax evasion.

UBS has accepted responsibility for helping Americans hide assets from the U.S. government and turned over the names of about 300 U.S. clients. But the bank is not giving the Internal Revenue Service the names of all U.S. citizens who maintained secret accounts with the bank.

Branson said nearly all the accounts have been closed and that the bank “has now done all that it can do to cooperate” with the IRS request.

“UBS cannot disclose information to the IRS that would put its employees at serious risk of criminal prosecution under Swiss law,” said Branson, who is the chief financial officer of the bank’s global wealth management and Swiss bank division in Zurich.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of a Senate investigative subcommittee, said that despite UBS “being caught red-handed,” the Swiss government is fighting the IRS request and defending the country’s banking secrecy.

The conduct that UBS engaged in, including tricks to thwart the IRS from tracing Americans’ funds in Switzerland, “actively facilitates tax evasion (and) amounts to a declaration of war by offshore secrecy jurisdictions against honest, hardworking taxpayers,” Levin said at the hearing by the panel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“We cannot allow an environment to develop where wealthy individuals can go offshore and avoid paying taxes with impunity,” said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.

The Obama administration is “committed to taking aggressive action on offshore tax abuse,” Shulman testified.

UBS, meanwhile, announced that former Swiss President Kaspar Villiger will replace Peter Kurer as chairman of the bank’s board next month in an effort to restore its profitability and deal with the growing controversy over the U.S. tax issue.

In a cross-border battle, the IRS has been trying to pry from UBS the names of wealthy Americans who maintain secret accounts with the bank. UBS maintains that turning over the account names would violate Swiss privacy law and jeopardize its license to stay in business.

The Swiss government — which is providing financial support to UBS as it struggles with massive losses stemming from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis — refused to send a representative to Wednesday’s subcommittee hearing in protest of the IRS lawsuit against the bank.

Cloak-and-dagger tactics the U.S. government said were employed by UBS — coded language in internal e-mails and memos, foreign shell companies and phony charitable trusts, use of pay phones and foreign area codes and credit cards — were on display at Wednesday’s hearing.

UBS allegedly staged training sessions so that “client advisers” could travel frequently to the U.S. — on average 30 days a year each — to consult with secret U.S. customers without attracting the attention of tax agents or law enforcement officials. The advisers were told to rotate the hotels they stayed in and to “protect the banking secrecy” if they were questioned by any authorities, according to excerpts of UBS internal documents filed in the IRS suit and provided by the subcommittee.

The dispute has prompted heated debate in Switzerland over the country’s cherished banking secrecy, a tradition that has helped transform the nation into one of the world’s richest.

UBS on Feb. 18 agreed to pay $780 million in fines and restitution for conspiring to help American citizens violate their country’s tax laws by hiding assets — estimated to be worth at least $14.8 billion — from the U.S. government. In the deal struck in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Justice Department agreed to defer criminal prosecution of UBS in exchange for the payment of fines and restitution, and the names of up to 300 U.S. clients.

The bank says it has shut down the improper foreign-account business, and taken corrective measures to tighten its compliance and internal control systems.

The agreement didn’t cover the much broader list of as many as 52,000 customer names now sought by the IRS, but both sides knew the U.S. government would ask for them.

In its civil suit against UBS, the IRS has asked a federal judge to enforce so-called “John Doe summonses” seeking information about the Americans’ accounts. Another federal judge approved the summonses in July 2008, but UBS never complied.

By providing the 300 or so names, Branson said in his testimony that UBS has complied with the summonses as fully as it can without violating Swiss law.

If UBS fails to meet the conditions of the deferred prosecution, the government may proceed against it, said John DiCicco, acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s tax division.

The hearing was the latest in an extensive series by the Senate panel examining offshore tax abuse, which is estimated to cost the U.S. $100 billion a year in lost tax revenue.

Recovering tax revenue has taken on amplified urgency amid the economic crisis, when the federal deficit is expected to balloon to about $1.7 trillion, or nearly four times the highest level in history as hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on the bailout for financial institutions and the economic stimulus plan.

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said President Barack Obama supported legislation authored by Levin that would tighten U.S. tax laws and close loopholes to fight offshore tax-haven abuses.







Truth bump.......

 

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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 01:45 PM
quote:
Truth bump.......

Given what our gov't does with the taxpayer's money, I consider it patriotic to keep as much money from them as possible. If I had enough to shield it in a Swiss bank, I'd be doing it too.

When somebody in Washington comes to their senses and stops taxing productivity and starts taxing consumption, all this money will come home and be available for investment. I've heard estimates that it could be 10-12 trillion, or more.

Who's stopping that? Politicians. With sane tax policy, they loose the ability to fire up class warfare. The cost of gov't becomes obvious to everyone, nearly every day, and they are held far more accountable. Under a sane tax policy, they loose power. And that's far more important to them than your job, your health, your home, or your future.

Wake up people!





[Edited on 3/5/2009 by Fujirich]

 

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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 02:15 PM
LOL.

And the people who caused this mess STILL have no clue.

Actually they do, but won't admit it.

 

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  posted on 3/5/2009 at 02:19 PM
quote:
quote:

updated 3:34 p.m. CT, Wed., March. 4, 2009
WASHINGTON - UBS AG now says it had about 47,000 accounts held by Americans who didn’t pay U.S. taxes on their assets, but Switzerland’s biggest bank isn’t providing the names of any more of them to the U.S. government.

