This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Aug. 1, 2012 for week ending Aug. 10, 2012


"Much of this ($21 trillion) is concentrated in about 10 million people around the planet. The growth of the activity has been accounted for by a relative handful of major international banks – including Goldman Sachs – which have made it a business to help the wealthiest people on the planet take their money out of their home countries, invest it abroad tax-free and use a variety of schemes to defend it against taxation."

– James S. Henry, lead researcher on "The Price of Offshoring Revisited," on $21 trillion stashed in tax havens to avoid taxes on bonds, stocks, as well as bank deposits on alternate investments like hedge funds. This $21 trillion excludes non-financial assets like real estate, art collections, yachts and intellectual property.

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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New Report Finds Super Rich Around the World have Avoided Paying Taxes on More Than $21 Trillion of Hidden Wealth

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Interview with James S. Henry, lead researcher for Tax Justice Network report, "The Price of Offshore Revisited", conducted by Scott Harris


This election year, one of the central debates between Democrats and Republicans – and between President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney – is over how much should the nation’s wealthiest citizens have to pay in federal taxes. On that issue, polls find most voters in favor of letting the Bush-era tax cuts lapse for the wealthy, while retaining tax cuts for families earning $250,000 and under annually. But a new report undertaken by the Tax Justice Network paints a disturbing picture of tax avoidance, finding that the super-rich in the U.S. and around the world are hiding at least $21 trillion in offshore accounts, avoiding paying millions of dollars in taxes in their home countries.  Story continues

Arrests at West Virginia Mountain Top Removal Coal Mine Signals New Phase of Direct Action Campaign

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Interview with Dustin Steele, organizer with RAMPS, Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On July 25, 45 persons walked onto the site of a mountaintop removal mine in Lincoln County in the southern West Virginia coal fields to demand an end to the practice in which the tops of Appalachian ridges are blasted apart to get to the coal seams beneath. It leaves behind what looks like a moonscape in many cases, with the blasted rocks and soil dumped in the valleys below. More than 2,000 miles of valley streams have been buried so far.  Story continues

Caravan for Peace to Travel Across U.S., Focusing Attention on Mexico’s Drug War Violence

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Interview with Ted Lewis, human rights program director with Global Exchange, conducted by Scott Harris


After Javier Sicilia’s 24-year-old son was murdered with a group of friends by drug traffickers in the city of Cuernavaca last year, the well-known Mexican poet founded the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity to call for an end to the drug violence in his country. Over the past six years, Mexico’s drug war has claimed the lives of 60,000 people, 10,000 have disappeared and over 150,000 have been forced to leave their homes.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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