"End The IRS Before It Ends Us..." -- Grover Norquist

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Scataphagos, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. piezoe


    Indeed he is! Just as he is to thousands he has helped around the world. He is our most public intellectual and an absolutely brilliant investor and trader as this article, that FHL mentioned, illustrates. What a genius Soros is. He is too old now, but what a wonderful and super competent Treasury Secretary or Fed Chairman he would have made!!!

    Here is an excerpt from a very thorough and well written Bloomberg article entitled: "George Soros May Face a Monster Tax Bill" (Please note I have put some type in green and underlined some for the benefit of those with impaired reading, e.g., Tsing.)

    see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-30/george-soros-s-tax-bill for the entire article:
    'No person has a constitutional obligation to pay any more taxes than he is required to pay,' says James Sitrick, a tax attorney who represented Soros for decades. If Soros 'couldn’t legally do it, he wouldn’t do it,' says Sitrick, who worked on international tax policy for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    A Hungarian émigré, Soros started his career in New York City in the 1950s and gained a wide reputation for his investing prowess in 1992 by netting $1 billion with a bet that the U.K. would be forced to devalue the pound. His Quantum Endowment Fund returned an average of 20 percent annually until 2011, when he returned outside investors’ money and converted Soros Fund Management into a family office investing solely on behalf of Soros and his family members and his Open Society foundations, a worldwide network of philanthropies that promotes democracy, the rule of law, and economic advancement.

    Soros started what would become the Quantum Endowment Fund in 1973 with about $12 million from investors, primarily wealthy Europeans, basing it in the then-Netherlands Antilles, according to a book he published in 1995 called Soros on Soros. He immediately began reinvesting almost all of his share of client profits, he wrote. When Soros founded his firm, nothing in U.S. law prevented money managers from postponing the acceptance of client fees and letting the money remain in their funds, where it could grow untaxed. But doing so wasn’t really an option for funds based in the U.S., because if managers didn’t take the fees, their clients wouldn’t be able to deduct them from their own taxable income.

    Hedge fund managers could circumvent this obstacle by setting up parallel offshore funds for investors who weren’t subject to U.S. taxes and who therefore didn’t care whether their fund manager deferred taxes on the fees.
    That way, the fees—typically 2 percent of the amount invested and 20 percent of any profits—plus any investment gains, could grow without being taxed until the managers withdrew the money.

    Deferring taxes is particularly valuable to hedge fund managers because most of their profits typically come from short-term trading and are subject to ordinary income taxes instead of the lower capital-gains rate. To illustrate the benefits of postponing taxes, Vyacheslav Fos, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, calculated that a manager with Soros’s track record who started with $12 million from investors, took 20 percent of the profits, and reinvested that money tax-free over 40 years, would end up with $15.9 billion. If that same manager paid federal, state, and local taxes on the fees and related investment gains before reinvesting them, the figure would shrink to $2.4 billion. Ordinary income taxes represent “quite a hit” to hedge fund manager profits, says Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of San Diego. “There is a lot at stake if they can defer that and reinvest it on a pretax basis.”

    As the hedge fund industry grew, a “substantial majority” of managers obtained similar deferrals by raising money offshore, says Needham. The tactic caught the attention of Congress in 2007. Members such as Democrat Rahm Emanuel, then an Illinois representative, contrasted the ability of hedge fund managers to sock away unlimited amounts of pretax earnings with the $15,500 cap on the amount that ordinary Americans could defer through 401(k) plans at that time. On Oct. 3, 2008, President George W. Bush signed legislation closing the offshore loophole.

    The law included an exemption for companies based outside the U.S. that were subject to local taxes. A week before the law was signed, Soros incorporated a new company in Ireland. Quantum Endowment transferred the deferred fees along with certain other assets and liabilities to the new company, called Quantum Endowment Ireland. Soros Fund Management never made use of the exemption to the 2008 ban on deferred fees, according to a person familiar with the firm’s finances who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. In January 2009, the IRS issued rules that made it harder for companies to claim the exemption.

    Soros set up Quantum Endowment Ireland as an Irish Section 110 company that is subject to a 25 percent corporate tax, at least in theory. Because Section 110 companies can issue so-called profit participation notes and pay out almost all their earnings as distributions to holders of the notes, they usually wind up paying very little tax.

    From October 2008 through the end of 2013, Quantum Ireland paid Irish taxes of $962 on $3,851 of net income after allocating $7.2 billion of operating income to investors as distributions on profit participation notes, according to its financial statements. Most, if not all, of the notes were held by Soros’s tax-exempt Open Society foundations. Last year, Soros shut down Quantum Ireland and moved the deferred fees to a new entity incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

    Soros has long called for a fairer distribution of income, once joining fellow billionaire Warren Buffett in urging Congress to raise estate taxes. In a 2011 essay, he wrote that he’d donated more than $8 billion to his foundations.

