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The most exciting thing is wondering who gave them the information, and how long that person will spend in jail when they're caught, as I suspect they will be.— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) June 8, 2021
This is just a supremely ironic statement from a man who owns one of the world's largest news orgs.— Ryan Mac🙃 (@RMac18) June 8, 2021
Bloomberg's distaste for personal scrutiny also reminds me of why he's nowhere to be found on Bloomberg News' own billionaires index. He doesn't allow it: https://t.co/BnRY9l9ZWr pic.twitter.com/OLyHYop3hf
BREAKING: This morning @propublica has what I consider the most important story we have ever published.— Richard Tofel (@dicktofel) June 8, 2021
It concerns a trove of secret IRS files we were given on the tax returns of the nation’s richest people. The findings are extraordinary.https://t.co/8aS94eaMj4
The 25 richest Americans are collectively worth $1.1 trillion. It takes 14.3 million average wage earners to tally the same wealth. The average earner group paid literally 70 times as much in income taxes in 2018 as the 25.— Richard Tofel (@dicktofel) June 8, 2021
If so, I see two possibilities:— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) June 8, 2021
1) The IRS was hacked, which would be a huge scandal, and make you wonder just how many tax returns the hackers have.
2) Employee, which would make you wonder just how bad IRS IT security is, and how good the employee was at covering their tracks
The origin of The Tax Files: Someone sent ProPublica "the private tax data of some of our nation's richest citizens." The publication doesn't know the identity of the source. "We did not solicit the info." Here's the editor's note about why it's newsworthy https://t.co/HL2Dl1B1Sh— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 8, 2021
That's... an egregiously misleading framing.— Sylvain Ribes (@ArtPlaie) June 8, 2021
"True tax rate" wtf, nobody was ever taxed on their net change in wealth.
Would you ask the IRS to collect billions when their wealth grew, and return them when it shrank?
That'll make accountants rich, but nobody else.
And panama papers. Another example of tax information illegally obtained and published that was nevertheless extremely newsworthy.— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) June 8, 2021
Assume you spent $10K on Bitcoin or stocks last year. Value doubles, now worth $20K and pay say 15% tax ($3K) out of pocket. They’ve crashed this year, now worth $8K. So you paid $3K tax on a $2K loss.— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) June 8, 2021
Do you get a refund? Or should you just be taxed on selling not owning stock?
This isn't a case where you could have gotten one person's partial records from an accountant or a disgruntled ex-spouse. Practically speaking, unless all the billionaires have the same tax attorney, I suspect the only place the data could have come from is the IRS itself.— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) June 8, 2021
“Those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401 billion from 2014 to 2018. They paid a total of $13.6 billion in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That’s a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%.” https://t.co/D7qM5PQvdf— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) June 8, 2021
and this is why the fantasy of “just tax the uber wealthy” is just that. They have the accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists on their side. Build broad-based middle class wealth and lift people from poverty, tax that (fairly)! Don’t fixate on the edge cases, grow the middle https://t.co/fdrxG4mxlf— Jeff Nolan 🇺🇸🚀 (@jeffnolan) June 8, 2021
For its great report on how the richest Americans pay no taxes, @propublica admits they have no idea who their anonymous source is who provided these tax docs - could be foreign actors, a criminal, anyone. But they're publishing anyway: and they should.https://t.co/fii8Or1geb pic.twitter.com/RMqeiHzcTm— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 8, 2021
Also worth noting perhaps that Bloomberg also did reporting on Trump's taxes, which (SFAICT) were illegally obtained by whomever gave them to NYT, even if they were obviously newsworthy.— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) June 8, 2021
Turns out that many of the ultra wealthy pay NO income taxes for entire years— Soros three times, Bezos and Icahn twice, Musk and Bloomberg once. Bezos one year even claimed a $4000 child credit.— Richard Tofel (@dicktofel) June 8, 2021
Most of Europe has already done a U-turn on wealth taxes.— Deathswap (@Deathswap1) June 8, 2021
They're practically very expensive to implement, leads to massive disputes over the valuation of private businesses & private assets, and problems for people with lots of assets and little cash.
It’s kinda weird Pro Publica just discovered unrealized gains aren’t taxed, but I don’t understand why they needed to publish people’s tax records to share that with the world.— parker (@pt) June 8, 2021
Can’t believe someone had the ability to leak tax records and instead of getting Trump’s taxes let everyone in on the “secret” that America taxes income not wealth so billionaires don’t pay billions in taxes just for owning successful companies.— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) June 8, 2021
It “demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most…the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of [their] hundreds of millions, if not billions…” https://t.co/sFuyc8R6kV— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) June 8, 2021
As a percentage of their gains in wealth, Buffett has paid 0.1% (10 cents on every $100), Bezos 1.1%, Bloomberg 1.3%, the 25 richest as a group just 3.4%.— Richard Tofel (@dicktofel) June 8, 2021
Even on just their income, the richest pay less than 16%, far below the 37% top rate:https://t.co/ytdjPZGdiI
Billionaires can dodge income, capital gains, corporate, and estate taxes pretty easily. They can, for example, simply never sell an asset and instead use it as collateral for a loan that will only cost them a single digit interest rate! https://t.co/50UlsUZX9d— Edward Ongweso Jr (@bigblackjacobin) June 8, 2021
ProPublica:— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) June 8, 2021
"We also believe that disclosure of specific figures about the tax returns of people like Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk will deepen readers’ interest and understanding of this complex and arcane subject."https://t.co/tinUmwH9OP
ProPublica defends the potential they used hacked material, to include potentially by the SVR, because of its authenticity and public value, citing places (like Wisconsin!) w/ open records, & previous times hacked data contained public interest stories.https://t.co/394l4zAOJa pic.twitter.com/3akiZtZ0Iy— Active Measures, LLC (@FCDserviceA_llc) June 8, 2021
Really thoughtful explanation from @propublica about why they're publishing tax info for the wealthiest Americans, which they received from an anonymous source. They considered that the info might come from "a state actor hostile to American interests." https://t.co/tVlUXXuHqK— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) June 8, 2021
ProPublica editors, acknowledging they don't know identity of source, write: "Nearly everyone who provides material to a reporter is doing so in ways that reflect their worldview, agenda or biases...motives are irrelevant if the information is reliable." https://t.co/QY93RlxZ4K— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) June 8, 2021
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ProPublica explains why it's publishing the tax secrets of wealthy Americans.— Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (@lorenzofb) June 8, 2021
They also explain how they dealt with an anonymous source (sounds a lot like source/docs came through SecureDrop), and considered whether the documents came from a hack. https://t.co/stYQUS45o6
American taxes in brief: Poor people pay nothing. Wage earners owe more as their income rises, up to 37 percent. The wealth gains of the super-rich go untaxed. They pay only 15.8 percent on income they declare, the same rate as someone earning $45K. https://t.co/k2wH9kTvte— Stephen Engelberg (@SteveEngelberg) June 8, 2021
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