Saturday, March 08, 2008

Unpaid Taxes and Glass Houses - A Michigan Republican Dilemma

Saul Anuzis is frothing at the mouth this morning over a report that the Granholm Inaugural Committee from 2003 MIGHT owe a whopping $20 grand in taxes. Like a dog with a new chew toy, he's whipping it around with his mouth, dancing with glee, and he's going to slobber all over the floor and the furniture and make obnoxious loud noises with it until we have to wrestle it from him with the truth of the situation - which is probably that they either already paid, or it was an oversight. Republicans have a track record of frivolous complaints and legal action against Granholm, and so far nothing has proved fruitful in their attempts to make the mud stick. Must be frustrating for them, thus the excitement over this new diversion.

The MI GOP is using words like "tax evasion" and says that "taxpayers ought to be outraged". Now, "tax evasion" is a pretty strong charge to make without proof that it was intentional, but I'm pretty sure the rules on libel don't apply to Saul, or he would be in jail by now.

But you have to puzzle over this next bit of hypocrisy. Michigan Republicans are promoting a visit from Vice President Dick Cheney today, here to raise money for the sinking ship SS Tim Walberg. They embrace Dick; watch them shower him with praise… well, maybe not. But they are willing to use him as a prop of acceptable GOP practices, right? Or he wouldn’t be here.

Well, since Saul feels so strongly about "taxpayer outrage", I wonder if he has anything to say about this-

(hat tip to DK)

CAYMAN ISLANDS - Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.

They estimate that the total could be as high as $500 million. That's a half a billion, with a “b”, dollars in taxes not paid to Social Security and Medicare. Wow, talk about yer tax evasion tax avoidance.

And who knew about this behavior, condoned it, and even created more of it, which is cheating taxpayers to this day? The very guy that Michigan Republicans called in to raise money for them! Say hello to the guy who takes the crown of The King of Taxpayer Outrage.

The no-bid contract it received in 2002 to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure and a multibillion-dollar contract to provide support services to troops have long drawn scrutiny because Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive from 1995 until he joined the Republican ticket with President Bush in 2000.

The largest of the Cayman Islands shell companies - called Service Employers International Inc., which is now listed as having more than 20,000 workers in Iraq, according to KBR - was created two years before Cheney became Halliburton's chief executive. But a second Cayman Islands company called Overseas Administrative Services, which now is listed as the employer of 1,020 mostly managerial workers in Iraq, was established two months after Cheney's appointment.

Cheney's office at the White House referred questions to his personal lawyer, who did not return phone calls.

Waiting Saul's inevitable fit of outrage over Cheney and Co. I'm sure the Granholm people will pay up if they do indeed owe; Saul will insist that KBR do the same, right?

Waiting... waiting... waiting...

No? Must be “OK If You're A Republican” with an offshore tax shelter. Just ask Dick. DeVos, that is. Republican candidate for governor. You remember. We'll call him The Clown Prince of Taxpayer Outrage. He was acceptable to Saul as well.

Note to the Granholm people - just set everything up in the Cayman Islands from now on. Maybe Bermuda. The MI GOP can show you the way to do it.