Nothing is going to stop the ongoing transmogrification of the Boston Globe into a smaller, mostly local newspaper. Still, the Globe really makes a statement about its national relevance today, leading with a Farah Stockman story on Halliburton’s use of a tax-exempt subsidiary in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes for its employees in Iraq.
Halliburton is no longer the parent company, but the scam continues, costing taxpayers perhaps $100 million a year, and cheating the employees out of Social Security benefits they should be earning. And just to show how sleazy this all is, it turns out that when Iraq-based employees tried to sue over alleged exposure to hazardous chemicals in Iraq, the subsidiary claimed immunity on the grounds that they were working for an American company that was working with the military.
Ideally, the Globe will continue to break occasional stories of national interest, as it did with Charlie Savage’s Pulitzer-winning reporting on President Bush’s use of signing statements to get around provisions in legislation that he didn’t like.