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CF&P  Press Release, March 3, 2009

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March
3, 2009

Kangaroo-Court Hearing Demonizes Tax Havens,
Overlooks Pro-Growth Changes that Would Protect
Human Rights and Reduce Tax Evasion

(Washington, DC, Tuesday, March 3, 2009) -- The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has put together another rigged hearing to demonize low-tax jurisdictions. Entitled "Tax Haven Banks and U.S. Compliance - Obtaining the Names of U.S. Clients with Swiss Accounts," the latest hearing is part of a broader campaign to pressure Switzerland to weaken its human-rights protections of financial privacy. The staged hearing comes on the heels of the Justice Department's unprecedented demand that the Swiss bank UBS turn over 52,000 names and accounts of American investors - even though the United States and Switzerland already have treaties that govern the sharing of information in cases of matters such as tax fraud.

Andrew Quinlan, President of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, remarked, "Because of their hostility to tax competition, some politicians have always resented nations such as Switzerland. Instead of persecuting a nation with a strong tradition of human rights and a better tax system, Senator Levin's Subcommittee should consider the following two questions."

  1. If Swiss banks are obliged to put American law above Swiss law, does this mean that American banks should be required to put foreign law above U.S. law?
  2. Academic evidence strongly indicates that tax compliance is undermined by high tax rates, so why aren't Senator Levin and other politicians supporting fundamental tax reforms that would reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance?

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute also commented, noting that, "Switzerland's human rights policy on privacy is something that should be emulated, not persecuted. Fundamental tax reform, meanwhile, is the responsible way of dealing with tax evasion."

Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center added, "Switzerland is a major investor in the United States, providing the capital to create jobs and strengthen our financial system. The assault against so-called tax havens not only threatens Swiss sovereignty but also risks driving away much needed capital from the American economy."

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity has noted on several occasions that Sen. Levin's hearings are biased against tax competition, fiscal sovereignty and financial privacy. Indeed, the hearings have consistently sought to provide more unchecked power for the IRS.

For more information on CF&P's activities on this issue, please visit our web site at:

Note: If you would like to attend the hearing, it will be held tomorrow, March 4th in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216 at 2:30 pm.

For additional information see CF&P's Foundation's Tax Havens Video Trilogy at:

For additional comments:
Andrew Quinlan can be reached at 202-285-0244,
Dan Mitchell can be reached at 202-218-4615,
Veronique de Rugy can be reached at 703-993-4930,

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