How Hedge Fund Billionaires Literally "Check" the People's Will

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Donnie Trump is for it, Barack Obama is too, as are Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

"It" is the idea of finally ending a ridiculous tax loophole that was written by and for the richest, most pampered elites on Wall Street. An obscurely-titled "carried-interest" tax break allows billionaire hedge-fund hucksters to have their massive incomes taxed at a much lower rate than the one teachers, main street businesses, carpenters, and other modest-income people must pay.

This privileged treatment of money shufflers over people who do constructive work in our society adds to America's widening chasm of inequality. It's so unfair and unpopular that even Trump and Bush see that it has to go. So, it's bye-bye loophole, right?

Ha – just kidding! Trump can mouth all he wants, but no animal hath such fury as a hedge-funder whose special tax boondoggle is threatened. Trump had barely gotten the word "unfair" out of his puffy lips before the tax-loophole profiteers deployed battalions of lobbyists, PR flacks, and front-group operatives out to defend their precious carried-interest provision. Just one group, with the arcane name of Private Equity Growth Capital Council, rushed a dozen Gucci-clad lobbyists to Capitol Hill to "inform" lawmakers about the virtues of coddling Wall Street elites with tax favors.

Of course, "informing" meant flashing their checkbooks at key members of Congress. After all, even the loudest blast of political talk is cheap – and it's the silent sound of a pen writing out a campaign check that makes WashingtonWorld keep spinning in favor of the rich.

Sure enough, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Orrin Hatch, the two lawmakers who head Congress' tax-writing committees, quickly announced that – the will of the people aside – there would be no repeal of the hedge-fund loophole anytime soon.

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This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

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