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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16506/cnbc-says-pay-your-fair-share/

CNBC Says Pay Your “Fair” Share

April 15, 2011 by

Just in time for tax filing day, CNBC ran its hour-long special “The American Tax Cheat” hosted by Squawk Box’s Becky Quick last night four times.  And the re-runs will no-doubt be constant.  The tone of the special is extraordinarily one-sided.  Ms. Quick (or her producers) must feel that all of our money belongs to the government and that the IRS should determine how much of it we can keep to live day-to-day.

Quick sternly tells viewers that those “swindling the IRS” are creating a tax gap of $300 billion each year.  And that this swindling is not a victimless crime.  Those that pay, make up for those that don’t, an average of $2,200 per person each year.  The gap is the difference between what the IRS believes should be rolling in and what actually does.  But if those that pay are making for those who don’t, why is there a gap?

At one point the special looked like an episode of CSI–”CSI-IRS” if you will, with Quick donning special glasses as laser testing was being used on certain financial documents.  A member of the IRS tech team explains that the agency trolls social networking sites to spot “tax cheats” who are bragging about money they are spending on cars and houses.

Of course, poor old Willie Nelson makes an appearance.  The IRS seized all of his assets to “recoup their losses,” as Ms. Quick put it.  Al Pacino and Nicolas Cage were mentioned leading up to the big grab of Wesley Snipes, the actor who was sentenced to three years for not paying the man.  The IRS admits it targets high profile people as a way to make the rest of the nation compliant.

And the tax collector admitted it “goes where the money is,” focusing on the rich and  entrepreneurs.   Telecom mogul Walter Anderson went to prison for nine years, but maintains he’s innocent.  The IRS claims he moved millions of dollars offshore to avoid taxes.

America’s tax collector is now teaming up with your local law enforcement agencies.  The special featured scenes of SWAT teams surrounding a large home in what looked to be the Red Rock Country Club in Las Vegas.  Pimps don’t get much jail time for pimping, so LV Metro vice squad pulls in the IRS to put them away on tax charges.

Ms. Quick makes a visit to the IRS-CID (criminal investigations division).  They are proud of the legacy of bringing Al Capone down for not paying taxes.  These accountants wear guns and badges, and tax avoiders thinking of making a run for it probably took notice of the brief glimpse of agent target practice.

Quick says Edward and Elaine Brown “appear to be a model couple” and then portrays them as nut cases for refusing to pay the IRS.  In the end the elderly couple were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The producers of this special didn’t bother to find an eloquent spokesman to defend the case that taxes are simply theft: The state taking property from its citizens by force.  And if you don’t believe it, if you think this is all voluntary, and that if you don’t pay the state won’t care, watch “The American Tax Cheat.”   As the point was made during the broadcast, the IRS already has all your information, the tax collector is just making sure what you file matches the information they already have on you.

The irony may not be lost on some, that CNBC is owned by NBCUniversal Media, LLC, of which G.E. owns 49 percent.  The New Times reported a few weeks ago that “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.”  The company reported profits of $14.2 billion worldwide, of which $5.1 billion came in the U.S..  “Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion,”  reports David Kocieniewski.

So while Ms. Quick admonishes average Americans who don’t pay up as “cheating us all,” her employer taps into TARP and TLGP during the financial crisis, then earns a profit and works the system for a tax benefit to boot.

Making out that check today is now all the more satisfying.


Beefcake the Mighty April 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

Wasn’t this “zero tax bill for GE” story recently revealed to be a hoax?

Joshua April 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

According to GE, they paid 3.7 billion in taxes in 2010:

Observations on these types of tax cheat stories:
1. the tax cheats are always someone else not you
2. the effect of more efficient tax collection would likely mean more taxes collected from you in actuality due to a complicated tax system that no one can fully comply with to the letter, resembling the Soviet system of making everyone a criminal to give the state excuses for random arrests
3. the pro side of the argument never seem to admit that they are arguing for more taxes

Josh April 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

yes, they may have paid 3.7 billion in taxes, but they didn’t specify where those taxes were paid. the allegations are that they paid no *US* taxes, and that allegation was not so much as addressed, much less rebutted in the article you linked to(which btw is riddled with logical fallacies and misrepresentations, like any such self-promoting article can be expected to contain).

Enjoy Every Sandwich April 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

In the very least I wish that those who are bloviating about “paying your fair share” could define what constitutes a “fair share”. Absent that definition, “fair share” strikes me as a conveniently vague monster with an elastic stomach whose appetite can never be satisfied.

Shay April 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

It’s like in school where there’s a bully who steals people’s lunch money. The fair way is for each person to volunteer on a different day to have his money stolen, so that he steals the same amount from everyone. When some kids refuse to be bullied, the other kids rightly get angry at him for not paying his fair share.

Sid Burgess April 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

Why does tax time always feel like school-ground drama? Don’t cheat, lie, or spread false rumors. It’s the basics folks.

