An odd circumlocution illustrates how gently the wealthy are treated
The short sentence (6 months in county jail instead of 6 years in state prison) handed down to the rapist Brock Turner and the Texas Attorney General’s decision some time back to drop the case against Trump and Trump University are just two examples of how in the US there is an attitude that the wealthy must be treated gently. I just encounted in the NY Times an even more obvious example.
In an article on the Panama Papers by Eric Lipton and Julie Cresswell, we get this statement: “For many of its American clients, Mossack Fonseca offered a how-to guide of sorts on skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.”
Specifically, the use of “skirting or evading” instead of “breaking” struck me as peculiar. It’s as though the writers were at pains to avoid giving any offense to the wealthy, lawbreakers or not. Perhaps it simply reflects the attitudes of the (wealthy) owners of the NY Times.
In any event, I found the peculiar periphrasis worthy of note. They are not “skirting or evading” the law, they are breaking the law.