Perfectly Legal [PDF]
21 July 2014, 11:42
2003 | PDF | 0.99MB
One of the country's top investigative reporters reveals how the richest people within the top 1 percent of the country has rigged the tax code and other laws in its favor.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Times for nine years, work for which one business school professor calls him "the de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States". With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country. And he has sound advice on what to do.
Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in who benefits from the American economy and bears the burden of taxes. CEOs, big investors and business owners can delay paying their taxes for years and sometimes escape them almost entirely, while wage earners have their taken from each paycheck. Discreet lobbying by the political donor class has made tax policies and enforcement a disaster. Because of obligations to these donors Washington has been unable, or unwilling, to fix these problems. The news media have largely ignored official favors to those who are supposed to pay the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax. Millions of families expecting tax cuts are losing some or all of them to a stealth tax that was originally enacted only to apply to the tax-avoiding rich, but that now stings single mothers making as little as $28,000. But the cumulative results are remarkable: the 400 richest Americans pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than someone making $100,000. The 400 richest pay less and less of their income in taxes while the middle class pays more and more. And while the incomes of the very rich skyrocketed over three decades, the average income for the bottom 90 percent fell.
Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening income gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind:
- "middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit
- how workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with hundreds of millions
- how some corporations avoid paying any federal income tax
- how CEOs fly on vacation in corporate jets for less than you pay for a middle seat in coach ˝ and stick you with most of the cost
- why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else
- how the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them
Brazil's Dance with the Devil [EPUB]
19 July 2014, 20:56
2014 | EPUB | 0.81MB
The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the twentieth World Cup (June 12ľJuly 13, 2014), the world's most-viewed sporting tournament, and the thirty-first Summer Olympics (August 5ľ21, 2016).
Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades, with Brazilians taking to the streets to try to reclaim the sports they love but see being corrupted by powerful corporate interests, profiteering, and greed. In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.
Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia [EPUB]
17 July 2014, 19:49
2014 | EPUB | 2.35MB
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Remnick chronicles the new Russia that emerged from the ash heap of the Soviet Union. From the siege of Parliament to the farcically tilted elections of 1996, from the rubble of Grozny to the grandiose wealth and naked corruption of today's Moscow, Remnick chronicles a society so racked by change that its citizens must daily ask themselves who they are, where they belong, and what they believe in. Remnick composes this panorama out of dozens of finely realized individual portraits.
Here is Mikhail Gorbachev, his head still swimming from his plunge from reverence to ridicule. Here is Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the half-Jewish anti-Semite who conducts politics as loony performance art. And here is Boris Yeltsin, the tottering populist who is not above stealing elections. In Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia, they become the players in a drama so vast and moving that it deserves comparison with the best reportage of George Orwell and Michael Herr.