Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That's what I call journalism

The LA Times continues to get thinner and thinner. The depth of the coverage has also visibly diminished. That's why the Guardian's two week series, The Tax Gap, representing months of work for a team of experienced investigative journalists, is so welcome.

Just reading some of these dirty tricks makes my blood pressure rise. Did you know the banking industry in the UK managed to keep their taxes flat while their profits tripled? Those are the same banks taking bailout money from the government that they worked so assiduously to rob of revenue. I like the idea of barring any accounting firm in the tax avoidance/planning business from government contracts.

Don't get me started on Proposition 13 and the shifting of property taxes from the commercial to the residential sector, from the old to the young, from the wealthy to the rest of us.

  • Where the money goes
  • The sale of the LA Times to Sam Zell was the ultimate tax avoidance scheme. By buying the paper with the money from the pension fund (without permission from the employees), the restructured LAT enjoys the tax-exempt status of pension funds. The sellers were able to realize a price 30% higher than other offers due to this neat trick.

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