Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Panama Papers Give New Meaning to “Public Service.”

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has created a web page titled “The Panama Papers:  Politicians, Criminals and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash.”  It displays interactive images of country leaders and other high level officials that have stashed cash in an offshore account in a no-tax or low-tax jurisdiction.  The Panamanian firm is only one of many legal companies that operate in more than a dozen “tax havens” around the world.  The Panama Papers are only a tip of the tip of an iceberg.

To put it as bluntly as possible, “public service” is how powerful political leaders and high government officials service themselves using public money at the expense of the public.  It’s as simple as that!

What’s needed is for just one honest member of the media to pose the following question to all five presidential candidates:

“Have you or any immediate member of your family—spouse, partner, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, in-laws, or first cousins--ever held, or now hold, beneficial interest in an offshore account?  Yes or No?  If yes, please disclose in full the nature of that interest.  If no, will you promise to resign any post you hold in “public trust” if you are caught having lied?

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