A Justice Department official said if UBS is found in contempt by a federal judge for refusing to identify the rest of its U.S. clients, the government could proceed with its criminal prosecution of the bank, which has been deferred.

UBS official Mark Branson confirmed the figure of 47,000 accounts as of Sept. 30, at a Senate hearing Wednesday that explored the fight over secrecy and alleged tax evasion.

UBS has accepted responsibility for helping Americans hide assets from the U.S. government and turned over the names of about 300 U.S. clients. But the bank is not giving the Internal Revenue Service the names of all U.S. citizens who maintained secret accounts with the bank.

Branson said nearly all the accounts have been closed and that the bank “has now done all that it can do to cooperate” with the IRS request.

“UBS cannot disclose information to the IRS that would put its employees at serious risk of criminal prosecution under Swiss law,” said Branson, who is the chief financial officer of the bank’s global wealth management and Swiss bank division in Zurich.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of a Senate investigative subcommittee, said that despite UBS “being caught red-handed,” the Swiss government is fighting the IRS request and defending the country’s banking secrecy.

The conduct that UBS engaged in, including tricks to thwart the IRS from tracing Americans’ funds in Switzerland, “actively facilitates tax evasion (and) amounts to a declaration of war by offshore secrecy jurisdictions against honest, hardworking taxpayers,” Levin said at the hearing by the panel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“We cannot allow an environment to develop where wealthy individuals can go offshore and avoid paying taxes with impunity,” said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.

The Obama administration is “committed to taking aggressive action on offshore tax abuse,” Shulman testified.

UBS, meanwhile, announced that former Swiss President Kaspar Villiger will replace Peter Kurer as chairman of the bank’s board next month in an effort to restore its profitability and deal with the growing controversy over the U.S. tax issue.

In a cross-border battle, the IRS has been trying to pry from UBS the names of wealthy Americans who maintain secret accounts with the bank. UBS maintains that turning over the account names would violate Swiss privacy law and jeopardize its license to stay in business.

The Swiss government — which is providing financial support to UBS as it struggles with massive losses stemming from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis — refused to send a representative to Wednesday’s subcommittee hearing in protest of the IRS lawsuit against the bank.

Cloak-and-dagger tactics the U.S. government said were employed by UBS — coded language in internal e-mails and memos, foreign shell companies and phony charitable trusts, use of pay phones and foreign area codes and credit cards — were on display at Wednesday’s hearing.

UBS allegedly staged training sessions so that “client advisers” could travel frequently to the U.S. — on average 30 days a year each — to consult with secret U.S. customers without attracting the attention of tax agents or law enforcement officials. The advisers were told to rotate the hotels they stayed in and to “protect the banking secrecy” if they were questioned by any authorities, according to excerpts of UBS internal documents filed in the IRS suit and provided by the subcommittee.

The dispute has prompted heated debate in Switzerland over the country’s cherished banking secrecy, a tradition that has helped transform the nation into one of the world’s richest.

UBS on Feb. 18 agreed to pay $780 million in fines and restitution for conspiring to help American citizens violate their country’s tax laws by hiding assets — estimated to be worth at least $14.8 billion — from the U.S. government. In the deal struck in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the Justice Department agreed to defer criminal prosecution of UBS in exchange for the payment of fines and restitution, and the names of up to 300 U.S. clients.

The bank says it has shut down the improper foreign-account business, and taken corrective measures to tighten its compliance and internal control systems.

The agreement didn’t cover the much broader list of as many as 52,000 customer names now sought by the IRS, but both sides knew the U.S. government would ask for them.

In its civil suit against UBS, the IRS has asked a federal judge to enforce so-called “John Doe summonses” seeking information about the Americans’ accounts. Another federal judge approved the summonses in July 2008, but UBS never complied.

By providing the 300 or so names, Branson said in his testimony that UBS has complied with the summonses as fully as it can without violating Swiss law.

If UBS fails to meet the conditions of the deferred prosecution, the government may proceed against it, said John DiCicco, acting assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s tax division.

The hearing was the latest in an extensive series by the Senate panel examining offshore tax abuse, which is estimated to cost the U.S. $100 billion a year in lost tax revenue.

Recovering tax revenue has taken on amplified urgency amid the economic crisis, when the federal deficit is expected to balloon to about $1.7 trillion, or nearly four times the highest level in history as hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on the bailout for financial institutions and the economic stimulus plan.

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said President Barack Obama supported legislation authored by Levin that would tighten U.S. tax laws and close loopholes to fight offshore tax-haven abuses.







Truth bump.......


Cut...,Paste..call it Truth Bump

 

____________________


R.I.P. Hugh Duty


 

Peach Extraordinaire



Karma:
Posts: 4433
(4433 all sites)
Registered: 2/27/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 3/5/2009 at 07:12 PM
quote:
LOL.

And the people who caused this mess STILL have no clue.

Actually they do, but won't admit it.


To whom do you refer and HOW did they cause this mess? Be specific. Don't just quote Joy Behar.

 

____________________
As a patriot and a loyal member of the opposition I pledge to offer our new President the very same benefit of the doubt and unwavering support that the left offered George Bush over the last eight years.

 
 


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