Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Top ten tax cheats

Time magazine recently published a list of the worst tax dodgers, since in Britain it is time now to pay yearly tax reports.
  1. Al Capone
  2. Wesley Snipes
  3. Pete Rose
  4. Willie Nelson
  5. Richard Hatch
  6. Leona Helmsley
  7. Orenthal James Simpson
  8. Dionne Warwick
  9. Sinbad
  10. Walter Anderson
When I think of this list, I know that in Australia there have been allegations of tax evasion on a large scale by wealthy businessmen, but tax resistance - certainly to stop road building that should have ended Australia-wide twenty or thirty years ago - is something I actually vigorously defend and indeed feel could be the only option in certain circumstances.

Still, it is so hard to believe that these people - whatever might be said by extreme free-market economists - really have people's best interests at heart be evading taxes. There is precious little evidence that any of the tax resisters were using their money in a way books like the Politically Incorrect Guides would advocate: to help other people by means of the charities that they view as a necessary and desirable replacement for government handouts. Even Dionne warwick appears to do little more than charity concerts.

Willie Nelson seems to be the only one who might be seen as having any “justice” in his tax evasion. He was willing to repay when caught, and has played at Farm Aid ever since forming it with John Cougar Mellencamp in 1985. Unusually for a country musician, he is not politically right-wing, supporting the almost-radicla Dennis Kucinich in the 2000s.

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