Letter: We must crack down on white collar crime – InForum

“Tough on crime” claims the politician, and what he really means is more cops on the beat to stop street crimes of car theft, burglary, vandalism, etc. It says little about white-collar crimes for which the losses are far, far exceeding the losses due to street crimes. Losses due to fraud and embezzlement alone average more than $800 billion a year.

White collar crime is carried out mainly by the rich and powerful because they have the opportunity, the penalties are minor and the profits are enormous. The wealthy are mostly the top executives of big business and the wealthy elite, while the powerful are the members of Congress and the elected/appointees of our government who write and pass the rules and regulations that control our activities.

White-collar crime is responsible for most of the disasters we have experienced as a nation, including the Great Depression, the Great Recession of 2008, the savings and loans scandal, the Enron mess, and the list is long. For more details, read “Big Dirty Money” by J. Taub. An example is our unfair tax codes with “deferred interest” provisions. Former President Trump promised to get rid of it during his campaign, but did nothing. The loophole costs our government $2 billion in tax revenue from the top 25 hedge fund managers alone. There are between 3,000 and 5,000 such managers in the United States. Other examples include capital gains, the mortgage interest deduction, and the Social Security cap, all of which favor the wealthy.

Then we have the IRS where Congress continued to cut its budget, causing an 80% drop in the number of audits of the wealthy. This means a loss of approximately $750 billion in taxes.

We the people desperately need a Congress and an administration that will correct this situation. It is said that Democrats in North Dakota need a platform to get elected. What better platform than an all-out effort to get “tough on white-collar crime”?

Monroe Pederson lives in Hatton, North Dakota

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Forum Editorial Board or the owners of the Forum.

Elizabeth J. Harless