It's the funny. She's hysterical.
Defaulting does not, so far as I can see, make it easier to collect taxes from the rich--indeed, insofar as they own those bonds, or shares in the banks that will be severely hurt when those bonds are not paid, or businesses that will be hurt by the resulting financial crisis, it makes you less able to collect taxes from the rich. Cracking down on tax evasion would be a very good thing to do. But it is a very good thing to do whether or not Greece defaults, and it will not be done instantly.
Commenter dmcgregor writes:But the tax evasion is not uniformly distributed. According to estimates from a paper (Distributional Implications of Tax Evasion in Greece, Matsaganis and Flevotomou) I read salaried employees are estimated to only under report their income by -0.6%, while farmers are around 53% and other self-employed 25% (which of course makes sense, much more room for underreporting in those areas)...but also importantly, the under reporting is strongest at the bottom and top of the income scale. So a middle class government worker who has by and large paid the taxes owed, is the one suffering because the rich can get away with under reporting their income significantly? I know life isn't fair and all, but that seems worthy of getting a little pissed off about.
Sure, but who do you think is taking the bribes to let the rich people and the farmers out of their taxes? That's right, salaried civil servants (who I guarantee are not paying taxes on their bribery income.) The wealthy, the poor, and the self-employed have the most scope for jiggering their income statistics, but you won't solve tax evasion without pretty radical changes to the way that Greece's civil service operates. Changes that the civil service has vigorously and effectively resisted at every level. Or so I understand it.
You read it here first, America. The rich are evading taxes by bribing civil servants, who also evade taxes--on their bribes!
Civil Servant: Number 294!
Millionaire: It's about time. I've been waiting for two hours and those chairs were hurting my back. Now. I would like to avoid paying my taxes and therefore hope you will accept this large bribe.
Civil Servant: Of course, sir. I'll just put it right here in my desk drawer with all my other bribes from millionaires.