Who would think that rich people would rig the tax laws in their favor? From Stephen Moore at The Wall Street Journal via theburningplatform.com:
The wealthy have tucked billions into private nonprofits… where the IRS can’t touch it.
Congress is still scrambling to find ways to pay for its tax cut, so perhaps it should pay closer attention to last month’s news that George Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune to a private charity that he controls. There it will be sheltered from the Internal Revenue Service forever. This may be the single biggest tax dodge in U.S. history, yet no one on the right or left seems to have raised an eyebrow.
True tax reform is predicated on the principle that all income should be taxed at a low rate once, and only once. But much of the wealth that Mr. Soros spent years moving into his Open Society Foundations will never be taxed. A gift of billions of dollars of appreciated stock escapes any capital gains tax, and the estate tax as well. So Mr. Soros can donate appreciated stock that Open Society Foundations can liquidate without the government ever taking a cut.
There’s more. When a person donates untaxed, appreciated assets to a private foundation, he may also deduct up to 20% of its market value on his personal return, carrying forward this deduction for five years. This double write-off may be the sweetest deal in the tax code.
The donors also can retain control of the money within the private foundation for years or even decades before it is disbursed. Since the foundation can employ family members at six-figure salaries for life to “administer” it, the umbilical cord to the donor never has to be cut.
Congress should stop ignoring this tax-avoidance scheme. The super rich have already poured hundreds of billions into private foundations, but the figure could soon be in the trillions. Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to give away 99% of his Facebook shares, currently estimated to be worth somewhere around $70 billion, and much of it will go to a foundation his family controls. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have each put roughly $30 billion tax-free into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This has left the foundation so flush that it spent $500 million on a 12-acre, 900,000-square-foot office complex in Seattle for its 1,500 employees. This is philanthropy?
To continue reading: George Soros’ $18 Billion Tax Dodge Exposed
Today’s pickings were slim. Only a couple of articles meet SLL readers’ high standards. Douglas Murray discusses the disconnect, which may be starting to narrow, between Europe’s people and leaders on mass migration. From Murray at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- “[T]he more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” — Bill Gates.
- The annual survey of EU citizens, recently carried out by Project 28, found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from that consensus.
- At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies.
Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, “Islamophobe” or fascist? As PG Wodehouse’s most famous butler would have said, “The eventuality would appear to be a remote one”. So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world’s largest philanthropist. Possibly — just possibly — something is changing in Europe.
In an interview published July 2 in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag, the co-founder of Microsoft addressed the ongoing European migration crisis. What he said was surprising:
“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”
These words would be uncontroversial to the average citizen of Europe. The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly.
To continue reading: Europe’s Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public
Bill Gates says the solution to huge refugee inflows from Africa into Europe, attracted by Europe’s generous benefits, is to dump those benefits directly on poor, corrupt African nations. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
n an interview published Saturday, Bill Gates told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Europe will be devastated by African refugees if they don’t “make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent,” and the solution lies in European nations committing billions of taxpayer money towards overseas aid.
According to Gates, the combination of explosive population growth in Africa combined with Europe’s notoriously generous open-border migrant welfare programs – as illustrated by the ‘German attitude to refugees’ have incentivised migrants to flood into Europe.
“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this – which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.”
While Germany has been one of the pioneers of the open door policy, it cannot “take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”
Thus Gates advised European nations to take action in order to make it “more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.”
How to stop them?
Gates, whose third world vaccination programs have contributed to Africa’s population explosion, suggested that heaping tons of money onto Africa while taking steps to prevent transit into Europe is the best solution.
After calling Germany’s commitment to allocate 0.7% of GDP towards foreign aid ‘phenomenal,’ Gates encouraged ‘other European nations to follow its example.”
(Because Africa is of course known for efficiently managing billions in foreign aid without corruption to ensure that their people are taken care of. Surely Europe’s donations will create an Africa that rivals downtown Hamburg.)
To continue reading: Bill Gates Urges End To Generosity, Fears African Refugees Will Decimate Europe