NYT Anti-Trump Tax Avoidance Furor Ignored Biden Doing the Same Thing
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Times pro-Biden, anti-Trump rage will surely continue daily until November 3 and likely post-election if a Bush v. Gore scenario follows an unclear result.
On Tuesday, Times editors called Trump “a man who earned hundreds of millions of dollars, lived a life of comic excess and yet, in many years, paid nothing in federal income taxes…”
Tax avoidance isn’t tax fraud. Even the Times admitted “the profound inequities of the tax code.”
Calling its enforcement “shambolic” failed to explain that the IRS “audits poor Americans at about the same rate as the top 1%,” ProPublica reported.
Individuals in some US locations are more likely to be audited than elsewhere.
According to ProPublica, Humphreys County, MS, “with a median annual household income of just $26,000, is audited at a rate 51 percent higher than Loudoun County, Virginia, which boasts a median income of $130,000, the highest in the country.”
In 1950, US personal income was taxed at up to 70% in federal, state, and local taxes.
In 1980, it was 47%. In 2018, it was down to 23%, lower rates mostly from federal tax cuts that disproportionately favor wealthy Americans.
The unfair tax code, compounded by the 2017 GOP tax cut giveaway to the super-rich and corporate America created the greatest wealth disparity in US history — greatly worsened by transferring enormous wealth from ordinary people to US billionaires this year.
In July 2019 — over a year before this year’s Dem National Convention — the NYT reported that “Joe Biden’s tax returns show(ed) more than $15 million in income after (leaving office) in 2016.”
His super-wealth belies the notion of “lunch bucket Joe,” “Uncle Joe,” and “middle class Joe,” the latter his own self-characterization.
In mid-2019, after Biden was nominated as Dem standard, bearer to the present day, the Times failed to explain his tax avoidance scheme.
Taking advantage of a tax code loophole, he avoided paying around $500,000 in payroll taxes on $15 million in income since 2016.
According to the Wall Street Journal in July 2019, Biden and his wife Jill “routed their book and speech income through S corporations,” adding:
“They paid income taxes on those profits, but the strategy let the couple avoid the 3.8% self-employment tax they would have paid had they been compensated directly” — instead of using a tax code loophole.
Accountant Tony Nitti who reviewed the Bidens’ returns said “(t)here’s no reason for these to be in an S corp — none, other than to save on self-employment tax” ordinary Americans pay on their earned income.
Around the same time, a Biden campaign statement said “the Bidens are committed to ensuring that all Americans pay their fair share” — other than its rich and powerful, able to exploit tax code loopholes like the former vice president and his wife left unexplained.
Citing the Urban Institute, the Journal said “a couple featuring one high earner and one average earner, retiring this year, will have paid a total of $209,000 in Medicare taxes during their working lives.”
“The Bidens avoided paying nearly twice that much in Medicare taxes during two years.”
Analyst Ryan Grimm explained that Biden used his home state Delaware’s “privacy laws to shield his income from public view, by setting up two tax…avoidance…S corporations.”
The scheme avoids paying Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. It also conceals earnings from public view.
Money the Bidens earned from lucrative book deals and speeches went into S corporations, taking it in so-called “distributions” to avoid payroll taxes.
In July 2019, the Times noted that the Bidens “reported an adjusted gross income of about $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018…”
Unreported by the Times then or now was anything about his tax avoidance scheme, saving the Bidens $500,000.
He claims if elected president in November, he’ll serve “workers who keep this country going, not just the privileged few at the top (sic).”
Throughout his near-half century as US senator and vice president, Biden exclusively served privileged interests at the expense of ordinary people everywhere.
No matter who serves as US president and in key congressional posts, dirty business as usual continuity continues like always before — rare short-term periods otherwise proving the rule.
It’s the American way, a fantasy democracy, never the real thing — for certain now and what follows November elections.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”