Invading the Caymans

Writing in The Nation, David Cay Johnston takes liberal interventionism to a new level with this modest proposal: President Obama proposed on May 4 to crack down on offshore tax cheating; that proposal does not go nearly far enough. Instead of settling for a dime on the dollar, as Obama’s plan would do, let’s get ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
585716_090519_cayman2.jpg
585716_090519_cayman2.jpg
GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS - APRIL 24: Seven Mile Beach on 24 April, 2008 in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Writing in The Nation, David Cay Johnston takes liberal interventionism to a new level with this modest proposal:

President Obama proposed on May 4 to crack down on offshore tax cheating; that proposal does not go nearly far enough. Instead of settling for a dime on the dollar, as Obama's plan would do, let's get serious about offshore tax cheating, both legalized and criminal. Let's do what we did to halt the imagined threats of communists in Grenada, depose a drug-dealing president in Panama and find those imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Let's invade the Caymans!

Writing in The Nation, David Cay Johnston takes liberal interventionism to a new level with this modest proposal:

President Obama proposed on May 4 to crack down on offshore tax cheating; that proposal does not go nearly far enough. Instead of settling for a dime on the dollar, as Obama’s plan would do, let’s get serious about offshore tax cheating, both legalized and criminal. Let’s do what we did to halt the imagined threats of communists in Grenada, depose a drug-dealing president in Panama and find those imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Let’s invade the Caymans!

The islands, which belong to Britain, have no military and just 300 or so police. An invasion force composed of tax lawyers, forensic auditors and a handful of computer technicians could execute a hostile takeover without firing a shot.

The Caymans are not really a country; they are a law firm posing as one. More than 12,000 “companies” operate out of a single building known as Ugland House, home to the law firm Maples & Calder…. There is $1.9 trillion in bank deposits in the Caymans–money actually invested in the United States and other countries but invisible to the IRS. 

I could certainly think of less pleasant places to invade. Though if we head down this path, the U.S. should probably start preparing for EU forces to make an amphibious assault on Delaware.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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