Monday, July 24, 2006

Republicanism in a nutshell

Every day I see a number of news articles which could be re-printed here. I usually refrain from that because it's unoriginal and well, you could just get a subscription to the New York Times or Washington Post or Newsweek. I mean what great insight is there to just say, "read this," but that's what blogs do I guess. Like I said, I try not to do that but on Sunday, as I watched Tiger Woods win his eleveth major title at The British Open, I ran across a Republicanism in a nutshell article that cried out for re-printing.

The Pulitzer Prize winning writer, David Cay Johnston, whose book "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else" is a must read published "I.R.S. Will Cut Tax Lawyers Who Audit The Richest" in this past Sunday's New York Times. The title pretty much says it all but the text, tucked nicely away on page 13, sums up the priorities of Republicanism.

"The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans, specifically those who are subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others. The administration plans to cut the jobs of 157 of the agency's 345 estate tax lawyers..."

Oh but it gets better. "The Bush administration has already passed measures that reduce the number of Americans subject to the estate tax - which opponents refer to as the "death tax" - but has failed in its efforts to eliminate the tax entirely." Six I.R.S. lawyers whose jobs will likely be cut said, "the cuts were just the latest moves behind the scenes at the I.R.S. to shield people with political connections and complex tax-avoidance devices from thorough audits." I.R.S. "estate tax lawyers are the most productive tax law enforcement personnel...[f]or each hour they work, they find an average if $2,200 of taxes that people owe." Six years ago "85 percent of large taxable gifts [the I.R.S.] audited shortchanged the government."

There's a few more fun facts from the article but you get the point. So here is the Curmudgeon's estate planning tax advice for you. Start with tens or hundreds of millions or even a few billion dollars. Set up extremely complex gift and estate planning schemes. File whatever you want on your tax returns. Send the bill for underpayment or avoidance of your taxes to people stupid enough to have W-2 income. Send a few thousand here and there to various Republican members of Congress. Repeat as necessary.


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Seems as though you peasants no longer know your place. You can call me Baron Fogg from now in and make sure the stables are clean.

5:32 PM  

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