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Intro: "If you had only paid a 6% tax rate over a 4-year period, accumulated $7 billion in offshore profits not subject to US taxes, had over 150 accounts in tax-haven countries like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, and used the money from your tax dodging to buy another company, you'd be wanted for tax evasion and money laundering. But for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, that's business as usual."

News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch is seen through his car window as he leaves his London home, 07/15/11. (photo: Ben Stansall/Getty Images)
News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch is seen through his car window as he leaves his London home, 07/15/11. (photo: Ben Stansall/Getty Images)



Pay Your Taxes, Murdoch

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

28 July 11


Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

f you had only paid a 6% tax rate over a 4-year period, accumulated $7 billion in offshore profits not subject to US taxes, had over 150 accounts in tax-haven countries like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, and used the money from your tax dodging to buy another company, you'd be wanted for tax evasion and money laundering. But for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, that's business as usual.

The Australian media mogul, currently under scrutiny for News of the World's alleged phone tapping of terror victims for tabloid fodder, has largely expanded his empire with the help of a rigged tax code, written by lobbyists on the payroll of corporate tax dodgers like News Corp. In the last five years, most of the $27 million spent on lobbying by News Corp was for tax legislation.

The thousands of loopholes in our lobbyist-written tax code allowed Murdoch's company to cut their corporate tax rate to 6%, meaning News Corp paid just $324 million in taxes on $5.4 billion in worldwide profits in the years leading up to his $5 billion Dow Jones buyout. The Bancroft family would still be in control of the Wall Street Journal if it weren't for Murdoch's expertise in tax dodging.

Comparatively, corporate tax rates in the countries where News Corp operates - Australia, America and the UK - are 36%, 35%, and 30% respectively. In 2010, Murdoch's media empire exploited the tax loopholes lobbied for to pay just an 8.5% tax rate in the US on $2.9 billion in profits.

If News Corp paid the standard 35% US corporate tax rate like Costco, CVS Caremark and USAA Bank already do, the US Treasury would gain an extra $1 billion in revenue. That $1 billion could have refurbished Amtrak, or provided NPR with federal grants for approximately 50 years. The GOP's proposed $737 million in cuts to legal services for the poor and Planned Parenthood could be reversed if News Corp paid its taxes in full. News Corp's unpaid taxes could even correct the revenue shortfall for the entire state of Kentucky.

Though tax dodging and money laundering are federal crimes for individuals, corporations are free to engage in such activities because they wrote the tax laws. While we decry corporate tax dodging and budget cuts, none of these painful cuts would have to happen if Congress simply outlawed offshore tax-haven abuse.

Sen. Carl Levin's Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act would bring home $100 billion in new revenue every year by criminalizing corporate tax dodging, as well as lower tax burdens for local job creators who actually pay their taxes. Both this bill and its companion bill in the House are endorsed by small business owners, who both parties constantly praise as the most important job creators in America.

Closing corporate tax loopholes and making big conglomerates like News Corp pay their fair share is a common-sense, effective solution to the debt talks that can bring home $1 trillion every decade without touching Medicaid or Social Security, and help create new jobs. Congress owes it to their constituents to make corporate America play by the same rules we do before approving any more cuts to programs we already pay for and depend upon.


Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011. Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300 actions in over 100 cities nationwide.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

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+55 # Barbara K 2011-07-28 14:05
A regular guy down the street would be spending time in prison for tax dodging. That is where this common crook belongs too.
 
 
+8 # rf 2011-07-29 05:47
He is not a regular guy. He creates jobs...so he is allowed to break the law. The law does not prosecute powerful people or Dick Cheney (that dick) would be in jail.
 
 
+19 # Wotan 2011-07-28 16:11
So, what can the average slob on the street
do about this? Congress is bought and paid
for so there is very little, if anything,
that can be done. Corporate America applauds this kind of activity and so does
Wall Street.
 
 
+16 # rf 2011-07-29 05:48
Unfortunately, so do the dumb-ass lowere class americans that vote republican.
 
 
+26 # deadhead 2011-07-28 16:17
Wait a minute. If an individual would be jailed for tax evasion and a corporation is now defined, by the Supremes as a person, then why are they let off the hook? Hmmmm?
 
