Friday, June 01, 2012

En Lagarde

NPR blasts IMF chief Christine Lagarde for paying no taxes while berating Greeks for doing the same thing (if unsanctioned, shall we say), but Fox defends her. But of course, Fox doesn't like to pay taxes, either, so tucks what's tuckable away in various havens.

NPR: IMF's Christine Lagarde, Who Chastised Greek Tax Evaders, Pays No Taxes
Essentially, Lagarde said she has very little sympathy for the Greeks and that if they want to solve their financial problems they should just pay their taxes.

Today, The Guardian ran the pot-kettle-black story, pointing out that Lagarde with her $467,940 a year salary and her $83,760 yearly allowance does not pay any taxes.

She's not a tax dodger; it's just that the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations of 1961 exempts diplomats from "all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal."

With that in mind The NewStatesman still comes down hard on Lagarde.

"... Right or not, it seems like a good rule of thumb that if you do not pay any tax, you do not get to tell other people off for not paying tax," the magazine writes. "Especially if you earn around twenty times the median wage of the country you are telling off."

Fox: Greece’s Lame Tax Attacks on IMF’s Lagarde
Greeks have a long history of borrowing money with no intention of paying it back, and the country was living beyond its means even before it joined the eurozone.

Greece is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for tax evasion, worse than Italy, an intractable problem leaders of the European Union and even Greek officials have decried. Tax fraud is a “scourge” in Greece, a spokesman for the EU’s economics commissioner now says.

Lost in the debate is the fact that there is a reason why Lagarde and other diplomats pay zero taxes on their IMF pay. It’s to avoid harassment and vendettas launched by other countries via their home country’s tax systems, as well as falling prey to bribery or kickbacks (the exact same corruption which, news flash, is what’s plaguing the tax system in Greece).

And the furious backlash is a distraction from the fact that Greece is running a dysfunctional economy where corruption and tax evasion are a national pasttime, where officials want to preserve a system built on vice and limitless debt in order to feed growing government power and a teetering, bankrupt entitlement state.

The IMF as well as the United Nations reduce the pay for their workers and executives by the amount of the tax bills they owe, meaning, they get paid on a net basis. Workers at the IMF and the United Nations don’t pay national, regional or municipal taxes, says article 34 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international treaty signed by 187 countries in 1961.

Again, that article was enacted so diplomats do not face harassment, pressure or fall prey to corruption from other countries via their home country’s tax systems.

Read more @ the link above.

Guambat reckons he gets harrassed pretty regularly by his home countries, too. And he'd fall prey to bribery or kickbacks, if only given a fair chance at it. So why is he not entitled to equal treatment? Most things are Greek to Guambat, except himself. He's pureblood guambat.

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