THE BILLIONAIRES' WAR

Massive armies are being deployed, high-powered artillery is being arrayed, initial skirmishes are already being fought, and an all-out war is a dead certainty for later this year

Massive armies are being deployed, high-powered artillery is being arrayed, initial skirmishes are already being fought, and an all-out war is a dead certainty for later this year

This is not in Iraq… but Washington, D.C. The warriers being assembled are not brave young soldiers, but $600-an-hour lobbyists. The fight is not on some moral high ground, but on the low, low, ground of Wall Street billionaires trying to dodge paying taxes.

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In recent years, a handful of speculators and deal makers have gotten unimaginably rich by amassing investor dollars in such arcane financial entities as hedge funds and private equity firms. Using loopholes in the tax laws, they pay less than half of the corporate tax rate and even escape paying their share into America’s Medicare health system. Many renege almost entirely on their tax obligation to our society by funneling their loot into such tax-avoidance havens as the Cayman Islands.

Now, however, congress is moving to seal off some of these loopholes – and the billionaires are squawking like a bunch of startled roosters. With a battle cry of “Save the Rich,” such notorious outfits as Carlyle Group and Blackstone are assembling an army of lobbyists including former Democratic Congressman Vic Fazio, Bush’s former White House political director Ken Mehlman, and former Newt Gingrich aide Leonard Swinehart.

Billionaire tax dodgers are an embarrassment to themselves. And, at a time when America has real soldiers facing death in a war that is draining our public treasury, it is a moral disgrace for these Wall Street elites to be lobbying for nothing more noble than their own greed. Rep. Sandy Levin has introduced H.R. 2834 to make such shameless hustlers pay their fair share of America’s tax needs To learn more, call his office at 888-810-3880.

“Private equity firms fight plans to raise their taxes,” Austin American Statesman, June 26, 2007
“H.R. 2834 110th Congess 1st session,” Thomas. loc.gov, June 22, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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