Mrs. Hillary Clinton not only supported the Panama Free Trade Deal, she helped push it through. This bill was important to her. It gave more privacy to the rich in terms of hiding money from the IRS and foreign governments. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, opposed it. Bernie cited research warning it would severely limit the U.S. government’s ability to respond to questionable or illegal activity in Panama. Turns out he was right.
The “Panama Papers” present information about who among the mega-rich is hiding money in Panama. It is the tip of the iceberg. Currently, the focus is not on Americans. However, that could change fairly quickly. Corporate documents, which were leaked from the law firm, Mossack Fonseca, show how world leaders have been using offshore tax havens in Panama to hide their profits from money-making companies and business deals.
One of those companies storing money in Panama is the Russian Sberbank, who has a U.S. investment banking branch. Through this branch, Sberbank hired the Podesta Group, who are U.S. lobbyists. According to its lobbying registration form, the Podesta Group will be working on banking, trade, and foreign relations issues. One of the three lobbyists working on the account is Tony Podesta, a bundler for the Clinton campaign, and the brother of her “campaign chairman“ John Podesta, who co-founded the lobbying firm. These are the kind of complicated relationships Mrs. Clinton excels at manipulating.
And, these are the “current” relationships causing trouble for the Clinton campaign. Tony Podesta, a bundler for Hillary Clinton (and not the only questionable bundler on her staff) is also a lobbyist working for a Russian bank, who wanted to store money in Panama banks for its wealthy clients, so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes. And Tony’s brother, her campaign chairman, is also in on it. This situation, in turn, raises yet more doubts about Hillary Clinton. Her overwhelming support for Panama as a tax haven does nothing for the American people, but it does a great deal for her friends, donors, and associates who are storing money in Panama.
Another example of why Mrs. Clinton supported the Panama Free Trade Deal so strongly comes from her friend and colleague, Sidney Blumenthal, per Hillary’s email dump, he is shown to have acted as middleman in communications from the Russian billionaire, Bidzina Ivanishvili. Critics of the Panama Free Trade Deal state the pact makes it easier for the rich, of any country, including rich Americans and corporations, to set up offshore bank accounts and corporations as a way to avoid paying taxes.
Rebecca Wilkins, a senior counsel with Citizens for Tax Justice stated,
“A tax haven … has one of three characteristics: It has no income tax or a very low-rate income tax; it has bank secrecy laws; and it has a history of noncooperation with other countries on exchanging information about tax matters, a nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates changes in U.S. tax policy. Panama has all three of those. … They’re probably the worst.”
Globalisation has enabled the richest in society to exploit the system, while ordinary working people pick up the tab. Hillary Clinton has worked the system to make friends in high places, with ordinary Americans paying the bill. She continues to describe Bernie Sanders policy platform as ‘pie in the sky’. However, if corporations actually paid their fair share of taxes, many of his programs could easily be paid for.