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DuncanIdaho
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:27 am    Post subject:

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Why We Are Publishing the Tax Secrets of the .001%

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. The Secret IRS Files is an ongoing reporting project. Sign up to be notified when the next installment publishes.

Today, ProPublica is launching the first in a series of stories based on the private tax data of some of our nation’s richest citizens. We obtained the information from an anonymous source who provided us with large amounts of information on the ultrawealthy, everything from the taxes they paid to the income they reported to the profits from their stock trades.

In the coming months, we plan to use this material to explore how the nation’s wealthiest people — roughly the .001% — exploit the structure of our tax code to avoid the tax burdens borne by ordinary citizens.

Many will ask about the ethics of publishing such private data. We are doing so — quite selectively and carefully — because we believe it serves the public interest in fundamental ways, allowing readers to see patterns that were until now hidden.

Tax experts have long understood that the wealthiest Americans reap outsized benefits from the federal tax code’s emphasis on taxing income rather than assets like stock holdings and property. Yet, when The New York Times disclosed in 2020 that President Donald Trump had amassed so many deductions he paid no taxes in 11 of 18 years, it was assumed that his case was an anomaly, reflecting the unique breaks real estate developers receive under our tax system.

It is now clear that there isn’t just one such taxpayer — there are many, in multiple industries. We believe that disclosing the identities of billionaires who paid little to no taxes in years their fortunes grew by billions of dollars will help readers understand the magnitude of the tax advantages the ultrarich enjoy.

We also believe that disclosure of specific figures about the tax returns of people like Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk will deepen readers’ interest and understanding of this complex and arcane subject.

Our publication of this tax data comes at a possibly pivotal moment in America’s long, often contentious debate about the fairness of our tax system. The Biden administration has proposed raising a number of taxes to pay for additional trillions of dollars in government spending. So far, the conversation in Washington has been dominated by an issue long seen as central on Capitol Hill: whether to increase the top tax rate from its current level of 37% by a few percentage points. Such a change, as our story shows, would touch the richest hardly at all.

https://www.propublica.org/article/why-we-are-publishing-the-tax-secrets-of-the-001
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:37 am    Post subject:

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The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

Taken together, it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.

Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, amassing little wealth and paying the federal government a percentage of their income that rises if they earn more. In recent years, the median American household earned about $70,000 annually and paid 14% in federal taxes. The highest income tax rate, 37%, kicked in this year, for couples, on earnings above $628,300.

The confidential tax records obtained by ProPublica show that the ultrarich effectively sidestep this system.

[...]

To capture the financial reality of the richest Americans, ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. We compared how much in taxes the 25 richest Americans paid each year to how much Forbes estimated their wealth grew in that same time period.

We’re going to call this their true tax rate.

The results are stark. According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.

[...]

No one among the 25 wealthiest avoided as much tax as Buffett, the grandfatherly centibillionaire. That’s perhaps surprising, given his public stance as an advocate of higher taxes for the rich. According to Forbes, his riches rose $24.3 billion between 2014 and 2018. Over those years, the data shows, Buffett reported paying $23.7 million in taxes.

That works out to a true tax rate of 0.1%, or less than 10 cents for every $100 he added to his wealth.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files-trove-of-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax
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DuncanIdaho
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject:

I considered starting a new thread for ^^^ but figured it might get more traction in this thread. I can't wait to see where the series goes.

Last edited by DuncanIdaho on Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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DuncanIdaho
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:59 am    Post subject:

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In 2011, a year in which his wealth held roughly steady at $18 billion, Bezos filed a tax return reporting he lost money — his income that year was more than offset by investment losses. What’s more, because, according to the tax law, he made so little, he even claimed and received a $4,000 tax credit for his children.


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The revelations provided by the IRS data come at a crucial moment. Wealth inequality has become one of the defining issues of our age. The president and Congress are considering the most ambitious tax increases in decades on those with high incomes. But the American tax conversation has been dominated by debate over incremental changes, such as whether the top tax rate should be 39.6% rather than 37%.

ProPublica’s data shows that while some wealthy Americans, such as hedge fund managers, would pay more taxes under the current Biden administration proposals, the vast majority of the top 25 would see little change.


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Our analysis of tax data for the 25 richest Americans quantifies just how unfair the system has become.

By the end of 2018, the 25 were worth $1.1 trillion.

For comparison, it would take 14.3 million ordinary American wage earners put together to equal that same amount of wealth.

The personal federal tax bill for the top 25 in 2018: $1.9 billion.

The bill for the wage earners: $143 billion.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:21 pm    Post subject:

Income tax is a sham
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:40 pm    Post subject:

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Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment on cleaning all the, if not illegal, policy breaking actions of the previous administration.
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Last edited by ribeye on Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:42 pm    Post subject:

ribeye wrote:
Quote:
Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment.

