Jeffrey Sachs on ProPublica: ‘Republican Party Is Committed to Ensuring the Rich Don’t Pay Taxes’

‘Our running the world or leading the world doesn’t make sense if we can’t vote a basic infrastructure bill or close the tax loopholes’


SACHS: “I think the basic point is we are collapsing on our own, so our running the world or leading the world doesn’t make sense if we can’t vote a basic infrastructure bill or close the tax loopholes. One of the notable things that the G-7 will agree on today, which was the important agreement that Janet Yellen, our Treasury Secretary reached last week was this minimum tax. But I would like to just say a word about it. The United States and the U.K. created the system of tax havens. These don’t just appear. We have $1 trillion of corporate assets in Bermuda, in the little island of Bermuda. We have another $1 trillion of corporate assets in the British Virgin Islands, the Caymans, and other tiny little dots where the businesses don’t do anything except they book their profits by artificially putting their assets there. That’s a game that the U.S. and the U.K. created together. And that’s what is called un-American, to close that gap. This is incredible! The Republican Party is completely committed, on the face, to making sure rich people pay nothing. And one other thing that makes all of this so incredible. The Treasury has shown, in recent days, that we have pure tax evasion of about $600 billion a year. $600 billion. That could buy a lot of infrastructure. Most — the incredible proportion of that, more than a third, is the top 1% of earners. But the Republicans say, 'Don’t audit anybody. Don’t check in.' So it’s been a game to allow the richest people to get as rich as possible, and right now, that’s where our politics is. So all of this talk about saving the rest of the world, we have to save ourselves from oligarchy. That’s the bottom line. That’s why none of the G-7 means anything until we get our own system normalized again. That rich people pay something for this country.”

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