One of the world’s richest people, 84-year-old George Soros, used a loophole which allowed him to avoid paying taxes. In 2013 through Soros Fund Management the billionaire managed to accumulate $13.3 billion. However, the investor now faces having to pay almost $7 billion.
RT: Soros has actually been an outspoken advocate of raising taxes for the rich. But now it appears he’s done his best to dodge paying taxes.
Gerald Celente: He is just one of many when you look at what is going on in America – these hedge fund guys, private equity guys. They pay taxes at capital gains rate which is about 20 percent, when they should be paying about 49 percent. They all have been getting a break. You look at the data coming in from the country since 2009, for example, the wealth among the top 400 people, which of course Soros is one of, has doubled. Four hundred people have $2.25 trillion – that’s more wealth than the GDP of 130 countries. So they have been dodging these taxes one way or another. When they end up paying what they finally pay it’ll be a very small percentage of what they actually should pay because they always cut a deal.
RT: What was the reaction in the US, given the wealth gap between rich and poor? Has this case with Soros inflamed the situation?
GC: No, they were more concerned about the prize fight last week or what the Kardashians are doing, whether this guy, Bruce Jenner is becoming transgender. No, most people don’t know about this. But the latest poll that came out was very interesting – this is one of the first times that you’re seeing very high levels of people being polled that are concerned about the gap between the rich and the poor. Yet, the number of people saying that they are against so few having so much it’s still a very small number.
RT: What can the government do? Should it go after more high-profile tax dodgers? Who is putting the pressure on the government to act if the public don’t do it?
GC: The people that are running the government are the same people that are running the banks and the hedge funds in America. When the presidential elections, or as I like to call them, “the presidential reality show” is underway – look at all the money they are giving, private people are giving to these candidates… So it is money talks. They call them campaign contributions – where I come from they call them “bribes” and “payoffs”. The only people that the government is going to go after are the ones they always go after, and that’s the little people whether it’s an economic end, or whether it is breaking the law. You saw what they did with [Edward] Snowden – he must be pretty close by. Look what they did to [David] Petraeus, the former General – giving his girlfriend classified information. It was a misdemeanor, it was no jail time. It is only punishment for the very little. Yes, the IRS [Internal Revenue Service] will crack down, the government will crack down; they’ll crackdown on us in every way they can as the big guys get a free ride.
In the end, it would appear that we simply have yet another case of billionaire hypocrisy: “please raise taxes on all the uber-wealthy… except me.”