Like Biden and rest of dems. They are happy to sweep the illegal actions of trump under rug claiming they just want to move past it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:43 pm    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
ribeye wrote:
Quote:
Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment.

Like Biden and rest of dems. They are happy to sweep the illegal actions of trump under rug claiming they just want to move past it.


Dems impeached him twice. Dems voted for 1/6 investigation. NY and Manhattan DA's going after him in court. Don McGann finally testified before House committee the other day. This isn't over by a long shot. Yes, there are disappointments and frustrations, but you can't claim ALL THE DEMS are ignoring this. It's just not true.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:04 pm    Post subject:

ChefLinda wrote:
Halflife wrote:
ribeye wrote:
Quote:
Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment.

Like Biden and rest of dems. They are happy to sweep the illegal actions of trump under rug claiming they just want to move past it.


Dems impeached him twice. Dems voted for 1/6 investigation. NY and Manhattan DA's going after him in court. Don McGann finally testified before House committee the other day. This isn't over by a long shot. Yes, there are disappointments and frustrations, but you can't claim ALL THE DEMS are ignoring this. It's just not true.

The doj under Biden is trying to withhold documents regarding mueller report. The doj under Biden is fighting for trump against defamation lawsuit. Maddow agrees that the doj under Biden isn’t cleaning house and is protecting the sham that was Barr’s doj
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Wilt
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:29 pm    Post subject:

The Justice Department might not be doing enough, but the last thing we want is Biden telling them what to do. So it's not a DOJ "under Biden," it's under Garland.
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ChefLinda
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm    Post subject:

Halflife wrote:
ChefLinda wrote:
Halflife wrote:
ribeye wrote:
Quote:
Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment.

Like Biden and rest of dems. They are happy to sweep the illegal actions of trump under rug claiming they just want to move past it.


Dems impeached him twice. Dems voted for 1/6 investigation. NY and Manhattan DA's going after him in court. Don McGann finally testified before House committee the other day. This isn't over by a long shot. Yes, there are disappointments and frustrations, but you can't claim ALL THE DEMS are ignoring this. It's just not true.

The doj under Biden is trying to withhold documents regarding mueller report. The doj under Biden is fighting for trump against defamation lawsuit. Maddow agrees that the doj under Biden isn’t cleaning house and is protecting the sham that was Barr’s doj


There's a difference between saying the DOJ is making bad decisions we don't like and don't agree with and saying "(all) Dems happy to sweep illegal actions under the rug."

In fact Ted Lieu posted this today:

Quote:
Ted Lieu @tedlieu
Letter from @HouseJudiciary Members to AG Garland of the @TheJusticeDept requesting that he reverse his decision for the DOJ to act as Trump’s personal attorneys in the rape defamation case of E. Jean Carroll.


link to tweet and copy of letter
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Halflife
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:43 pm    Post subject:

Wilt wrote:
The Justice Department might not be doing enough, but the last thing we want is Biden telling them what to do. So it's not a DOJ "under Biden," it's under Garland.

That’s the old way. In order for it to point back in that direction Biden needs to pressure them to uncover every shady stone. If garland won’t then like trump find someone that will.

The way it was is gone for every branch. The only way to get the traitors out of government is to expose them. We know nunes was crooked. We know McConnell wife had shady dealings. We can assume Lindsey has a few things in his closet.

All of these plus I’m sure much more is on the doj to proactively mine it out. Biden needs to make that a priority.

The public wants it. Would embrace it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:49 pm    Post subject:

You don't fight corruption with more corruption. You fight it legally through the system.

I don't like the direction of the DOJ recently, but to their credit they have arrested and indicted several hundred of the 1/6 insurrectionists and they are still tracking them down. Some of those tentacles may eventually lead to higher ups in government who egged them on and helped plan it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:52 pm    Post subject:

The rule of law has to be as close to unimpeachable as possible.

And letting people in power get away with crime hurts that effort.

"Moving forward" and "unity" excuses reek of bs. Only excuse that I could imagine being somewhat valid is national security. But if that's the case confidentiality in terms of details is possible.
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Halflife
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:55 pm    Post subject:

ChefLinda wrote:
Halflife wrote:
ChefLinda wrote:
Halflife wrote:
ribeye wrote:
Quote:
Under Merrick Garland, so far, the Justice Department is AWOL . . . on all of the scariest things that confront them right now.


Rachel Maddow concluding tonight's brilliant, yet chilling, opening segment.

Like Biden and rest of dems. They are happy to sweep the illegal actions of trump under rug claiming they just want to move past it.


