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Crime generates an estimated $2.1 trillion in global annual proceeds - or 3.6pc of the world's gross domestic product - and the problem may be growing, a senior United Nations official has said.
"It makes the criminal business one of the largest economies in the world, one of the top 20 economies," said Yury Fedotov, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), describing it as a threat to security and economic development.
Our entire economy is now based on debt. We are told that we have to go into debt for everything.
Debt is a "soft" form of slavery. In America today, it is not legal to bind people up with chains and force them to work for you, but that doesn't mean that there are not millions upon millions of slaves in this country. When you borrow money, you willingly become a servant to the lender. Sadly, there are millions of Americans that will spend the rest of their lives working to pay off their debts but they will never escape the endless debt slavery that they have gotten themselves into. When you add up all forms of debt in the United States at this point, it comes to more than 54 trillion dollars. That is more than $178,000 for every man, woman and child in America. We truly are one nation under debt, and we have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet. Unfortunately, all debt bubbles eventually burst, and when this one bursts the consequences are going to be unlike anything ever seen before.
Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.
Here's a look at the 10 most profitable tax evaders and the politicians their CEOs, employees, and PACs give the most money to.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's compensation increased 14.5 percent to $16.2 million in 2011 despite a sharp decline in profits and share price during the year, leaving the bank open to more attacks on its pay policies.
Blankfein's pay boost includes stock awards from previous years that vested in 2011, and therefore does not reflect the amount that Goldman's board awarded him strictly for the company's performance last year.
The companies have avoided U.S. taxes on almost every penny of their international profits by keeping the money offshore. And nearly that entire haul has been designated by top executives of those firms as “permanently” or “indefinitely” reinvested abroad, partly because of the 35 percent U.S. tax rate companies must pay to bring home foreign money.
That $455.6 billion, along with hundreds of billions more dollars in other earnings parked overseas, lies at the center of a tug of war between lobbyists, Congress and the White House over how to tax international profits.
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