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This must be just like bankin’ in paradise
And I don’t send the taxes home.

-My apologies to David Lee Roth…

The second largest data leak in history, the Paradise Papers, shows how the truly wealthy avoid paying taxes.

The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens are being revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires.

The details come from a leak of 13.4m files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

The material, which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens, was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with partners including the Guardian, the BBC and the New York Times.

The project has been called the Paradise Papers. It reveals:

Millions of pounds from the Queen’s private estate has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund – and some of her money went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.

Extensive offshore dealings by Donald Trump’s cabinet members, advisers and donors, including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross.

How Twitter and Facebook received hundreds of millions of dollars in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions.

The tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust managed by the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s chief moneyman.

A previously unknown $450m offshore trust that has sheltered the wealth of Lord Ashcroft.

It’s how Apple hides $252 Billion!!!! from the tax man.

They reveal how Apple sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax practices by actively shopping around for a tax haven.

It then moved the firm holding most of its untaxed offshore cash, now $252bn, to the Channel Island of Jersey.

Apple said the new structure had not lowered its taxes.

It said it remained the world’s largest taxpayer, paying about $35bn (£26bn) in corporation tax over the past three years, that it had followed the law and its changes “did not reduce our tax payments in any country”.

One assumes that these elites and giant organizations earned the money, most of it. It’s theirs. Wanting to keep as much as possible is understandable: 1) it’s theirs, and 2) they can use the money to grow the economy. Otherwise, if taxed, the money gets spent on subsidies to ag. companies, bombing brown people, and compensating bankers for the most important kind of nothing.

The hypocrisy (and shock) comes in when one realizes these are usually the same types that rig the system for their own benefit, leaving the rest of us to pay the bills. And our paying isn’t enough. They lecture us. Regulate us. Rule us.

Carlin, Carlin, Carlin, Carlin: “It’s a Big Club. And You ain’t in it! You and I are not in the Big Club.”

I foresee this changing little, if anything. Heck, forget I brought it up. And God help whoever brought this to light. The last such intrepid reporter was car-bombed.


A less Christie-fied Jersey. BBC/Getty.