Dems impeached him twice. Dems voted for 1/6 investigation. NY and Manhattan DA's going after him in court. Don McGann finally testified before House committee the other day. This isn't over by a long shot. Yes, there are disappointments and frustrations, but you can't claim ALL THE DEMS are ignoring this. It's just not true.

The doj under Biden is trying to withhold documents regarding mueller report. The doj under Biden is fighting for trump against defamation lawsuit. Maddow agrees that the doj under Biden isn’t cleaning house and is protecting the sham that was Barr’s doj


There's a difference between saying the DOJ is making bad decisions we don't like and don't agree with and saying "(all) Dems happy to sweep illegal actions under the rug."

In fact Ted Lieu posted this today:

Quote:
Ted Lieu @tedlieu
Letter from @HouseJudiciary Members to AG Garland of the @TheJusticeDept requesting that he reverse his decision for the DOJ to act as Trump’s personal attorneys in the rape defamation case of E. Jean Carroll.


link to tweet and copy of letter

At least this is something. But all dems need to pressure Biden.

On a side note. I have a hard time seeing Kamala being the 2024 nominee. I know it’s early. Biden said he is one term though is acting otherwise, but he’s too old stuck in old ways.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:01 pm    Post subject:

I cut and pasted this. I agree.


1 It’s not working out. Biden needs to cut AG Garland loose. Admit the mistake & move on before more Barr legacy damage is done. He’s unwilling to break the system that protects corrupt people in govt. Not cleaning house of the Barr memo people proves it.

2 We need a wartime AG, not someone who cries on day one & is so happy to be there. Fighting an ongoing insurrection requires different skills than a bottoms-up prosecution that allows the coup leaders to roam free for 5 months. Sally Yates would be great & unafraid of R blowback

3 Garland hasn’t reassured the public that the insurrection leaders will be held accountable. That’s inexcusable. The response to fake audits has been flaccid at best. Laf Sq, Barr memo, Mueller Rep, E Jean Carroll, Individual one, McGahn. It’s piling up. It’s time to get serious
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ChefLinda
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject:

I'm already on record as saying we would be better off with an AG who was a woman or a person of color. But presidents don't just fire AG's for no reason after only 6 months. That's not really how it works. Pressure from Congress is the appropriate route at this point. In fact I think Garland is due in front of a congressional committee this week. Hopefully they grill him on some of these issues.
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Halflife
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:12 pm    Post subject:

ChefLinda wrote:
I'm already on record as saying we would be better off with an AG who was a woman or a person of color. But presidents don't just fire AG's for no reason after only 6 months. That's not really how it works. Pressure from Congress is the appropriate route at this point. In fact I think Garland is due in front of a congressional committee this week. Hopefully they grill him on some of these issues.

Fingers crossed.

My thing is that people cared about trump using the doj because he was a criminal. No one would question Biden xcept gop.
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Halflife
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:19 pm    Post subject:

Sorry about post. I’m clearly fired up.

Last one.

BREAKING: Senate blocks Dems’ Paycheck Fairness Act in a 49-50 vote.

Kirsten Gillibrand was the senator who missed vote.


This is the dems in a nutshell. They needed 60 so even had she voted it wouldn’t have mattered but optics and narrative are all that is needed.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:42 pm    Post subject:

For those who would know: is there really that great a chance that we (Dems) will lose the House and Senate next year, or are pundits saying that just because historically the party that has the WH loses congressional seats in the next midterm election?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:18 pm    Post subject:

Tradition, gerrymandering and voter suppression.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:23 pm    Post subject:

slavavov wrote:
For those who would know: is there really that great a chance that we (Dems) will lose the House and Senate next year, or are pundits saying that just because historically the party that has the WH loses congressional seats in the next midterm election?


Based on polling, the location of seats, and voting measures, it would be a pretty huge upset and shock a lot of people if the Dems held both houses. It’s probably better than even odds they lose both.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:14 pm    Post subject:

Senate will come down to Wisconsin (Johnson being the dumbest person in Washington, the Dems have a good chance), Pennsylvania (Toomey is retiring), and Georgia (Warnock will have a tough race).

I'm assuming Kelly will win Arizona because his margin will be so big, even the Republicans in that state won't be able to stop it with their new election laws. But you never know.


Gerrymandering will likely result in the loss of the House.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:24 pm    Post subject:

Are there any inroads for Dems in WV

Dems should never say it isn't worth it.. fix a states Gerrymandering and voila fair voting and Republicans lose fair voting

Manchin only won his last election by just over 20k votes

Joe Manchin III (D) 49.6 290,510


Patrick Morrisey (R) 46.3 271,113
https://ballotpedia.org/Joe_Manchin_III
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:07 am    Post subject:

NMLaker wrote:
Tradition, gerrymandering and voter suppression.


Gerrymandering has "a long tradition of existence" to the voters, to quote Animal House.
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