Opinion Outpost April 12

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Panama Papers

And then the core question: After these revelations, will anything change? Many formal denials and pledges of official investigations have been made. But to what degree do the law and public shaming still have dominion over this global elite? A public scarred by repeated revelations of corruption in government, sports and finance will demand to know.

— Editorial Board
The New York Times

The fact that an individual created such a company, or opened bank accounts in Panama, is not proof of any wrongdoing, and some individuals in the documents have said they had legitimate business dealings that warranted a Panamanian presence. … It will take significantly more parsing, beyond the year ICIJ and its partners already have devoted, to determine any criminal liability.

That’s not stopping the media from jumping to conclusions.

— Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal

Setting up shell companies to avoid paying taxes in an individual’s or a corporation’s home country is not always, or even mostly, illegal. But there are serious practical and moral questions that apply, in addition to where and when such behavior IS illegal, and this release of such a tsunami of fascinating information comes at exactly the time when every American presidential candidate from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump is speaking out against “inversions” or the moving of corporations to other countries to avoid paying taxes.

… These questions, which will doubtless take some time to answer, are the most interesting of all. I can hardly wait!

—  Georgia Anne Geyer
Claremore Daily Progress

Some will try to downplay it, to dismiss it, to tell you it’s a big misunderstanding. They will say it’s a tempest in a teapot or perhaps a grand conspiracy. But don’t believe it. The release of the Panama Papers is a very big deal.

… This is an earthquake. The aftershocks will continue for months, even years to come. It could also be the beginning of the end of secrets.

— Frida Ghitis
CNN

That fallout may be just beginning.

Many of the odious items about the world’s rich and famous aren’t surprising, but they still have the power to destabilize governments. And while most of the named so far have not been Americans, it doesn’t mean this country is immune.

… For another, America’s past military involvement with Panama may have made the country less attractive to U.S. investors looking to hide cash from government scrutiny. (Forty years’ worth of documents from, say, the Cayman Islands might tell a different story.)

— Editorial Board
San Francisco Chronicle

The rich are, indeed, different from the rest of us — not just because they have more money but because of the lengths they’ll go to keep it.

… One real revelation of the Panama Papers is that international and domestic laws so often are written to facilitate hoarding great wealth, at a tremendous cost to the rest of us.

— Walt Handelsman
The Kansas City Star

Ted Cruz

Cruz is the most universally disrespected politician in the Republican Party, which he wears as a badge of honor. And Cruz doesn’t have Trump’s positives, if you can say such a thing about celebrity, a fake everyman persona, disdain — shared by his followers — for policy and a knack for memorable slogans.

— Margaret Carlson
Chicago Tribune

Judging by the collective Republican sigh of relief after Ted Cruz swept the Wisconsin primary and put the brakes on the Donald Trump juggernaut, many in the party seem to consider Cruz a “viable alternative” to Trump. But that view is nothing short of baffling.

Despite his Ivy League education, pastor-like polished oratory and apparent voter appeal, Cruz seems to know how to do only one thing in government, and that is to say, “No.”

— Armand V. Cucciniello III 
USA Today

America’s Christian bakers and florists and wedding planners will be safe under a Ted Cruz presidency.

Cruz has been a passionate advocate of religious liberty for years. He’s been in the front line trenches defending our First Freedom – helping secure courtroom victories to preserve the Texas Ten Commandments monument and the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.

— Todd Starnes
Fox News

At this point, Cruz is the only Republican candidate left who can both win the nomination and keep the Republican Party a conservative party. You may not like how he looks or speaks, but you know where he stands.

I can’t say the same about the leading Republican candidate.

I get the rebellion. I really do. But I can’t understand for the life of me why Ted Cruz isn’t leading it.

— William B. F. O’Reilly
Newsday

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