Commentary: Listen, Feds: Leave UBS Alone!
CNBC Chief International Correspondent
The US government is going after Swiss banks to hand over their super-secret account details. This is so wrong.
Leave UBS alone. It is hypocritical on the part of our government to do this.
Do you know which country is the biggest tax haven in the entire world? The United States!
Foreigners have more than $4 trillion dollars in passive investments in the form of bank accounts or brokerage accounts in the US, according to Treasury figures that Dan Mitchell from the CATO Institute helped me dig up.
And guess what. The US does not tax interest or passive capital gains on foreigners. Yup, you read that right: The US government gives HUGE tax breaks to foreigners. Why? Because we want their money and we want to attract their capital to our economy.
If a foreign government came to the United States and said "hand over information about all our citizens," we would tell them to go blow smoke. We don't do that. But now Congress wants Switzerland to do the same with UBS . It's wrong.
Tax competition is a good thing. It should happen between states; it should happen between countries. The countries in the world that have the highest rates of tax evasion are the countries with the highest tax rates. That should be a lesson to governments, not a reason to prosecute.
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