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It was recently revealed by way of a massive document leak that the wealthiest of the global wealthy have taken trillions of dollars and, through the services of a secretive Panamanian law firm, squirrelled that money away inside virtual coffee cans in tax havens all over the world. The "Panama Papers" scandal, as it has come to be called, has ensnared a large number of world leaders, and cost Iceland's prime minister his job.
Those 11 million pages contain the names of hundreds of Americans who also used the services of that Panamanian firm to hide their money. They are the focus of my rage, because they did what they did to avoid paying taxes. Taxes, which pay for the school my daughter will attend, the textbooks she will read, the teachers who will guide her, the roads that will carry her there, the police and fire departments that protect her, the public servants who will help her register to vote someday and who clear the roads when the storms turn white.
Meanwhile, the paid lackeys of these thieves run up and down the halls of Congress, and all over the media, shouting about how broke we are as a nation. Austerity, they cry, budget cuts, no food for poor children or assistance for poor families. Social Security and Medicare must be cut because that's the responsible thing to do. No support for wounded and traumatized veterans, but of course we can afford more war. We need education budget cuts, no infrastructure repair, no health care reform, because look, see, we're broke.
No, we aren't. We were robbed, and we can get that money back if we choose to act. This is a fiction we live in, cunningly crafted to cover the tracks of those who care only for themselves. Between the bloated "defense" budget and all that untaxed money lying offshore, we have the revenue required to address these pressing issues and chase the "austerity" argument off like a diseased cur.
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