Monday, February 25, 2008

First Montana, Now Liechtenstein?


The government of Liechtenstein on Wednesday detailed plans to strengthen privacy guarantees for the investment vehicles at the center of a tax evasion scandal in Germany, a move that might prevent this tiny Alpine country from exiting a short black-list of international tax havens.

But wait, it gets awesomer:
Liechtenstein maintains that whether Germans or other foreigners with Liechtenstein-based bank accounts or foundations pay their taxes is none of its business. Klaus Tschütscher, the Liechtenstein justice minister, said foundations should not be tarred with a bad reputation just because some Germans might have set them up in order to avoid taxes, saying that was a separate matter.

"The Germans say, "Take this product off the market because some Germans may be using it wrongly," Tschütscher said at a news conference in Vaduz, the capital. "If someone puts their money in a mattress to avoid paying taxes, I can't say, 'You have to stop making mattresses.' "

It's the equivalent of the "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument. Good for them, at least some common sense is prevailing in Europe. Now if we can bring some of that back to this country we'll be all right. (Thanks to Montana for keeping hope alive here.)

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