DAVID CAY JOHNSTON ON TAX SYSTEM ABUSES01/20/04
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, author of PERFECTLY LEGAL: The Covert Campaign To Rig Our Tax System To Benefit The Super Rich And Cheat Everybody Else (Portfolio). David Cay Johnston, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for his investigative reporting, has devoted the past nine years to exposing inequities in the U.S. tax code endorsed by the Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations. Among his findings: * The poor are more likely than the rich to have their tax returns audited. * Tax breaks allow business executives and owners to use company jets as personal taxis to fly almost for free - for as little as half a cent per dollar of the actual cost. * A tax break created by Congress in the 1970s to broaden home ownership has morphed into a boon for the mansion-aspiring affluent. * CEOs who earn $100 million salaries often pay just 2 percent of that in federal income taxes, deferring the rest of their taxes for years or decades.