…become a dictator!
This BBC report says that Hitler was a huge dodger of taxes. He earned millions of Reichmarks through sales of that odd little book of his, Mein Kampf, but hid the revenue from the pre-Nazi tax goons. Once he became chancellor in 1933, however, it all became moot – his debts magically disappeared after some jack-booted bureaucrat accepted a mysterious (and tax-free) pension of 2000 Reichmarks a month.
Imagine that – our favorite megalomaniac dictator and mass murderer was also a slimy tax cheater and a crook. Who knew? Maybe tax cheating is a gateway crime into genocide and other popular war crimes. Of course none of this has anything to do with people like Dick Cheney, who, while CEO of Halliburton, was able to transition the company from paying $302 million in corporate taxes in 1998 to an $85 million tax refund in 1999. But that was legitimate – he used good old-fashioned off-shore tax havens. What a loyal American!
For Hitler, the removal of that taxing burden allowed him to focus on the European “extreme makeover” project he liked to talk so much about, leading to a kerfuffle in which a few people were reportedly injured. In the U.S., where war is now largely privatized, it makes sense to relieve the federal government of the burden of tax collecting, especially since the government is no longer in the war business. Well, that’s not exactly true – the government still has to foot the bill.
But with more than 700 U.S. military bases in 132 counties around the world, the Great American Empire is whole-heartedly involved in its own global “extreme makeover.” After all, they need all that oil to keep the tanks rolling, and they also need to be nice to those friendly countries who offer the tax havens that make it possible for people back home to live the great American lifestyle, which in turn gives them the time and energy to focus on the makeover. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Unfortunately, a few people still get injured along the way.
(Set your TiVos, Illicos, and VCRs for Sunday, September 10 at 10:00 PM, when CBC Television will rebroadcast the award-winning documentary “Why We Fight“.)