By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Like Manna From Havens
No one has ever been able to figure out exactly how much rich people have managed to sock away in island tax havens, fishy investments, and assorted other tax dodges. But an international group called Tax Justice Network, made up of tax experts and economists, reports, according to The Observer of London, that the rich are stashing a whopping $11.5 trillion in tax havens. These assets normally would provide some $860 billion in annual income. Taxable income on the $11.5 trillion could run as high as $255 billion. "This is one of the defining crises of our times," John Christensen, co-coordinator of the Tax Justice Network and a former economic adviser to the government of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, told The Observer. "One of the most fundamental changes in our society in recent years is how money and the rich have become more mobile. This has resulted in the wealthy becoming less inclined to associate with normal society and feeling no obligation to pay taxes."
"All roads lead to Karl." Ken Duberstein, GOP lobbyist, talking to The New York Times about Karl Rove, 3.28.05
Richard Murphy of Tax Research, who co-authored the report, said: "No one has tried to calculate a number like this before. To ensure the credibility of our data, we have only used information already in the public domain and produced by some of the most authoritative sources in the world. In addition, we tested our conclusions against three independent sources of information, and all seem to substantially agree, giving us a high degree of confidence in the conclusions we have reached."
Driving Our Troops Crazy
In a move to put a positive spin on the woeful health benefits extended to reservists returning from active duty, the military has announced it is extending free health care from six months to one yearunless you re-enlist, in which case coverage extends for eight years.
A lot of good that will do the thousands of vets with long-term mental illness.
David H. Hackworth, the combat veteran author, writes, "What's needling my brain is that in some additional army studies where participating soldiers were assured total confidentialitya must in today's zero-defect army, where soldiers who publicly admit they're depressed or having nightmares or temper tantrums should plan to kiss future promotions goodbye and expect their walking papers at the end of their hitchthe number of Iraq veterans copping to post-combat mental problems has more than tripled from an average of 4 percent to 5 percent to a scary 17 percent."
He adds: "That high a percentage is a shocker, and the trend that seems to be developing really blows me out. If 17 out of every 100 returning vets are mentally down, our army is in serious troublethere's no way any unit can sustain so staggering a loss."
Additional research: David Botti