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.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.
"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."
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 Both these candidates support a National Sales Tax (NST) to replace the 16th Amendment which must be repealed (which means both candidates are really cool, imho!)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 anyThe 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.
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?
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.