    Soros might soften the potential tax blow by donating the money to the foundations, which often invest his contributions back into Quantum Endowment, according to their tax filings. That would only partially reduce the bill. Deductions for contributions to private foundations are limited to 30 percent of the donor’s adjusted gross income for the year, according to Jodi Krieger, an attorney with Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen.

    Soros may have found another way to defer paying taxes on fees. After Congress placed restrictions on U.S. investors in offshore funds in 1986, Soros created a security that enabled partners in his firm to defer taxes and convert ordinary income into lower-taxed capital gains, according to the person familiar with the firm’s finances. In 2010, Soros revived that maneuver by having Quantum Endowment issue $3 billion of convertible preferred partnership interests to “related parties” of Soros Fund Management, according to the Irish financial filings.
    The bottom line: Soros has accumulated $13.3 billion in deferred fees from hedge fund clients and investment gains on those fees."
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    #61     Apr 30, 2015
  2. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    LOL...what a shameless hussy you are.
    #62     Apr 30, 2015
  3. YES! Progressive income tax rates are immoral.... should be unconstitutional also.
    #63     Apr 30, 2015
  4. loyek590


    well, I can agree with you on that, but it is also immoral to make the poor pay the same as the rich. Or, if not immoral, at least a bad idea. The poor don't have enough money to tax to make it worth our while. It may not be immoral to tax all the same, but it is unnatural. Like picking young fruit before it is ripe. Give the poor a break and some time to become rich taxpaying citizens.
    #64     Apr 30, 2015
  5. jem


    These fricken crazy old Fed Backed coots like buffett and soros cheating (or close to it) the govt out of billions in taxes while advocating for more taxes on all the working people. Same goes for MSNBC types and democrat officials and Hillary Clinton's foundation and Geithner. the gall of buffet saying taxes don't matter.. while his main guy Munger lectures on the importance of considering the importance of taxes and therefore EBITDA being "bullshit earnings".

    Is it not obvious by their action... taxes are really about stealing the wealth and the assets of the people so they can not compete with those who own the Politicians?
    #65     Apr 30, 2015
  6. jem


    1. most economic libertarians regard Wilson as probably the the worst president as well.
    I guess he saw the light after realizing what he had done an how he sold us out in his quest for power.

    2. piezoe - don you see soros as a centrall controlled world govt advocate.
    would that not be anathema to and old school liberal / libetarian.

    3. Don't you see Soros money being placed in ways to destroy institutions that give us freedom from the control of the cronies and then give Drugs to dumb down the masses.

    I think of Soros and Opens Societies and I see Brave New World


    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    #66     Apr 30, 2015
  7. loyek590


    the best way to steal wealth and redistribute it would simply be a net worth tax. Everybody pays 10% of their net worth to the government every year. Then you would hear Warren squeal.

    and many if not most have a negative net worth so many would live tax free.

    the net worth tax is the original tax talked about in the Bible. You can look it up.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    #67     Apr 30, 2015
  8. So the great Soros, liberal icon of icons, is, if not a tax cheat, at the very least someone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid payng taxes on his vast income over the years? Yet he lectures working people for our so-called greed and failure to pay our fair share?

    Why is it that every single liberal icon is either a flaming hypocrite or an outright fraud? Soros, Buffett, the Clintons, Al Gore, the justice brothers Jackson and Sharpton, et al et al, the list is endless.

    Yet the media and liberals focus their rage on the Koch brothers, who run businesses employing tens of thousands, pay their taxes, yet have the temerity to spend their own money to advance their political views, which is a core First Amendment value.
    #68     Apr 30, 2015
  9. loyek590


    Soros isn't a liberal or a conservative. His main big deal is questioning laissez faire free market determination of value. Liberal politicians can be wrong, very wrong, and so can the market be wrong, very wrong.
    #69     Apr 30, 2015
  10. piezoe


    Yes, to some extent perhaps.. I'll try to explain my own position when I get a moment. Soros is about opposing repressive governments. When he puts money into open society projects he doesn't interfere once the project is underway. So some of these projects work out to his satisfaction and some of them don't. That hands off approach is itself a libertarian approach. He is strongly opposed to totalitarian governments. I look at the world more as he does than I would guess you do, but we can discuss this later when we have more time. One thing I'm fairly sure of is that he has been misunderstood by many because he financially supported the democrats heavily in the first Obama election. He did so because he saw the Democrats as the lesser of two evils rather than being an all out supporter. He was strongly opposed to the G.W. Bush administration, the patriot act, etc. He has been rather critical of Obama since.

    I think Loyek has it right when he says that Soros doesn't believe laissez faire markets work well. He makes a very strong case against them, and laissez faire is of course a core idea among most libertarians. I'm firmly with Soros on this. Markets move away from equilibrium just as often, if not more often, then they move toward it. The belief that markets, if left alone, will harmlessly self-correct excesses is a defect in libertarian market philosophy. Soros likes to say it is closer to the truth to say that markets tend away from equilibrium than it is to say they tend towards it.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    #70     Apr 30, 2015