Monday, December 3, 2012

Costco and Stemcor - Trans Atlantic Tax Avoiding Hypocrisy

Most people are of the opinion that being preached at by sanctimonious people is extremely irritating but being preached at by sanctimonious hypocrites is infinitely worse.

In the eyes of the people, ideologically motivated politicians and their cronies from all parts of the world and from all parts of the political spectrum look and sound like clones of each other. Everything, from their demeanor on camera to the soundbites and slogans they use, are all the same.

To cap it all we have 'progressives' from both sides of the Atlantic preaching about the immorality of keeping one's exposure to taxes to the legal minimum while simultaneously engaging in similar practices themselves. Socialist hypocrisy does not recognise national borders.

On the American side of the Atlantic we have Jim Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of the international retail chain Costco.  From humble beginnings he worked his way up from a bag boy to forming his own retail giant becoming a multi millionaire in the process.

Jim Sinegal is living proof that the American dream was there for anyone with a vision and who was prepared to put in the hours and effort. Sadly Jim Sinegal is one of the current group of self made men who having climbed to the top, are pulling up the ladder behind them by denying the same opportunity for the coming generations.

In concert with other Democrats, Jim Sinegal has swallowed the Obama messiahship like a Justin Bieber worshiping schoolgirl.  At the Democratic National Convention he swooned and fawned after candidate Obama as he successfully convinced the majority of the electorate that the community organiser from Chicago, with no background in business or anything other than Alinskyite socialist direct action, had the best policies to turn around the dire American economy.

Jim Sinegal is insulting the American people and sacrificing his dignity in the process by repeating the President's mantra that millionaires and billionaires must pay a little more to help clear the 16 trillion debt mountain.

Like the rest of the country who are smart enough to ignore the Kardashians, he knows that this tax is a drop in the bucket that will not do anything to lower the debt mountain. Jim Sinegal also knows that taxing the so called 'rich' is a tenet of socialism and it is the basic tool that socialists use for the redistribution of wealth.

The criteria for being classed as 'rich' is now a low $250,000; a figure which will be progressively lowered as the projected revenue fails to materialise.

Armed with Obama's moral superiority that "the rich must pay their fair share" Jim Sinegal sets about working around that morality, and consequently denying the Treasury of some desperately needed revenue, by voting for himself and the Costco board a special dividend specifically designed to avoid his own President's up and coming tax increases. And to make matters worse Sinegal and the board are borrowing $3.5 billion in order to make this special payment, increasing the company's debt and interest bill.

If Jim Sinegal believes that rich people like himself should pay more tax then he shouldn't go to such lengths to avoid doing just that, beside there is nothing stopping him from doing so as there is a mechanism in the IRS tax code for him and his fellow hypocrites to pay extra tax.

The simple fact is that Jim Sinegal is part of a remote elite that believe in a socialist future for America that espouses equality and fairness just so long as it excludes himself and his ilk.

On the British side of the Atlantic we have Margaret Hodge, otherwise known as the Right Honourable Lady Hodge MBE, MP, Privy Councillor and uber socialist hypocrite of the very highest order.

Margaret Hodge is a multi millionaire member of the Oppenheimer family who own Stemcor, the worlds biggest privately owned steel trading corporation of which Hodge is a shareholder.

Her political career prior to joining the House of Commons gravy train is mired in controversy including starting an internal civil war in her local Labour Party, backstabbing and a child sex abuse scandal that, in any sane country, would have disbarred Hodge from ever holding public office.

Margaret Hodge's parliamentary career has also been dogged with controversy but that did not stand in the way of her becoming  Chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. This Committee is currently leading an investigation into the tax arrangements of multinational corporations that do business in Great Britain such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon.

The problem is not with the terms of reference of the Committee but the Chairman's faux moral indignation of corporations using legal means to lessen their exposure to taxes.

Margaret Hodge's sanctimonious language will be familiar to readers both sides of the Atlantic as she whines that, "it is wrong that global companies who are making considerable profits are getting away with paying little or no corporation tax" or the worn out but familiar mantra that "these companies must pay their fair share".

Margaret Hodge's solution is typical of a hard left socialist, i.e. give the state more power. She states that  "Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs ( the tax Stasi ) needed to be more aggressive in confronting corporate tax avoidance".

Except of course when it comes to the tax affairs of her own company, Stemcor.

The latest accounts show that Stemcor paid the Exchequer just 0.01% of the revenues that it booked through its UK based business. Also it was revealed that Stemcor, despite generating about one third of its revenues in Great Britain, paid only 2.7% of its global taxes to the Exchequer when the current rate is 24%.

In a display of arrogance typical of the political elite, Margaret Hodge has threatened legal action against fellow MP Priti Patel for having the temerity to seek clarification of her company's tax arrangements. This threat applies to anyone else who dares to question the actions of herself and her fellow shareholders.

Politicians and their cronies think that the rules and the moral code that they decide for everyone else does not apply to themselves. They live in an unreal parallel world where they believe that they have the  'divine right to rule ' that was claimed by the royal tyrannies of old.

We the people must wake up and learn how to wield the power that we have to hold the political elite and their cronies to account; we must make sure that they follow the same rules and moral code they dictate for the rest us.


  1. If they're going to give that Hodge woman that job, they may as well give The Yorkshire Ripper some similar position in the women's rights movement.
    Paris Claims

    1. After Hodge's poor handling of the Islington child sex abuse scandal Blair makes her Minister for Children?

      Politicians use some twisted logic.

  2. We the people must wake up and learn how to wield the power that we have to hold the political elite and their cronies to account; we must make sure that they follow the same rules and moral code they dictate for us.
    Some bl***y hope!

    1. I know how you feel. Its depressing the way we the people just lay down and take it.
      The left have learned how to wield what little power they had and look what they have achieved.
      I realise its a long shot but but I live in hope.

  3. norhing will be done while the masses have television football and the sun "newspaper" to take their interest. Josef goebells must be sorry he was not born in this era.

    1. Sadly I have to agree with you. The people are too easily distracted.
      Maybe one day they will wake up but I won't hold my breath.