Daniel Suelo lives in caves in the canyonlands of Utah. He survives by harvesting wild foods and eating roadkill.
He has no job, no bank account and does not accept government welfare. In fact, Suelo has no money at all.
Friday, Dec 20th
Last update08:00:18 PM GMT
Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major American corporations paid no net federal income taxes despite bringing in billions in profits, according to a new report (PDF) from the nonprofit research group Citizens for Tax Justice. CTJ calculates that if the companies had paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate, they would have put more than $78 billion into government coffers.
Here's a look at the 10 most profitable tax evaders and the politicians their CEOs, employees, and PACs give the most money to.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein's compensation increased 14.5 percent to $16.2 million in 2011 despite a sharp decline in profits and share price during the year, leaving the bank open to more attacks on its pay policies.
Blankfein's pay boost includes stock awards from previous years that vested in 2011, and therefore does not reflect the amount that Goldman's board awarded him strictly for the company's performance last year.
The companies have avoided U.S. taxes on almost every penny of their international profits by keeping the money offshore. And nearly that entire haul has been designated by top executives of those firms as “permanently” or “indefinitely” reinvested abroad, partly because of the 35 percent U.S. tax rate companies must pay to bring home foreign money.
That $455.6 billion, along with hundreds of billions more dollars in other earnings parked overseas, lies at the center of a tug of war between lobbyists, Congress and the White House over how to tax international profits.
Financial speculators are gambling on oil the same way they gambled on the housing market a few years ago — a frightening prospect for the fragile economy, a Democratic congressional committee was told Wednesday.
"It is similar to the gambling Wall Street did on whether or not people would pay their subprime (below-market rate) mortgages in the mortgage meltdown," said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former federal regulator of financial markets. "Now they are betting on the upward direction of the price of oil."
How has this central banking scheme "helped"? It hasn't. It actually ended up destroying scarce resources as it fooled the participants in the economy for a period of time into thinking they were more wealthy than they really were.
Don't understand economics? And the thought of even trying makes your eyes cross?
Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord.
He's joining a growing list of big and small investors who see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes, especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets.
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