Where has all the surplus gone?
A large part of it is hidden in tax havens abroad. And, as Carl Gibson explains, wealthy individuals and large corporations have enough stashed overseas to pay off the national debt of many countries currently suffering under austerity measures.
Any politician who bemoans the national debt, whether they be American, Greek, Spanish or otherwise, is lying to you if they blame anyone but the richest 0.001% for the country’s massive debt. Because the richest 0.001% have anywhere between $21 trillion and $32 trillion stashed in overseas bank accounts simply to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It’s a number that’s simply beyond comprehension. Even if someone had spent a million dollars a day since Jesus was born, they would have only spent $700 billion by today, just $0.7 trillion.
$32 trillion is a hell of a lot of money. In fact, it’s more than double the United States’ total accumulated debt. In fact, $32 trillion would be enough to settle both the debt of the United States and the European Union combined. Visualized in cash, the amount of money stashed overseas by the 0.001% would be almost as high as the Statue of Liberty and wider than two football fields. And thanks to the numerous loopholes, gimmicks and special deductions written into the tax code at the request of corporate lobbyists who have the ear of the chairmen of tax-writing committees worldwide, public debts and corporate profits are skyrocketing, while tax revenues and the standard of living for the other 99% of us is plummeting.
Instead of being taxed, that same class is more than happy to lend its money to governments—at interest, of course—and to call for the imposition of austerity measures to keep everyone else in line. So that it can get and keep even more of the surplus.