Plenty of Brockers will be old enough to remember Steve McQueen trekking his way through the weekly TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive as bounty hunter Josh Randall toting a sawed-off rifle. So American. No doubt a childhood hero of the Dubya flyboy who famously went MIA in Texas airspace during the Vietnam era — already on his way to accomplishing his mission!
Today zuludogm mentioned in passing that some British banks are incorporating IRS snitch activity into their business planning as a new profit center.
Any known extraterritorial US person who is likely to have substantial assets and is still planning to waddle onward as an ostrich may need to consider this eventuality?
Margaret Wente! Could you be someone’s profit opportunity, or are you planning to turn yourself in? Really Margaret, so bold in the fall of 2011. At least you could do a little more to mitigate the mainstream media dearth of comment and reporting on this issue?
Coincidentally, there is a brand-new article at Reuters on how snitch income has plummeted for the IRS. A $400 million shortfall in the latest calendar year! A decrease by a humongous factor of TEN.
Funny thing. Whistleblowers seem to be getting demoralized. Could you believe? Same old same old when it comes to the “problems”:
“The IRS is exploring ways to make the process more timely,” said IRS Dean Patterson on Friday, adding that whistleblower cases can take up to seven years to resolve. … “The whistleblower program in general is very opaque,” leaving whistleblowers in the dark about the status of their cases, said Amy Walsh, a partner with the law firm of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP. “Once you disclose to the IRS your facts and what you know, it goes into a black hole.”
Always fun to watch a little blowback, to see the IRS shooting itself in the foot with a sawed-off rifle.
By the way – the British bank is HSBC. I am not sure how large their scope will be, but they are hiring people in Switzerland to seek US tax evaders.
@zuludogm: Where did you read this about HSBC? They were part of a major data-leak out of Geneva, so perhaps they are being blackmailed like UBS, CS and many others:
The world’s bank do have the example of the justice department killing off a Swiss bank that was older than the US itself…
This is an interesting subject that I wrote about here as a pure speculation as to how banks might recover the costs of implementing FATCA: Foreign Financial Institutions could recover some of their costs for implementing FATCA
The Bush MIA hypothesis was brilliantly supported by Dan Rather with Killian documents that were evidently forged on a word processor. It didn’t take the blogosphere long to discredit Rather and the story. BTW, that’s why I am a big believer in the power of blogging. Apart from forged documents, I believe that the theory of Bush’s being AWOL was a canard designed by partisans to discredit his military service, and of course, to attack his credibility during a presidential campaign. The legacy media made hay out of the story, but it is at the same time surprisingly not curious about Obama’s past, despite evidence of forged documents, multiple lawsuits challenging his eligibility for president, a Social Security number from the wrong state, no release of university documents and transcripts (or GPA, apparently), an interesting history of a Marxist activism, etc.
@Petros: I agree, the national guard episode was astroturf. But you have to admit that Bush’s legacy is horrible, and hardly better than Clinton’s. At best he was a willing buffoon, at worst he was in on all the horrible things that happened under his watch.
@ConfederateH I think George W. Bush’s being a buffoon or not, whether he was AWOL or not, is all a red herring–it doesn’t really make any difference as he is no longer president. Some of his legacy issues, such as the Patriot Act and the US war on terrorism, etc. are admittedly relevant as they have historically led to our situation today: the US is arrogant and out of control. There might be some disagreement here among the readers about these issues–the best thing is, I think, to allow diverse opinion and to point out where we might disagree with something–rather than censoring or censuring. The important thing is that we remain focused on the issues that unite us.
In my opinion, whether the current occupier of the White House is an usurper, is a relevant issue–though it hasn’t gained much traction in the mainstream. If I gave up my legitimate citizenship while he is an illegitimate president, that would be a stick in my craw.
If I am going to bash Bush, I’ll do it because he enforced the unconstitutional laws of extra-territorial taxation, though obviously with far less zeal than the current POTUS, and because Bush signed the HEART Act 2008. If I get on Romney’s case, if he wins in November, it will be because he continues Obama’s extra-territorial tax jihad, instead of offering a presidential pardon to the innocent overseas.
Further comment on IRS “generosity” to whistle blowers:
“Despite a cavernous tax gap, the IRS does seem to be particularly fond of whistleblowers who blow the cover of major tax cheats and tax evaders. Under the law, whistleblowers could be awarded up to 30% of the taxes that are collected from the subjects. But the sad reality is that over the past 5 years, only 3 awards have been paid to whistleblowers out of a staggering 1,300 claims filed against almost 10,000 companies and individuals that amount to an underpayment of more than $2 million each. …”
It was not an article. It was a friend who told me her husband just accepted a position at HSBC to find Americans who have potential tax or penalty liabilities and develop a case against them for the 15% finders fee from the IRS.
Sorry to have deflected from the main agenda by injecting Dubya, but that Dead or Alive phrase led to wanting to drag in that ignominous ex for his embarrassing rhetoric. (Dubya maybe played at buffoon to look relatively better than an outright tool?) Nothing like having an opaque and incoherent backstory to toss up shreds of exoneration (astroturf, Ratheritis, etc) out of the confusion. But whatever the technicalities, the big outline looks other than honorable. See below. It is hard to get past the fact that a good deal of the anguish being suffered by extraterritorials traces back to the Bush presidency response to 9/11. At least we’re alive to suffer, which is more than a massive pile of unnecessarily dead Iraqis and Afghanis can say.
George W. Bush joined the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group of the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968, during the Vietnam War. He committed to serve until May 26, 1974, with two years on active duty while training to fly and four years on part-time duty. … Bush did not take this mandatory physical examination in mid-1972, thus ending his pilot’s career. He did not fly after April 15, 1972. … According to his released military records, Bush never flew again as a National Guard pilot after April 1972, and was suspended from flying on August 1, 1972.