News / Americas

Clinton Hits Tax Evasion in Latin America

US Secretary Hillary Clinton meeting at the Palacio de Carondelet in Quito with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, 08 Jun 2010
US Secretary Hillary Clinton meeting at the Palacio de Carondelet in Quito with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, 08 Jun 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued a four-nation Latin America and Caribbean trip Tuesday, meeting in Quito with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa. In a speech in Quito, Clinton criticized what she said was widespread tax evasion in Latin America - saying governments are not collecting enough money to provide quality education and services.

Previous suggestions by the Secretary that Latin American states should raise taxes on the wealthy have drawn criticism from American conservatives who see lower taxes in the United States as conducive to growth.

But she emphasized that theme in her policy address in Quito, saying it is a simple fact that in many Latin American countries, the wealthy don't pay their fair share.

"We cannot mince words about this," said Hillary Clinton. "Levels of tax evasion are unacceptably high - as much or more than 50 percent in some of this region's economies when it comes to personal income tax. Now, why does it matter?  It matters because without a sufficient tax base, there are simply not enough revenues for the public sector to offer the services and infrastructure that foster social mobility and competitive economies - roads and power plants, airports,  health systems and schools."

Clinton said that acknowledging tax unfairness and cheating is not class warfare, but a matter of recognizing that a winner takes all approach to economic policy is short-sighted and obsolete.

She said everyone benefits when economic opportunity is broad based:

"More inclusive growth will make our entire economies stronger and more competitive over the long run, which will benefit us all," she said. "We simply cannot support policies that reduce poverty and spread prosperity if the wealthiest among us are not doing our part."

Clinton said that with trade and growth in Latin America relatively high and regional conflicts rare, it is a moment of opportunity for the Americas to consolidate democracy and take off economically.

Clinton had three hours of meetings here with Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, a left-leaning populist who angered the Bush administration by refusing to extend an accord allowing U.S. drug surveillance flights from Ecuador's Manta airbase.

Mr. Correa has since been critical of the subsequent accord giving U.S. forces access to several Colombian bases. At a joint press event with Mr. Correa, Clinton promised U.S. transparency in its Colombian operations aimed she said at helping that country's battle against drug gangs and FARC guerrillas.

"The United States has been proud to help Colombia," said Clinton. "But clearly we respect the territorial integrity of all countries in the region. And wee are certainly committed to sharing information and working in a mutually-beneficial way with the neighbors of Colombia."

The Ecuadoran president, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez welcomed the Clinton assurances while saying regional concerns remain about the bases.

He said he and his government are not anti-American but pro social-justice and said his happiest years those spent at a U.S. university.

He endorsed Clinton's emphasis on tax evasion, saying when he has proposed raising taxes on wealthy Ecuadorans, it is attacked as communist rhetoric.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Right to Die: Colombian Man Ends Life with Government Backup

After heated public debate and last-minute legal challenges, 79-year-old becomes first Colombian to die as result of government-sanctioned euthanasia
More

3 Mexican Journalists Assassinated in Week

Rights groups call on Mexican authorities to thoroughly investigate recent murders in Oaxaca, Veracruz and Guanajuato
More

Ecuador Is Prime Example at Heart of Pope's Climate Stance

Pope Francis begins his South America tour this weekend in country that is prime example of tensions between politics, business and environment
More

Experts: US-Cuba Moves Likely to Deepen N Korea’s Isolation

Korea University professor sees US-Cuba normalization as 'quite an ideological eye-opener' for Pyongyang, a longtime Havana ally
More

Pope to Tour 3 South American Countries

Grueling, week-long trip will showcase Francis at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart
More

Congress Aims to Keep Bans on Dealing with Cuban Military

Proposed legislation would ban Americans from engaging in any financial transactions with the Cuban military or the Cuban Ministry of the Interior
More