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David Cay Johnston

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March 2008: For its first 280 pages, the new exposé [Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill)] from this Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter is an engaging look at how the superrich consistently—and outrageously—rely on public handouts while preaching about free markets and wasteful entitlement programs all the way to the bank. The villains in David Cay Johnston's tales run the gamut from railroad executives to sports-franchise owners to hedge-fund managers, all joined by a willingness to take enormous sums from public coffers while providing little or nothing in return.

April 2004: Winner of the 2003 "Investigative Book of the year award" prize awarded by the journalistic group Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. "The book by Johnston, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else (Penguin Group USA), combined compelling anecdotes with exhaustive big-picture research to convey vital information about arcane tax policy in a way that can be understood by general readers. The contest judges noted Johnston's tenure as a reporter with The New York Times.

"His years of covering the intricacies of America's loophole-ridden tax system and the wealthy who take advantage of it have paid off in a book that should anger every citizen," they said. "

January 2004: Journalist, author of Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) New York Times Source Jan 14, 2008
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Reuters Source Apr 19, 2012

Articles and Resources

32 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 12]

Date Resource Read it at:
Jan 14, 2008 Wesley Snipes to Go on Trial in Tax Case

QUOTE: [Wesley] Snipes, who is scheduled to go on trial Monday in Ocala, Fla., has become an unlikely public face for the antitax movement, whose members maintain that Americans are not obligated to pay income taxes and that the government extracts taxes from its citizens illegally.

New York Times
Sep 12, 2007 Businessman Ordered Jailed in Dispute With Utility

QUOTE: Mr. Seeber, who initially acted as his own lawyer, wrote to the company’s directors and J. Wayne Leonard, the chief executive, complaining that the company was trying to ruin his business with what he said was a baseless lawsuit. Mr. Seeber maintains that Entergy is simply trying to intimidate him, ruin his business and violate his First Amendment rights.

New York Times
Jun 15, 2007 Assisting the Good Life

QUOTE: Much controversy swirls around the subsidies and tax exemptions state and local governments offer expressly to attract businesses to a community. But far less attention has been focused on the many kinds of indirect favors that are showered on places like Bandon Dunes through government policies that influence the flow of money from the public to private interests and often serve to reinforce benefits for those who are already successful.

New York Times
Jun 07, 2007 I.R.S. Moves to Close Tax Shelter Shortly After I.B.M. Uses It to Save $1.6 Billion

QUOTE: For the second time in 12 months, the government has moved to block a tax shelter that had been aimed at converting billions of dollars of corporate profits, on which taxes have yet to be paid, into profits that will never be taxed. The move by the Internal Revenue Service came two days after International Business Machines said that it used the technique to avoid paying $1.6 billion in income taxes.

New York Times
Apr 17, 2007 House to Vote on Bill to Ban Web Site Names That Resemble Those of U.S. Agencies

QUOTE: A Web industry trade group, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, issued a statement last week warning consumers that Web sites like, and “make money by offering services that, in many cases, taxpayers could get for free through the I.R.S.’s official Web site,”

New York Times
Apr 04, 2007 U.S. Sues Man It Accuses of Selling a Tax Scheme

QUOTE: The leader of a nationwide movement that contends most Americans are not required to pay income tax was sued yesterday by the Justice Department, which said that his followers have used a tax scheme that he sells to avoid paying $21 million of income taxes.

New York Times
Mar 29, 2007 Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows

QUOTE: Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.

New York Times
Mar 20, 2007 I.R.S. Agents Feel Pressed to End Cases

QUOTE: The head of the Internal Revenue Service faces questions in Congress today about auditors’ complaints that they are being forced to close corporate cases prematurely, allowing billions in tax dollars to go unpaid. In interviews, these revenue agents warned that unless they were free to pursue what their instincts tell them, their focus would end up being only on known abuses, and new ones created by the tax advice industry would go undetected.

New York Times
Mar 09, 2007 I.R.S. Letting Tax Lawyers Write Rules

QUOTE: recent years there has been a quickening pace of moves to outsource the actual work of regulation, hiring contractors to write the rules. Now the I.R.S. is proposing that outside experts do it at no charge, opening up the possibility that some firms providing the draft would be working on behalf of an individual, business or association seeking to plant a favorable nuance in a rule.

New York Times
Jan 12, 2007 Agents Say Fast Audits Hurt I.R.S.

QUOTE: Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year....[agents] said a policy intended to avoid delays in auditing corporations was being pushed so rigidly that it prevented them from pursuing numerous examples of questionable corporate tax deductions.

New York Times
Aug 20, 2006 I.R.S. Enlists Help in Collecting Delinquent Taxes

QUOTE: broader plan to outsource the collection of smaller tax debts to private companies over time. Although I.R.S. officials acknowledge that this will be much more expensive than doing it internally, they say that Congress has forced their hand by refusing to let them hire more revenue officers...Critics of the privatization plan point not only to the higher cost but also to what they say is a greater potential for abuse.

New York Times
Aug 01, 2006 Tax Cheats Called Out of Control

QUOTE: So many superrich Americans evade taxes using offshore accounts that law enforcement cannot control the growing misconduct, according to a Senate report that provides the most detailed look ever at high-level tax schemes.

New York Times
Jul 31, 2006 Facts Refute Filmmaker's Assertions on Income Tax in 'America'

QUOTE: The film’s not left or right, but concentrated among those who see the United States evolving into a police state ruled by an oligarchy that has tricked Americans into paying taxes...Early in the film Mr. Russo...asserts that every president since Woodrow Wilson and every member of Congress has perpetrated a hoax to tax people’s wages and issue them dubious currency.

New York Times
Jul 23, 2006 I.R.S. to Cut Tax Auditors

QUOTE: The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service ...a veteran I.R.S. estate tax lawyer...called the cuts a “back-door way for the Bush administration to achieve what it cannot get from Congress, which is repeal of the estate tax.”

New York Times
Jan 11, 2006 I.R.S. Move Said to Hurt the Poor

QUOTE: Tax refunds sought by 1.6 million poor Americans over the last five years were frozen and their returns labeled fraudulent, although the vast majority appear to have done nothing wrong, the Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer advocate told Congress yesterday.

New York Times
Aug 13, 2005 Tax Protester Who Dared U.S. to Prosecute Him Is Convicted of Not Filing Returns

QUOTE: Larken Rose, a tax protester who dared the Justice Department to indict him so he could prove to a jury that the tax laws are a fraud, was convicted Friday on five counts of willfully failing to file tax returns.

New York Times
Jul 19, 2005 For Some, the Tax Cut on Investment Income Is Not as Sweet as Advertised

QUOTE: Millions of investors who bought dividend-paying stocks after President Bush persuaded Congress to lower the taxes on investments to 15 percent are paying a lot more, in some cases almost 50 percent more...

New York Times
Jul 14, 2005 Believe What You Will, Just Don't Promote It, Tax Foe Is Told

QUOTE: A federal appeals court upheld a lower court order yesterday that bars a "professional tax protester" from promoting a popular tax fraud known as the 861 position and requires him to turn over the names of clients to the Justice Department.

New York Times
Jul 03, 2005 In 2002, More Wealthy People Paid No Tax

QUOTE: The number of affluent individuals and married couples who paid no federal income taxes jumped more than 15 percent in 2002, to 5,650, government data released last week showed.

New York Times
Jun 29, 2005 Tax Protester Pleads Guilty to Filing False Claim

QUOTE: A California businessman who boasted that he paid no income taxes because no law required him to do so has pleaded guilty to filing a false refund claim, the latest blow to the tax protest movement.

New York Times

32 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 12]