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This title in other editions

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else

by

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 theirs 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 Millions of families expecting tax cuts are losing some or all of them to a stealth tax that was originally enacted only to apply to the tax-avoiding rich, but that now stings single mothers making as little as $28,000.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

Review:

"[Johnston's] journalistic legwork informs every page of this expose....[A] thoughtful overview for any citizens willing to educate themselves on the issue." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[Y]ou can't put it down....Perfectly Legal is rich with details and examples, and it never bogs down, even though Johnston deals with very complex tax schemes." San Antonio Express-News

Review:

"David Cay Johnston believes 'the tax system in America is being rigged to benefit the super rich.' And David Cay Johnston's Perfectly Legal and the alternative minimum tax have made a believer out of me." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"At times, this book might seem overstuffed with facts and numbers, but they serve a noble purpose....[A] scrupulously reported, anecdotally rich wake-up call urging all of us to not only follow the money but also pay the piper." Boston Globe

Review:

"[C]overs more ground than most investigations....Johnston presents plans for reform that sound plausible. But he understands that his reform plans and plans offered by other commentators quite likely will stand no chance in Congress or the executive branch." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Johnston takes us on a remarkable excursion....Perfectly Legal thus stands as one of the best, and certainly one of the most thorough, examinations of the perfidies of recent tax policy in the United States." San Diego Union-Tribune

Review:

"Want to know how business execs get nearly free personal trips on their corporate jets? Johnston is your man." Business Week

Review:

"Mr. Johnston exposes some fundamental problems with the tax code that Campaign 2004 seems to be overlooking." Amity Shlaes, Financial Times

Review:

"This book is vital, an infuriating call to action." Jim Hightower, author of Thieves in High Places

Synopsis:

With a new Prologue and updated with new material, this six-week New York Times bestseller reveals how everyday Americans are being robbed to subsidize those who make millions.

Synopsis:

“No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge cus­tomers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. A big reason is that so little of the news . . . addresses the private, government-approved mechanisms by which price gouging is employed to redistribute income upward.”
 
You are being systematically exploited by powerful corporations every day. These companies squeeze their trusting customers for every last cent, risk their retirement funds, and endanger their lives. And they do it all legally. How? It’s all in the fine print.
 
David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Per­fectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.
 
Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn’t mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements, lie the tools these companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what’s missing—all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce and abuse. Consider, for example, how:
  • An insurance company repeatedly delayed paying for a paralyzed man’s vital care despite court orders to pay up.
  • Laws in nineteen states let companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble pocket the state income taxes withheld from their workers’ paychecks for up to twenty-five years.
  • A little-known government rule gives safety waiv­ers to deadly industrial facilities secretly located underneath schools and playgrounds.
  • The “FCC Charge” on your phone bill, which appears to be a government fee, actually goes straight to the phone company.
 
Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the hundreds of obscure fees and taxes that line the pockets of big corporations, and to help end these devious practices once and for all.

Synopsis:

A bestselling author's shocking analysis of the many ways everyday people are systemically victimized by powerful corporations.

David Cay Johnston has made a name for himself as the defender of the common man, calling out the rich and powerful for cheating the system at the expense of everyone else. Whether he's exposing unjust loopholes in the tax code that help the rich get richer or pointing out how powerful corporations pocket government subsidies at excessive taxpayer expense, Johnston is an eloquent town crier for justice and equality.

Now this bestselling author has turned his attention to the sneaky stipulations hidden in the fine print of just about every contract and government rule. Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill-any utility bill-and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn't mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements to you, the unsuspecting customer, lie the tools many companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what's missing-all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce.

The Fine Print is essential reading for anyone who wants to wrest power from devious corporations and end their long-standing consumer abuse.

About the Author

David Cay Johnston won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 and was a finalist three other times since 2000 for his investigative reporting in the New York Times, for which he has written since 1995. Prior to that he wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, and the San Jose Mercury News. Johnston is a frequent guest on NPR's Fresh Air.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Chapter 1: Taxes - They're Not for Everyone

Chapter 2: A Nickel an Hour More

Chapter 3: The Rich Get Fabulously Richer

Chapter 4: Big Payday

Chapter 5: Plane Perks

Chapter 6: When the Old Man Is Dead and Buried

Chapter 7: The Stealth Tax

Chapter 8: How Social Security Taxes Subsidize the Rich

Chapter 9: Preying on the Working Poor

Chapter 10: Handcuffing the Tax Police

Chapter 11: Mr. Rossotti's Customers

Chapter 12: For Want of a Keystroke

Chapter 13: Mr. Kellogg's Favorite Loophole

Chapter 14: Mass Market Tax Evasion

Chapter 15: Getting Off the Hook

Chapter 16: Profiting Off Taxes

Chapter 17: Profits Trump Patriotism

Chapter 18: Letters to Switerzland

Chapter 19: Gimme Shelter

Chapter 20: Only the Rich Deserve a Comfortable Retirement

Chapter 21: Is Reform Possible?