Ned Netterville April 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

A broad IRS investigation found that a large majority of filers who received income that was not reported to the IRS by third parties did not include such income on their tax returns. Will Rogers was dead center on target when he said: “The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” Herman Wouk rightly said, “Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.” I am persuaded that everyone who signs an IRS Form 1040 swears to a lie, or would lie if he or she thought the government wouldn’t find them out. No exceptions; all cheaters or wannabe cheaters! Those who squawk the loudest about tax cheats, like Becky Quick, are bound to be cheating a little themselves. Taxation is stealing, but so-called “voluntary” self confession of a tax liability, which is what occurs when one files a 1040, robs the victims of their integrity by making them cheaters, and that is the worst consequence of the federal income tax. Not filing is one’s only option.

Do we owe the truth April 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Do we really owe the truth to liars, murderers and thieves? Not filing isn’t a great option since they force you to do that too.

At least if you can get out on a little I think there’s no problem with it. If you can get out on a lot so much the better. Anything they can audit might get you in trouble, and they’ll even monitor facebook/etc. now but if you are willing to take the risk I see no problem. I want my friends to trust me so I don’t lie to them, I don’t care if the state trusts me if I can avoid it as much as possible.

Josh April 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm

so basically, don’t file taxes, right?

Oklahoma Libertarian April 17, 2011 at 12:50 am

Right-if you can get away with it.

Laura Malter April 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

This, after Betsy Quick PRAISES Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and others for taking 1/2 of their total wealth (BILLIONS of dollars) and donating it to charity, where it will be COMPLETELY EXEMPT from state and federal taxes, yet they will still retain control of the money.

Horst Muhlmann April 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Ever notice how high she hikes up her skirt when she interviews Warren Buffett?

Beefcake the Mighty April 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I’ll bet her CNBC co-talking head Elliot Spitzer is nailing her.

nate-m April 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm

The funny thing about Warren Buffet, Blll Gates and these guys that recommend increasing the income tax on the rich… they generally don’t pay that sort of income tax. They pay long-term capital gains tax.

The difference here is that your looking at 15% tax

Ordinary income rate | Long-term capital gain rate
10% | 0%
15% | 0%
25% | 15%
28% | 15%
33% | 15%
35% | 15%

So Bill G and others tax rate is very close to that of a person that makes $8,400 dollars a year. It’s all very pathetic. What they are really advocating on CNN and other places is the government making it increasingly difficult for people who are not wealthy to become wealthy.

I wonder what they would do if Obama and friends decided to put a 40% tax on long term capital gains for people earning more then 5 million a year.

Not that I want that to happen mind you. Income tax should be abolished. If we must have a tax then do it through a consumption tax.

TeaPartyFederalist April 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

Nope, GE story wasn’t a hoax. I’ve seen the Financial Statements. Look for GE’s 10K on the SEC’s website and you can see it for yourself. Funny thing is, they try to hid the tax benefit.

Ned Netterville April 15, 2011 at 11:36 am





HL April 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

Who needs coffee after reading this? As any engineer can tell you, super heated fluids under high pressure in pipes/veins creates vast amounts of energy…

Inquisitor April 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

I imagine a whiny nasal voice when reading the headline saying “Pay your fair share”.

Inquisitor April 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm

BTW, hang this obsequious bitch. She deserves as much. In some cases, the “messenger” does deserve to be shot when they fully consciously endorse their ridiculous message.

HL April 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I passed this along to my email buddies and have been getting big ‘high-five-O’s” all morning. And some of these guys are dems! I’m so giddy I think I’ll write one more check for my friends in DC.

Grant April 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

“And if you don’t believe it, if you think this is all voluntary, and that if you don’t pay the state won’t care, watch “The American Tax Cheat.” As the point was made during the broadcast, the IRS already has all your information, the tax collector is just making sure what you file matches the information they already have on you.”

No kidding. I moved from a state that has an income tax to one that doesn’t. I had forgotten I had a tax balance in that previous state of about $800. They raided one of my bank accounts that only had $105. The bank, BofA, which I am no longer with, charged me $100 to send the state $5.

You don’t really own anything in this country. You don’t own your money if it’s in a bank. You don’t own your car. You don’t own your land or house. The government owns it and you.

McDuffie April 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Tax cheats are heroic (unless they are also politicians).

I was heroic for a time, but chickened out right before the guns came out.

Freedom Fighter April 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

How are they going to make you pay up if you don’t have money, don’t have assets and don’t have a job ?

If they throw you in jail, it will cost them.

Right now, I owe money but I’m unemployed. I hope to get a job soon and when I do, I will pay my tax account plus interest penalties for paying late. But until I’m employed, I just can’t pay, LOL !

El Tonno April 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Yep. Pay your fair share because all the warcrap needs to be paid off!

It’s the Sagan Tax: we need billions and billions.

Joe April 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

My thought when watching the program went to this scene in Atlas Shrugged:

“Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

(Ayn Rand’s, ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957)

newson April 17, 2011 at 4:40 am

the msm is part of the deep state.

Ned Netterville April 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Betsy Quack’s report says, the “tax gap” is $300 billion. If those “tax deniers,” as the IRS calls them, were each “cheating” the government out of, let us say, $10 thousand on average, that would mean there are 30 million such tax deniers engaged in the sport of stiffing Uncle Sam. Since 30 million individuals are far too many for me to contact individually, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them one and all. As for the 136 million taxpayers who had to pay an extra $2200 to fill the gap, I would like to say this: Bwahahahahahaha! T.S., dummies! Next year join the revolt.

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