The Patriot Post® · ProPublica Billionaire Tax Story Serves Dem Narrative
Sometimes billionaires don’t pay income taxes. That’s an overstatement, but not by a lot, at least according to a supposedly blockbuster report by ProPublica. It’s a sordid tale of hypocrisy and illegal activity that seems to be as juicy a news story as one could hope for, and ProPublica aims to slow-drip the information over the coming weeks — in a transparent effort to keep generating traffic and revenue for itself.
The nonprofit journalism site reports that it “obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth — sometimes, even nothing.”
The top-line information is indeed astounding:
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.
Predictably, the conclusion ProPublica reaches is that the Democrat narrative about taxes is correct:
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.
Oddly enough, however, the billionaires strung up by ProPublica advocate Democrat policies, and spend loads of their own money to bring them to fruition. Warren Buffett in particular has advocated higher taxes while doing everything the law allows to avoid them himself. Or, as ProPublica wryly puts it, “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.”
The hypocrisy is certainly jarring. “The difference between conservatives and progressives,” says Bill Whittle, “is conservatives say we should be paying as little tax as possible, progressives are saying we should be paying as much tax as possible, and then both sides go out and try to pay as little tax as possible.”
More than the hypocrisy, though, these socialist billionaires hate America as it was founded and are funding the destruction of Liberty.
There’s no love lost here for these guys, but let’s point out the real illegal activity — obtaining these records. ProPublica’s journalists know this, though they try mightily to cast aspersions on the billionaires instead. “The ultrawealthy,” they say, “avoid taxes, exploit loopholes and escape scrutiny from federal auditors.”
But those deductions are perfectly legal, and there’s nothing to indicate truly illegal activity on the part of these tax-filers. It is, however, against the law for the IRS to expose this private information, so either someone in the IRS illegally leaked it or someone outside the agency illegally hacked it. The IRS says it’s investigating. Either way, ProPublica swears the source was truly anonymous, and the organization has no idea about the motives of its source.
“Allow us to fill in that last blank,” write the editors of The Wall Street Journal. “The story arrives amid the Biden Administration’s effort to pass the largest tax increase as a share of the economy since 1968. The main Democratic argument for a tax hike is that the rich should pay their ‘fair share.’ The ProPublica story is a long argument that somehow the rich don’t pay enough. The timing here is no coincidence, comrade.”
Indeed, the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday began with Ron Wyden (D-Taxman) using this very story to argue that “the country’s wealthiest … have not been paying their fair share.”
Remember too that Barack Obama weaponized the IRS to hurt his political opponents. Just because Lois Lerner took an early retirement doesn’t mean there aren’t deep state actors within the IRS still leaking this kind of information to wage political warfare.
What do Democrats want to do? Joe Biden wants to further weaponize the IRS in order to crack down on fraud and tax avoidance. He claims $80 billion in greater funding for agency enforcement over a decade will help fund his radical leftist agenda with perhaps $700 billion in more revenue over that timeframe.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, want a wealth tax to rectify the inequities highlighted by this conveniently timed ProPublica story. Something tells us, however, that the tax bill for the socialists named here won’t change much even under the Warren-Sanders plan, though we also believe that plan is just the beginning of their effort to confiscate ever more money from ever more Americans.
In service to this agenda, the ProPublica story deliberately conflates income with wealth.
Ultimately, the real story boils down to the most basic motivation for the Left: envy. Leftists are perpetual victims, griping that someone else has more or better than they. If proving it means publishing illegally obtained private information, well, these fat cats had it coming. And the Democrats who want to extract the “fair share” from every American are just the ones to “fix it.”