Conclusions

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781591840695
Author:
Johnston, David Cay
Publisher:
Portfolio
Author:
David Cay Johnsto
Author:
N
Subject:
Taxation - General
Subject:
Taxation
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Taxation -- United States.
Subject:
Taxation -- Law and legislation.
Subject:
Law-Legal Guides and Reference
Subject:
Government & Business
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
January 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations on pages 31, 34, 36, a
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

» BLOCKED
» Business » Personal Finance
» Business » Tax Guides
» History and Social Science » Economics » General
» History and Social Science » Economics » US Economy
» History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
» History and Social Science » Politics » General
» History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich -- and Cheat Everybody Else Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Portfolio - English 9781591840695 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[Johnston's] journalistic legwork informs every page of this expose....[A] thoughtful overview for any citizens willing to educate themselves on the issue."
"Review" by , "[Y]ou can't put it down....Perfectly Legal is rich with details and examples, and it never bogs down, even though Johnston deals with very complex tax schemes."
"Review" by , "David Cay Johnston believes 'the tax system in America is being rigged to benefit the super rich.' And David Cay Johnston's Perfectly Legal and the alternative minimum tax have made a believer out of me."
"Review" by , "At times, this book might seem overstuffed with facts and numbers, but they serve a noble purpose....[A] scrupulously reported, anecdotally rich wake-up call urging all of us to not only follow the money but also pay the piper."
"Review" by , "[C]overs more ground than most investigations....Johnston presents plans for reform that sound plausible. But he understands that his reform plans and plans offered by other commentators quite likely will stand no chance in Congress or the executive branch."
"Review" by , "Johnston takes us on a remarkable excursion....Perfectly Legal thus stands as one of the best, and certainly one of the most thorough, examinations of the perfidies of recent tax policy in the United States."
"Review" by , "Want to know how business execs get nearly free personal trips on their corporate jets? Johnston is your man."
"Review" by , "Mr. Johnston exposes some fundamental problems with the tax code that Campaign 2004 seems to be overlooking."
"Review" by , "This book is vital, an infuriating call to action."
"Synopsis" by , With a new Prologue and updated with new material, this six-week New York Times bestseller reveals how everyday Americans are being robbed to subsidize those who make millions.
"Synopsis" by ,
“No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge cus­tomers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. A big reason is that so little of the news . . . addresses the private, government-approved mechanisms by which price gouging is employed to redistribute income upward.”
 
You are being systematically exploited by powerful corporations every day. These companies squeeze their trusting customers for every last cent, risk their retirement funds, and endanger their lives. And they do it all legally. How? It’s all in the fine print.
 
David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Per­fectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.
 
Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn’t mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements, lie the tools these companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what’s missing—all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce and abuse. Consider, for example, how:
  • An insurance company repeatedly delayed paying for a paralyzed man’s vital care despite court orders to pay up.
  • Laws in nineteen states let companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble pocket the state income taxes withheld from their workers’ paychecks for up to twenty-five years.
  • A little-known government rule gives safety waiv­ers to deadly industrial facilities secretly located underneath schools and playgrounds.
  • The “FCC Charge” on your phone bill, which appears to be a government fee, actually goes straight to the phone company.
 
Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the hundreds of obscure fees and taxes that line the pockets of big corporations, and to help end these devious practices once and for all.
"Synopsis" by ,

A bestselling author's shocking analysis of the many ways everyday people are systemically victimized by powerful corporations.

David Cay Johnston has made a name for himself as the defender of the common man, calling out the rich and powerful for cheating the system at the expense of everyone else. Whether he's exposing unjust loopholes in the tax code that help the rich get richer or pointing out how powerful corporations pocket government subsidies at excessive taxpayer expense, Johnston is an eloquent town crier for justice and equality.

Now this bestselling author has turned his attention to the sneaky stipulations hidden in the fine print of just about every contract and government rule. Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill-any utility bill-and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn't mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements to you, the unsuspecting customer, lie the tools many companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what's missing-all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce.

The Fine Print is essential reading for anyone who wants to wrest power from devious corporations and end their long-standing consumer abuse.

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