 
+8 # AndreM5 2011-07-28 16:23
You know already the answer.
 
 
+7 # deadhead 2011-07-28 17:03
Quoting AndreM5:
You know already the answer.

Sure I do. I just love asinine hyperbole and counting corporations as persons.
 
 
+13 # DLT888 2011-07-28 16:38
Everything is corrupt right now -- all the governments mostly. Like Bob Dylan said "Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties, are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise.......'whi le Reuben [or insert any hardworking Joe or Jane in here] sits like Buddha in a 10-foot cell, an innocent man in a living hell". The tide will change one day......just like it did for the Nazi's and those in Argentina who thought they were above the law but one day were brought to trial.
 
 
+24 # jon 2011-07-28 16:41
Murdoch is the most powerful non-elected person in the world. He must be stopped, before he owns absolutely every Congress person, etc.
 
 
+4 # deadhead 2011-07-28 17:28
Quoting jon:
Murdoch is the most powerful non-elected person in the world. He must be stopped, before he owns absolutely every Congress person, etc.

He already does.
 
 
-23 # EK 2011-07-28 17:37
What a crock. "Rigged" would imply something illegal taking place. The tax code, as far as I know, is not illegal. Taking advantage of the tax code is not illegal. Lobbying for tax relieve is not illegal. What's more, corporations like GE, and GM get away with the same thing, but let's pile on NewsCorp. It's the easy way to report news. :(
 
 
+14 # deadhead 2011-07-28 19:05
[quote name="EK"]What a crock. "Rigged" would imply something illegal taking place.

No -- "rigged" would imply that the system under discussion is tilted in favor of one party over another. Ie: the casinos are "rigged" to win just a tad more than the suckers who bet there, but it's not illegal. In this country the tax loopholes are carefully constructed, or "rigged" to favor the uber-rich and it is legal - piracy, but legal. It needs to be reformed. Yes other corporations do the same, but Murdoch as the purveyor of the warped "truth" of Fox news, NewsCorp, et al is a very special, ironic, symbolic case of the system turned upside down and deserves every bit of poetic, underwear exposed "truth" that can be dealt to him.
 
 
+12 # demongel 2011-07-28 17:41
I cannot add much because I agree with most of the above comments, though I will add that talk is VERY cheap and this guy is VERY active as an on the ground, door knocking organizer.....a s I myself have been on occasion, though admittedly not enough. The US constitution calls us We the People...well we the people are powerless when our elected representatives are bought and paid for and then our only choice is to stand up and with our best weapons....that is unity and solidarity.
Ed
 
 
+14 # Elizabeth Barry 2011-07-28 18:13
Well, why don't we call it in to the IRS? If it was someone up the street, they'd JUMP on him. I don't understand it; as a US citizen living in Canada, I have to report everything in my dear limp little bank account and the IRS watches my sad little tax returns, to JUMP on me if I sell a painting for 250 bucks and paid commission....W hy aren't they interested in people like Murdoch? sigh. This is all so very strange and - well - wonky.
 
 
+5 # rf 2011-07-29 05:52
Irs won't go after any one who is rich. They only go after middle class people because the poor have no money and the rich would tie them in knots in the also broken courts for decades.
 
 
+11 # GLADYS 2011-07-29 01:39
This has become government of the wealthy by the wealthy and for the wealthy; the rest of us less fortunate get to read about it - it's called the new improved and distorted Republican vision - their dream for America as dictated by two unstable factions - Grover Norquist and the Tpartiers. And let's not forget GREED.
 
 
+5 # Lady Marion 2011-07-29 05:45
Murdoch's no fool. Why do you think he has given so much money to the Republicans (Yes, I know some went to Dems too but a pittance in comparison). The Republicans are doing all they can to protect his wealth!
 
 
+3 # thomas lawrence 2011-07-29 21:02
David Cay Johnston in his book Perfectly Legal describes all the ways uber-wealthy (that's 400 billionaires in the US) file tax returns that are 3.5 inches thick. Johnston says there are not enough skilled workers at the IRS to go through most of them - so they just look at page 2 where the "0" is, and that's that.
 

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