- I'm looking at Cheney and Dubya, for resetting the fiscal sights of America from Surplusville to Debtsylvania.
"Then came the election of George W. Bush, the first president of the Party of the Rich.
Within months of taking office, Bush delivered a tax break to the rich that trumps anything he accomplished through the actual tax code. "The most important thing the Bush administration did in the whole area of taxes," says Johnston, "was to kill tax harmonization."
"Tax harmonization" was economic jargon for a joint project by the world's developed countries to shut down offshore tax havens in places like the Cayman Islands. At the time, such illicit havens were costing U.S. taxpayers $70 billion a year.
For Republicans, going after big-time tax evaders should have been as American as apple pie. As Reagan once said of such cheats: "When they do not pay their taxes, someone else does " you and me."
But for Bush and other leaders of the Party of the Rich, blocking corporations from hiding their money overseas wasn't an act of patriotism " it was tyranny.
Rep. Dick Armey, the GOP majority leader, railed against tax harmonization as an effort to create a "global network of tax police."
One of Bush's biggest donors, Enron, was using a network of nearly 900 offshore tax hideaways to pay no corporate taxes " while reporting massive profits that later turned out to be fraudulent. In one of his first acts as president, Bush "basically vetoed the initiative," says Stiglitz.
The veto spurred a cavalcade of corporations " including stalwart American firms like Stanley Works " to pursue phony "headquarters" in Bermuda and other lax-tax nations. The move not only encouraged some of the world's richest companies to avoid paying any U.S. taxes, it let them book overseas-"expenses" that qualified them for lucrative tax deductions.
In one of the most notorious cases, GE filed for a $3 billion tax rebate in 2009, despite boasting profits of more than $14 billion.
But Bush wasn't content to simply make the world safe for corporate tax evaders: He also pushed to deliver $1.6 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals."
more at the RS link