Nolte: ProPublica IRS ‘Bombshell’ Exposes Danger of Government-Run Health Care

A doctor speaks with a patient about her high blood pressure, or hypertension, on September 5, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Doctors in the country are demanding higher payments from health insurance companies (Krankenkassen).
Adam Berry/Getty Images

The far-left ProPublica’s “bombshell” report about how the wealthiest Americans avoid paying taxes is the best argument you’ll ever read against government-run health care.

Allow me to back up for just a moment…

“The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax, the headline reads, and the story itself is just stupid. You’ll note how the headline carefully focuses on “income tax,” as does the story:

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

The left-wing outlet is counting on readers to respond with equal parts outrage and ignorance. Here’s where the shell game begins [emphasis mine]:

Taken together, it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.

Do you see what they did there? How they slyly changed the argument from “incomes” to “fortunes.”

Listen, I’m no fan of any of the 15 people targeted. Still, I am a fan of truth and intellectual honesty, and the difference between “income” and “fortune” is the difference between an uzi and a banana.

“Fortunes” do not “grow” through income, which is why no one pays “income tax” on their growing fortune. The very idea of such a thing is ludicrous.

Fortunes grow — and this is almost certainly the case for the 15 people targeted here — through the value of investments — things such as property and stock portfolio.

Oh, look, ProPublica actually admits that!!!

America’s billionaires avail themselves of tax-avoidance strategies beyond the reach of ordinary people. Their wealth derives from the skyrocketing value of their assets, like stock and property. Those gains are not defined by U.S. laws as taxable income unless and until the billionaires sell.

So what exactly is the problem here? Why would anyone pay taxes on the speculative value of property or stocks? What if the bottom falls out? What if you paid taxes on a billion-dollar boost in value and then lose two billion in value? Will the IRS give you your money back? We don’t pay until we cash out. Nothing else makes sense.

So, yes, the story’s premise is stupid, but that’s not my point, so allow me to return to that. Let me now explain why this stupid story is the best argument yet against government-run health care…

We’ll start with a few quotes from the stupid article:

  • ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing…
  • The Secret IRS Files is an ongoing reporting project.
  • The IRS records show that…
  • [T]he IRS data shows…
  • ProPublica will use the IRS data we have obtained to explore in detail…
  • The revelations provided by the IRS data come at a crucial moment.

Is the hair on the back of your neck standing up yet? Because it should be.

First off, there’s no way these records were leaked by the accountants of the 15 super-wealthy Americans. What are the odds of that happening? And if one accountant handles all 15, he just lost his job and will almost certainly end up in prison.

What happened is painfully obvious, at least to me, and that’s that some scumbag bureaucrats at the IRS illegally leaked what is supposed to be confidential and private information, and not because anyone broke the law. This leak is solely about pushing a political agenda.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

SOMEONE AT THE IRS ILLEGALLY LEAKED 15 AMERICANS’ CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVATE INFORMATION TO PUSH A POLITICAL AGENDA.

Now I want you to imagine the following…

The government has all of your health records…

The same bureaucrats who work at the IRS have access to all of your health records…

To further a political agenda… Say, to embarrass a politician or a Joe the Plumber or anyone who dares question the status quo, those health records are illegally leaked to the establishment media…

Think about your own health records. Think about having those records laid bare to the world by unaccountable bureaucrats and a fascist media who hide behind the First Amendment.

There is no question, there is no question whatsoever, that if the government is given access to our health records, we are looking at a future where government bureaucrats leak those records to embarrass their political enemies.

The ProPublica story is stupid.

But to anyone capable of reading between the lines, this is one of the most important stories ever written — a warning, a glimpse into the future, and one we cannot ignore.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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