Forwarded from Chris Brady

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Jun 9 06:45:05 MDT 2000

Keeping up on the General Strike in Argentina
with some English language, capitalist sources:

>From the Buenos Aires Herald:
“The Supreme Court voted eight to one on Friday to uphold
an annual 590 million pesos, or one third, cut in federal
public service salaries and 240 million pesos in pension

>From the Miami Herald:
“…de la Rúa defended austerity policies that
 have caused some discontent among citizens paying higher taxes,
 government workers with reduced salaries and hard-line unions
 disgruntled by labor reforms.”

>From the BA Herald:
“Union leader blasted for tax rebellion

“The government in full on Thursday attacked union
leader Hugo Moyano for threatening to organize
"fiscal disobedience" during his speech in Wednesday's
demonstration against the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“President Fernando de la Rua said that by asking people
not to pay taxes, the union leader was jeopardizing "the
economy, food for children and the Nation." Economy
Minister Jose Luis Machinea compared Moyano to "a coupmonger."

"If the government goes ahead with this policy of hunger,
misery and cuts,…” Moyano said, "it will not be necessary
to organize any fiscal rebellion because people will not be
able to pay taxes ..."

“…Moyano, who heads the "rebel" faction of the
General Labour Confederation, announced a general strike
for next Friday and vowed to stage "more marches,
blackouts and organize fiscal disobedience."
“…the general strike… is backed by both factions of the CGT…”

“Moyano's threat to boycott tax collection, which he said is
used to pay the debt with the IMF and not to help the poor,
comes at a time the Radical-Frepaso Alliance government
is trying to reduce its fiscal deficit to meet IMF targets and
gain access to a 7.2-billion-dollar standby loan…”
Full article:

Moyano's threat was enough to put fear into one cold heart:
“Argentine tax bureau head Carlos Silvani resigned Thursday night…

“Silvani, a mild-mannered man who kept a low profile,
assumed his post in August 1997 after working as an
International Monetary Fund tax expert for 15 years…

“Boosting tax revenues has been targeted by the government
as the key to balancing a budget saddled with a deficit of
$7.1 billion in 1999. The budget crunch has resulted in an
annual spending cut of $2.3 billion so far this year.”

Full article by Robert Elliott, Reuter:

The BA Herald editorial reprimanded Moyano as  “outrageous” and
“clearly beyond any pale in urging people to tax evasion
- the very evil which has contributed so hugely to the
fiscal mess obliging the government to slash
public-sector pay in the first place. Moyano is throwing
out the baby with the bathwater if he seeks to block
payment of the foreign debt by denying the state
revenue. Carried away with the general mood of
disenchantment, Moyano may well have disinterred
Herminio Iglesias' coffin from 1983, obliterating his
own credibility with his wild irresponsibility.”
Full diatribe:

This screed begs the question: if workers have NOT been
withholding their taxes until now, and class-wide tax evasion therefore
can be used as a dire threat by an influential labor leader,
who has been dodging their fiscal duties if not the bourgeoisie?
But it would truly be a contradiction for capitalist government to
increase taxes on the very class of property holders that will save
its economic system via the taxing of the workers --workers whose
pay has been eviscerated because of tax evasion by the bourgeoisie!

The situation now presents a terrific opportunity for workers in
different sectors to recognize their common concerns.

(Wow, can you imagine if Argentine and Uruguayan workers linked?!)

Hang tough, hang together, hang capitalism!

En solid.,
Chris Brady

Louis Proyect

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