We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

I prefer to see the cup as half full

It was written as…

The US taxman, the internal revenue service, argues that KPMG’s tax shelters between 1996 and 2002 cost the government $1.4bn in lost revenues.

But I prefer to see it as… “KPMG’s tax shelters between 1996 and 2002 saved the public $1.4bn which was used to generate productive economic activity”

6 comments to I prefer to see the cup as half full

  • John Thacker

    Although in much of the cases, the tax shelters divert money from more productive economic activity into less productive economic activity that happens to be taxed less. Of course, this is really the fault of the taxes.

  • Still, John, the shelters are sure to be more productive than the taxes.

    And the natural defense of tax shelters is that those who place their money in them are just responding to the incentives of the government, that is, doing what the government wants.

    Many tax shelters are the result of using the tax code as an instrument of social engineering anyway.

  • MikeG

    I wonder how many minutes it takes the US government to spend 1.4 billion dollars? a billion here a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about some real money.

  • Well, if the US budget is 2 trillion dollars, that means they spend about 5.5 billion a day. 1.4 billion would take about 6-7 hours.

    It’s barely even walking around money. 🙂

  • Al Maviva

    I’m getting the impression that DOJ is trying to drive KPMG out of the market, bankrupt them; and then file an antitrust lawsuit against the remaining three big accounting firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Coopers) in the U.S., on the basis of the “three firm” rule – that is if there are three firms or less in the market, that those firms are possessed of “market power” and pose a danger to competition and the customers. I’m getting a little sick of the anti-corporate populism.

  • That is a good start but would it not be far better to make sure the Taxes were low enough so that people did not need to find ways of getting out of having to pay them?