Writer says invade Cayman

| 06/01/2009

(CNS): A Pulitzer Prize winning writer has called for a US declaration of war on the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other offshore tax havens. David Cay Johnston, sets out his radical views in an article in the Jan-Feb 2009 issue of the leftist magazine, Mother Jones, in which he also suggests a Cuba-style blockade of tax havens and bringing criminal charges against US citizens who use them.

In the article, “Fiscal Therapy”, Johnston writes: “In 1983 just 10 percent of America’s corporate profits were funneled through places that charge little or no corporate income tax; today more than 25 percent of profits go through tax havens. The Obama administration could tell the Caymans—now fifth in the world in bank deposits—to repeal its bank secrecy laws or be invaded; since the island nation’s total armed forces consists of about 300 police officers, it shouldn’t be hard for technicians and auditors, accompanied by a few Marines, to fly in and seize all the records. Bermuda, which relies on the Royal Navy for its military, could be next, and so on. Long before we get to Switzerland and Luxembourg, their governments should have gotten the message.

“Barring gunboat diplomacy (tempting as it is), there is no reason we cannot pass laws to block financial transactions with tax havens or even, Cuba-style, make it a crime for Americans to visit or do business with them without special permission. Congress could declare the hiding of funds a threat to national security and require that anyone with offshore assets disclose them to the IRS within 30 days and pay taxes, interest, and penalties within 180 days. For the holdouts, temporary special teams in the IRS and Justice Department could speedily pursue civil or criminal charges.”

In 2001, as the tax reporter for The New York Times Johnston won a Pulitzer Prize “for his penetrating and enterprising reporting that exposed loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code.”

He is currently a columnist for the trade journal, Tax Notes. He is the author of best-selling bookson tax and economic policy, the most recently published of which is Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill), which follows a New York Times best-seller Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another reason why we remain a UK territory.  Do not be mislead, if you asked 90% of the British (educated) people, they will tell you that there is NO BENEFIT to the UK to keep Cayman and we are AN EMBARASSMENT to England!  These same people would love it if we chose independence.  However, thankfully for a few clever, intelligent, and influential people, we remain a BOTC.  Thank GOD we do not change.  The day we get too big for our britches, the money WILL LEAVE and we will be invaded by some wacko country.  I wish every Caymanian who even had a fleeting thought of independence would go abroad for 30 days to 30 countries and would then realize the free ride we enjoy. 

  2. Alan Partridge says:

    First of all, this is one mans statement.

    Let’s not get confused here.  Mr Obama has not mentioned invading anyone, let alone the Cayman Islands.

    As a British Overseas Territory, I think the American government would be wise to not start invading the territory of it’s closest ally in recent times.  And I doubt very much that the British Government would allow it, and I belive the Cayman Islands could count on that.  The British supported the Falkland Islands when they were invaded and they are of far less strategic importance than Cayman.

    But this is all besides the point, the author, and I hope his tongue was firmly in his cheek, has mentioned a crackpot idea that maybe one or two hardline idiots from the states might support.  Mr Obama is certianly not going to declare war on a peaceful country. 

    Besides, until Cayman discovers Oil within it’s shores, most of America really aren’t interested.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, Mr. Johnston believes (probably correctly) that the U.S. can rely upon the tacit British support for any aggression against the overseas terriories. So much for the benefits of being a colony of Britain.

  4. Anonymous says:


    I am being used that right-wing Americans like the idea of invading foreign countries… but if now the left-wing Americans start to fancy such a move, then the world is really in big trouble.

    Knowing the great performance of the American troops, I am sure they mix up Cayman with Isla de le Juventud and will be surprised that instead of facing 300 lightly armed policemen they will be facing Russian built tanks and missiles…

    Or the Americans land in Cayman Brac and are totally surprised that somebody was there before them to destroy the island…

    Due to mis-communication, several American warships will sink each other and we will have great new dive-sites in the Caribbean. London might not like the idea that one of their dependent territories is under attack by the colonials and they might send James Bond to Washington to take care of the problem… and the world will be a better place… 


  5. Anonymous says:

    You sir, are a buffoon

  6. Anonymous says:

    This domineering and threatening man is yet another example of how Americans gained their warmongering reputation. 

    Bring it!

  7. John Charles says:

    Its important to point out how mixed up this ‘Pulitzer Prize’ winner really is. In the course of this article he has shown communist, fascist and imperialistic tendancies in the space of three paragraphs. I can only surmise that the guy had drunk too much red wine before writing this rubbish.

    if the US do decide to invade on the basis of this article, I for one will take up arms and fight to the death!