Billionaire defenders say their tax avoidance is perfectly legal. But is it? | David Sirota

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Billionaire defenders say their tax avoidance is perfectly legal. But is it? | David Sirota

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A presumption of innocence is never afforded to poor people accused of petty theft. Yet billionaires benefit from it every day when it comes to taxesIn the wake of ProPublica’s recent disclosure of how billionaires avoid income taxes, a narrative has been manufactured: we are told that while the moguls’ schemes to reduce tax liability may be immoral, the tactics are all “perfectly legal”, in the words of ProPublica, an idea that was then echoed by the Associated Press, the New York Times and the pundit world.This conventional wisdom – depicted as unquestionable fact throughout corporate media – is held up as don’t-hate-the-player-hate-the-game proof that we should be angry only at the tax system, but not necessarily at the oligarchs getting rich off it. In fact, the only person so far presumed to be worthy of any law enforcement scrutiny is not any of the billionaires avoiding taxes, but the whistleblowing source of the IRS leak. Continue reading…
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