Home / General / Supreme Court considers case based on anti-tax crank’s Penthouse Forum letter

Supreme Court considers case based on anti-tax crank’s Penthouse Forum letter

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The case that was recently argued before the Supreme Court challenging a wealth tax enacted by noted Trotskyists Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in order to dismantle much of the federal tax code is yet another one based on pure bullshit:

In their brief before the Supreme Court, the Moores wove a tale of how they nobly invested in an Indian company, KisanKraft, simply because they loved the company’s vision of improving the lives of small farmers in India. They told the court they were “minority shareholders without any role in KisanKraft’s management” and therefore could not have asked the company to issue a dividend giving them income and that it was “payment enough” to support the company. So, while their legal argument is that Congress exceeded its authority to impose such a tax, their story is one of retired do-gooders simply seeking to help people in India via a relatively modest investment of $40,000. They say they were therefore blindsided by finding out they owed $15,000 in taxes. 

Except their story is, to put it charitably, less than true. Last week, the Washington Post dropped a major story about how Charles Moore sat on the board of KisanKraft for five years, from 2012 to 2017, a fact the Moores neglected to mention. Moore gave the company a cash contribution of roughly $245,000 in 2014, and the company paid that back with 12 percent interest in 2015. WaPo also reported that after the Moores filed this lawsuit, Charles Moore sold around 20 percent of his holdings in KisanKraft and got nearly $300,000. 

So, the Moores aren’t really just those retired do-gooders who didn’t “realize” any gains from their investment. Instead, they’re savvy, wealthy investors who got a lot of money from KisanKraft. Additionally, their assertion they had no role in the company and therefore never had enough influence to have the company issue dividends, which would have resulted in direct income to shareholders, was a straight-up lie. 

In early October, a group of wealthy people in favor of the tax wrote to the Moores’ lawyer, David Rifkin, asking that he correct the record before the Court. Rifkin is the attorney who did a fawning “interview” of Justice Samuel Alito in the Wall Street Journal when Alito was trying to get ahead of the ProPublica story about how Paul Singer, a wealthy billionaire, took Alito on a luxury Alaskan fishing trip that would have cost over $100,000 for the cost of the private plane alone.

Can’t wait for the inevitable case being brought by the imaginary struggling family farmers who have to pay the estate tax.

It does look like Alito will struggle to get five voters for his good friend’s libertarian fan fiction, but it’s a signal of how reactionary the current federal courts are that the case made it this far.

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