Isn’t this fun?

ProPublica’s bombshell report on America’s super-wealthy paying little or nothing in taxes reveals not only their humongous wealth but also how they’ve parlayed that wealth into political power to shrink their taxes to almost nothing.

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in America, reportedly paid no federal income taxes in 2007 and 2011. Elon Musk, the second richest, paid no taxes in 2018. Warren Buffett, often ranking number 3, paid a tax rate of 0.1% between 2014 and 2018.

The real scandal is it’s legal.

Wealth and power are inextricably connected. The super-rich have bought armies of lobbyists to keep their taxes minuscule and to create and maintain tax loopholes large enough to drive their Lamborghinis through.

This talk of loopholes and avoidance.

America has never had a tax system which taxes those uncrystalised capital gains. So what loopholes, what tax avoidance?

11 thoughts on “Isn’t this fun?”

  1. Too difficult for some to realise the difference between effective tax rate and tax amount. They just cannot understand, for example, that 1% of 1000 000 is far more than 20% of 10 000.

    I blame the schools.

    Also they believe there is no such thing as private property, that other people’s property belong to the Collective and those running tte Collective have first dibs to use to fund their nefarious corrupt, cronyism activities.

  2. Note how the report only mentions certain years. The tax affairs of zillionaires are lumpy. When you have enough cash in the bank to pay all the bills then you don’t need to keep selling assets to keep living, so taxable events are rare. Add in the tax breaks for some investments and it is obvious why some billionaires pay no tax in some years.

  3. I suppose there’s no mention of how much Mr & Mrs Pelosi have paid, is there?

    Or maybe they don’t count as super-wealthy…..


  4. As usual, he compares wealth to taxes on income, which is dishonest.

    Second, the report in question is based on tax info that we are told was illegally leaked – therefore we cannot know if it is correct.

    Third – a man who laments how corrupt the political system is and how the rich can bend it to their will wants to make the political system ever more powerful over more of our lives.

  5. “he compares wealth to taxes on income, which is dishonest.” Spot on.

    There is, I presume, one flagrant loophole, viz the ability of the American rich to pile money tax-free into “Foundations” which will ever after provide their offspring with amply rewarded sinecures, and agitate for political changes likely to further enrich the aforementioned rich bods.

    To anyone who read it all through: did he declare his own wealth and his own annual income tax payments?

  6. Let’s see where this leads, eh?

    If you get a tax charge for wealth increases, you must get a tax rebate for wealth decreases, right? Otherwise it would be terribly unfair: you might have a sudden spike at the end of a tax year that triggers a big tax charge, so they would have to rebate you if your wealth dropped again.

    Jeff Bezos gave umpteen billion to the ex Mrs Bezos. So the state would have had to give him a massive tax rebate on his reduced wealth, right?

  7. “Also they believe there is no such thing as private property” EXCEPT for their own property of course, which is different because reasons.
    Lyin’ Hypocrites.

    I note the complaint was about not paying FEDERAL tax. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand the septics pay state taxes AND federal taxes, the former set off against the latter. Thus the blue marxist states have been raising the state taxes, since there is no net loss to the payer, it just reduces the federal share of the blag to ….zero!
    Hence rich residents of blue hell-holes are paying no federal taxes because they are being bled by the state taxes.

    One thing Trump did was to set a ceiling on the state tax offset, so excessive rates didn’t fully get set against the federal tax due. Deliver pain where it’s earned and voted for. The blue states howled, so I guess it’s already been revoked?

    Would our Ohio resident accountancy chappie of many talents please correct my misconceptions?

  8. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    I’m heading out the door to visit clients, so I can’t address all (or even some) of Propublica’s bullshit.

    Here’s the short version: There’s a difference between wealth and income, and the difference is important. Especially in a tax system. Propublica likely understands the difference, but are ignoring it for political purposes. The fact that the leaked return information was published at a time when Republicans are saying they will not raise taxes to fund an infrastructure bill is no accident.

    The only thing about this that is of interest is the fact that someone in the IRS has leaked that information. That is what should be of concern to all us septics.

  9. I wonder if Pro Publica ordered from a menu of billionaires or just got hold of a data dump of tax returns that happened to include Bezos and Musk. If the latter, we might well soon be treated to the tax returns of Mr & Mrs Pelosi, Mr & Mrs Clinton, Ms AOC, the family Ilhan Omar…

    But two wrongs don’t make a right. I’ll try and suppress my anticipation.

  10. Just part of the leftist politicisation of the bureaucracy that was highlighted under Trump, just because it was Trump in charge they felt entitled to break any rules they wanted if it worked against him.
    The US govt under Obama and it seems now Biden using the IRS as a weapon against those they disagree with is not going to end well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *