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FATCA, de ambassador, de US goals, Kamla, Imbert . . . same khaki pants

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September 17, 2016 by Fensic


Wid two lips leh mih double up: Steups an steups.

Ah mean why not steups? Mih plan was simple: Get enough information about de Trini-born American ambassador tuh Triniland, John Estrada. Den show how far removed he is from de country he leave when he was like 14 years young, tuh where he could now be orn record as tellin ah reporter he doh understand why T&T cyar parse dis FATCA legislation. An wid de deadline before penalties kick een arong de corner tuh boot. What ah find was suppose tuh explain why he dare tuh tink politics in Triniland in recent years any more cooperative dan when he did live in Laventille.

De man eh just move tuh de US, he make history so ah figure ah could show what possible fuh young Trinbagonians. Dey could follow fashion an do dey own version ah achievin widout havin tuh leave T&T an get ah hyphen wid some udder country name next tuh “Trini”. Tuh make mih look like ah did know what ah was torkin bout, ah decide ah go increase me knowledge ah dis FATCA ting he anxious tuh have parse by de end ah September.

Now me an dis great plan reduce tuh two words: Dotish me.

Ah dotish because de more ah read about FATCA an it goal, de more de ambassador geh push aside. Ah next push an is out de picture he out de picture oui.

First, let mih do like ah was suppose tuh an say what FATCA stand for. Ah done use de term like four times.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Dat is what FATCA stand for. Ah wouldn’t bet ah red cent orn which country citizens doh have ah clue what it about.

Everybody in de US who does wuk know about dat feared agency dat arguable is de most powerful ah all American agencies. It name de Internal Revenue Service, (not de Inland Revenue Service ah see some idiot reporter(s) in de Express call it).

Eef is one ting it does do good is collect taxes even eef it have tuh turn yuh upsided dong an shake yuh by yuh ankles. Try an hide how much money yuh make an de IRS does bare it teet. Actually it have teet, fangs an whatever else it need tuh tear tax cheats apart. Still, people does try an hide dey earnings. When ah say, ‘people’, ah mean American citizens an non-Americans legally allowed tuh live in de US. Accordin tuh US tax law, you is one ah dem ‘people’ an yuh suppose tuh pay yuh taxes wherever in de world yuh earn dat money. Offshore in udder countries, is one place ‘people’ does try an hide dey earnings.

So de US decide tuh deputize every country it does deal wid tuh help it fight dem ‘people’ who tink dey smarter dan de IRS. Penalties, ah word de IRS does salivate over, is de big stick de US usin tuh gain agreement. Dat an de shame any country not part ah de group might feel fuh not complyin.

All dis went orn durin Kamla an dem time in orfice eh. I understand dey even agree in principle wid FATCA.

Financial institutions did know de new rules: Report anybody who had accounts wid more dan $50,000 an ties tuh de US. Me eh know if dem is US or Trini dollars by de way. Trini account holders wid no ties tuh de US wasn’t affected, as far as I understand. So what Kamla torkin bout now only she know.

Apparently de biggest challenge tuh what de IRS an de US want tuh do comin from Israel. It Supreme Court tellin de country tuh hold strain.

It have udder articles in Forbes magazine questionin eef FATCA go wuk as expected an even be reciprocal as it supposed tuh be.

Me eh see Trini authorities rushin tuh get financial information orn Trinis from American banks. Is not like T&T have ah rep fuh runnin dong tax cheats. So dis FATCA is primarily fuh de US benefit.

Is dat why Kamla an dem eh push fuh de legislation when dey was in power? I doubt it. Dey eh do nuttin because . . . because . . . hell eef I know why. Is not like dis is de fuss time someting dis dotish happen. It had de FIU fiasco before.

Anyway, de PNM holdin de bag now an de PP actin like is de first time dey ever hear or see anyting name FATCA so dey have tuh protect citizens against de evil PNM, at least orn dis issue.

“Too much power go be in de hands ah dat short fella in charge ah de finance ministry – Imbert,” Kamla bawlin.

“Dat might be so, buh we eh change ah ting in de bill. We inherit it from allyuh slackers just so,” Imbert yell back.

Eef Kamla an dem had problems wid de bill, why dey eh use de time it was in dey court tuh voice dey concerns? Never mind, dotish question.

Now de govahment say it goin an beg de US fuh more time. Ah direct result ah party over country.

Eef was me gettin beg so fuh time, ah wouldn’t give none. Not even ah damn extra second. Ah mean de US parse it side ah de law in 2010. Kamla an dem agree in principal in what 2013? Now is 2016. De PNM sign de agreement dis parse August. How long de PP had?

Mih lack ah compassion not because ah any love fuh FATCA. It directed at de kind ah govahmental slackness dat does make dese situation happen. Maybe dat FATCA 30% withholdin penalty go be de bull pistle tuh change tings. Anyting worthwhile start wid ah dream ah hear.

Ambassador Estrada? Like he almost geh co-opted ent?

He show what Trinis can do when dey ready. Me eh know when he was ready buh ah bet he was by de time he join de Marine Corps. De man spend decades in it risin tuh de rank ah Sgt. Major, de highest non-commission rank. He was de 15th Marine tuh hold dat rank. Dat title not like no CoP in de TTPS. Now in ah next example ah de slackness ah torkin about, de agencies involved cyar even decide orn ah plan on how tuh put ah process in place tuh pick ah new CoP, four years after de larse one quit. Ah wonder eef de Marine Corps ever had ah actin Sgt. Major.

Ah dreamin digressin again.

Look at dat picture ah de former Sgt Major in full uniform. Look at dem eyes. Any sign ah nonsense dey? No sign ah any since he retire ah bettin. In de end, Ambassador Estrada had tuh say someting tuh dat reporter. Buh ah not dat dotish tuh tink is just he can-do attitude at play. Politics written all over he statement. An wid how American politics eh dysfunctional in joke? Steups.

So, while de US ambassador torkin orn behalf ah de US govahment, who torkin orn behalf ah where John Estrada from?

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