The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tim Bridgewater Evades Paying Business Taxes (More)

Do you as a US citizen, support using off-shore tax shelters for the express purpose of avoiding payment of federal tax? Apparently Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater does.

As we began our own inquiry into Bridgewater's strongly-touted business background we came across an April 2004 article (google docs) by Robert Gehrke of the Salt Lake Tribune during the time which Bridgewater was running for Congress (we have verified through Newsbank that the Gehrke article is indeed genuine) :

The Charoen Pokphand [Nacilbupera: aka CP Group] executives channeled the money to Bridgewater through two offshore corporate shells, Aleksin and Maze Industrial, based in the British Virgin Islands, the SEC filings show. The islands are among the world's most attractive tax havens due to favorable banking and confidentiality laws.

"They're tax shelters. I think it's pretty straightforward from a business
perspective," Bridgewater said of the companies. "It's a straightforward process
for everyone from Ford Motor Co. to Pittsburgh Paint and Glass, that companies
have holding companies for their foreign interests."
Bridgewater's comments are worth examining. He freely admits to using an off-shore company to shelter from paying taxes. Although not necessarily illegal, it certainly takes advantage of what many have described as a "loophole" in our tax code.

Futhermore, Bridgewater justifies his actions by basically saying: "Well, Ford and everybody else is doing it, so it's OK." This argument has never worked for us whether it came from the employees in our business or the kids being caught with hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

This issue is important to us because we have worked hard to put a principled candidate in office to replace Bennett, one whose actions are above reproach and who sets the standard for how our nation's business should be done--like Chaffetz who has defined a principle for the rather rare case of an appropriate earmark.

Nacilbupera condemns the use of off-shore tax shelters by businesses for the purpose of evading federal taxation. It would be interesting to see just how many millions of tax dollars Bridgewater has avoided paying by using Aleksin and Maze though such a computation is probably out of our grasp.

++++ More 5/23 11:00pm:

Earlier this year in an Independence Caucus 80-question highly detailed questionnaire (pdf; or see Indepenence Caucus of Cache Valley for html) of their endorsed candidates had Tim Bridgewater scoring 91% and Mike Lee 95%. Both these candidates support a National Sales Tax (NST) to replace the 16th Amendment which must be repealed (which means both candidates are really cool, imho!)

However, pertinent to this discussion on Bridgewater's business tax shelters was Bridgewater's response--reported by I-Caucus as listed either blank or "no"--to Question #68:
Do you agree that when money is being transferred out of the country for any
reason, it should correctly be considered to be “consumed”; and that money
should be taxed (at the current NST rate) as it leaves the country?
The problem is lacking a strong affirmative "yes" creates a loophole bigger than a wall-less southern border for money to leave the US without ever being taxed. Corporations such as Bridgewater's Interlink Capital Strategies would have a heyday exporting capital, thus providing Bridgewater and his colleagues with untold fortunes at the demise of country and state.

To us Question #68 points that when principle comes up against practice, Bridgewater is here to do what's best for Bridgewater International Group, LLC ("BIG") [BIG name reference citation here] in tax-avoidance strategies and loopholes, not what's best for Utah.

8 comments:

Jason The said...

Something insanely backwards and ironic about "A Republican" criticizing tax shelters and loopholes... as the GOP has fought long and hard to keep them in place.

In your eagerness to "contribute" you aren't even making sense.

But hey, at least your consistent about THAT, huh?

nacilbupera said...

Jason The: Always enjoy your wry comments. So does this mean we are both finding some common ground in fighting corruption in whichever party it may exist? Fantastic! Lets Celebrate!!! There is hope for you yet as a Tea Partier!!!!

Chuckles said...

I am glad that Chuck Warren is running Mike Lee's campaign. Do you know why Chuck Warren was removed from Chris Cannon and Gov. John Huntsman's staff? For sexual harassment. Nice. Why don't Mike Lee supporters ever want to talk about the shady dealings of their candidate and his staff. It's a shame.

nacilbupera said...

Chuckles: Here is what Politico in 2007 had to say about Chuck Warren:

"In 1997, while he was chief of staff to Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah), Warren was accused of sexual harassment by a subordinate who said he pressured her into an unwanted physical relationship, according to newspaper accounts at that time.

Warren resigned and the woman’s claims were settled. He maintained at the time that the relationship was consensual.

“It’s forever a stain on me and my wife and kids. It brings me to tears every time I think of it,” Warren said in an interview for this story. “I’m hoping that 10 years [after] an accusation, that I can get on with my life.”"

We don't know Mr. Warren but it sounds like the situation has been settled and Mr. Warren has not in the 13 years since been accused.

While there are things about Lee that are of concern to us including some on this very blog, this is not one of them. As we said, Bridgewater's avoidance of paying business tax is a concern of ours and that was not addressed in your comment.

Michael and Jessica said...

@Chuckles

I wouldn't call Nacilbupera a "Mike Lee supporter", he's criticized Mike too on this blog. This blog does a great job of using facts and links to credible sources so people can look into it themselves.
Mike's campaign manager is not running to be our next Senator.

So please give Nacilbupera the links(from credible sources) to Mike Lee's "shady dealings" and I'm sure he would be more than happy to report them.

nacilbupera said...

Michael and Jessica:

You are most generous in your praise, thank you.

Chuckles or anyone:

If you have concerns or info on relevant "shady dealings", please post, remembering to identify whether you have fact or opinion. Alternatively, you can also contact us at: Nacilbupera [at] gmail.com

Phillip Bell, EA said...

I understand the criticism, and I look at it two ways.

If we are critiquing Tim Bridgewater the businessman I don't fault him for the use of off-shore tax shelters. He is right. Even the Utah "royal" family, the Huntsman's use shell corporations in tax haven countries. If they are being used and managed in a legal manner, than I have no problem with a business trying to avoid taxes -- of course the line between avoidance and evasion can be quite thin.

However, I have a big problem with Bridgewater the candidate for Senate using those mechanisms -- especially with how much he pushes fiscal responsibility in Washington.

nacilbupera said...

Phillip Bell:

An excellent insight on your part re: Bridgewater the buisnessman vs. Bridgewater the Senate candidate!

Whether done by Huntsman, Bridgewater, or whomever the name used to justify the action, we feel there has to be a better way to do business internationally than to use an offshore shelter for the purpose of not paying tax and--though apparently legal--smacks heavily of an improprietous loophole. Where's the courage to stand the higher ground to say "I'm not gonna do this because it makes my business look like a cheap tax-evader"?

We are working on another aspect of this issue and would commend you to stay tuned over the next fortnight or so for when we are ready to explore this in more detail...