Hedge fund king John Paulson earns more per hour than most Americans in a lifetime—and he pays a lower tax rate

Hedge fund king John Paulson earns more per hour than most Americans in a lifetime—and he pays a lower tax rate

from AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth by Gaius Publius

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This is about closing that monster “hedge fund tax loophole” now that we’re all so very concerned about the deficit.

Let’s start with Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress. First he references the estimable Jim Hightower (my emphasis):

If your job paid $50,000 a year and you stayed at it for 47 years, your tally for a lifetime of work would be $2.4 million. Not bad — but hedge fund hustler John Paulson pulled down that much last year.

Most of us would consider an annual income of $2.4 million to be a windfall, but it didn’t take Paulson a full 12 months of work to pocket his windfall — or one month, a week, or even a day.That’s how much he made an hour. Yes, Paulson could’ve worked one single hour in 2010 and hauled off a paycheck equal to what a typical household gets for a lifetime of work.

Jilani then says:

Hightower goes on to note that not only does Paulson earn such wild compensation, but that he actually pays a lower effective income tax rate — 15 percent — than the average American, whose effective rate in 2007 was 20.4 percent.

Jilani’s point — close that hedge-fund tax loophole, the one that taxes capital gains at 15%. He even has agreat graph from MoveOn.org to illustrate the point. (Read carefully; white-on-light-blue was maybe not the best color choice for this excellent data.)


By the way, hedge-king John Paulson is the guy we clocked in 2009 as earning $2.3 billion. He’s also this guy, the one who got Goldman Sachs to create worthless derivatives packages so he could bet against them.

You can buy a lot of Congressional thank-you for what he earns in a day. And a lot of reluctance-to-prosecute with the change.

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