Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No good deed goes unpunished

Bloomberg story, here.

Good work chap. Bravo. You stuck your neck out and blew the whistle on some tax-evading American floozies. And now your good work has been rewarded with prison time! Hooray! So, while you have some time to think in your cell, picture this: your tax evading boss is running free as the wind back in Europe, singing on Swiss hilltops like somebody out of a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, eating delicious chocolates, and he probably even plays daddy to your children on the weekends. Justice doesn't quite seem fitting in this case.

Hey, at least you'll get that up to 30% of recouped tax money as the whistleblower's reward, right? Actually, hold that thought. This Washington Post article says: "However, an IRS notice says the agency will refuse to pay a reward if the whistleblower 'is convicted of criminal conduct arising from his or her role in planning and initiating' the tax evasion." Damn!

A thought on prison: from Bryan Caplan at EconLog, prison rape. You have a 5% chance to get raped per year. And with three years in prison the odds are looking pretty bad, son.

And to think the Constitution has an Amendment against cruel and unusual punishments. I would probably characterize his treatment at the very least highly unusual.