Monday, March 06, 2006

Give us your tired, your wealthy, your coconut bras--yearning to dodge taxes

Oh the difficulties of being awash in wealth and having to pay your fair share of federal taxes. If only there was a place you could go to avoid paying. A sunny place...with warm beaches, string bikinis and clear, blue water. If only you could get an Oregon Senator to aid and abet you with special programs whilst you dodge your duty to your country:

The program has long required individuals who benefit from the tax break, as well as companies that do so, to commit $100,000 of capital, employ 10 local residents, buy goods and services from local suppliers and promise to make charitable donations. But until Jan. 31, when the new restriction took effect, there was no explicit residency requirement; the I.R.S. instead used a "facts and circumstances" test to assess eligibility. As a result of the change, individuals claiming the benefit must now prove that they have spent 183 days in the Virgin Islands during the year.

In response, the Virgin Islands Tax Working Group, which represents people who benefit from the break, paid $200,000 last year for lobbyists, according to records compiled by Political Money Line, a nonpartisan campaign finance tracking service. At least one senator, Gordon H. Smith, Republican of Oregon, has been saluted in the islands at a fund-raiser on his behalf attended by several beneficiaries of the program.

Finally. A Republican senator willing to take campaign cash in order to allow corrupt and unpatriotic American rich people to dodge their duty to their country.

And we elected him to office. Brings a tear to the eye, doesn't it?