Well, you gotta love this.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is doing what liberals do best: punishing the productive. HIs latest 'rules changes' are meant to impede those nasty corporations from doing what they do best: seeking the highest return they can for inverstors. You see, Lew and his boss, President Obama, are outraged over the mass corporate exodus via 'tax inversions,' but unfortunately for the administration, shareholders are following the law passed in 2004 to the letter. So Washington tinkners with a few rules and pummels big bad business in the press while refusing to change our outdated corporate tax structure.
But what's really galling about it all is that Lew, according to the Wall St. Journal, took in $800,000 from a non-profit university then grabbed a nifty serverance package to boot. And he's lecturing for-profit companies about excess? How about this: no one working for a non-profit should be allowed to make more than, say, $50,000 per year. After all, if the entity can afford it pay it's help more than that, why they can afford to pay taxes just like every other for profit company.
In fact., while our 'community organizer' lectures America on the evils of selfishness and the need for 'shared responsibility' by closing corporate loopholes, he and his liberal allies conveniently forget the biggest of them all: the tax-exempt organization. You see, tax-exempt entities raise massive amounts of capital, and what others might refer to as "profits,' they merely call "expenses."
Consider the self-described "social purpose capitalism" of Minnesota Public Radio, which has resulted in a massive radio empire competing with its taxable broadcast brethren.
Oh, yes, I'm well aware of all the work these wonderful groups perform for the downtrodden, so spare me the outrage over questioning the status of so-called "nonprofits." But someone has to create wealth before it can be redistributed.
Dare I say, the most beneficial social organization in society remains the profitable business. Indeed, the evil entrepreneur, far from begging for donations, is the one providing the goods and services for which people are actually willing to pay.
On the other hand, imagine a 501(c)3 tax-exempt outfit whose mission is to ensure that "resources accrue to all local citizens" within the "creation of ecologically sound and economically equitable communities." Uh? Well, try the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
Or how about a collection of smart growth groupies at Transit for Livable Communities, dedicated to increasing government funding for "bus and rail transit, bicycling, walking and transit-oriented development."
And don't forget to take that "charitable" tax deduction for contributing to the gang at Growth & Justice, a merry band of collectivists who think Minnesota state government isn't big enough.
Of course, for sheer audacity you can't ignore ClearWay Minnesota, granted tax favored status under section 509(a)3 of the IRS code for living off the largesse of the state's tobacco lawsuit. Private shareholders may not benefit, but the six-figure salary management team isn't fairing too poorly.
But, hey, how do you put a price on lobbying for smoking bans and funding vital programs that "build capacity in the African/African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Chicano Latino, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered and American Indian Communities to develop and implement effective tobacco prevention and control programs and policies"?
The irony here is that far from relieving the government's (taxpayer's) social burden, most of these "public charities" seek to expand it.
Regardless, my favorite "tax expenditure" is a fledgling little project known as MinnPost. Here you'll find a group of scribes still smarting over a market devaluation of their services. Hence, MinnPost's creed is that high-quality journalism "can no longer depend only on the private sector." Maybe that's why they're propped up by grants from yet another tax-exempt entity, the mega-McKnight Foundation.
In fact, these private foundations alone, says Virginia business attorney Ross C. Reeves, control $650 billion in wealth and, depending on the year, have investment income of around $60 billion -- none of which is subject to income taxes.
This has proved to be a convenient tool for the Warren Buffets of the world to claim an immediate write-off, reduce their estate tax, and promote such charitable causes as reproductive rights, saving the planet, and world peace. All the while clamoring for higher taxes on someone else.