Winner of Panama Papers Scandal: Bernie Sanders?
He spoke out about offshore tax havens 5 years ago
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2016 9:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – "Panama is the world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade US taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens." It's a quote as timely today as it was in 2011 when Bernie Sanders spoke about the Panama Free Trade Agreement on the Senate floor. He argued it "would effectively bar the United States from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama." His foresight is now providing a boost to his still-alive campaign following the leak of the Panama Papers. "I wish I had been proven wrong about this, but it has now come to light that the extent of Panama's tax avoidance scams is even worse than I had feared," Sanders says, per Politico.

In a Facebook post, Sanders' camp says Hillary Clinton "made this tax evasion worse" by voting in favor of the deal, which Sanders opposed "from day one." Sanders says his prediction that the deal "would make it easier, not harder, for the wealthy and large corporations to evade taxes by sheltering billions of dollars offshore" has come true, though Quartz notes there's no evidence to back up this statement—at least not yet. Sanders adds he'll "terminate the Panama Free Trade Agreement within six months" if he becomes president and "conduct an immediate investigation into US banks, corporations, and wealthy individuals who have been stashing their cash in Panama to avoid taxes." (Hundreds of Americans have been exposed so far.)