Book Review

“Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich – and Cheat Everybody Else” by National Lawyer’s Guild member and New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston reveals through the lives of ordinary Americans the little known public policies that have resulted in a very few gaining so much because they are being subsidized by the middle class.

It explains how CEO pay plans contain hidden subsidies so costly that companies must cut rank-and-file health insurance and pensions. It reveals how the biggest executive subsidy of all, one that gives executives $200 of benefit for each dollar they spend, was slipped through Congress under the guise of middle class tax relief.

The book also exposes the “modern” pension plans companies want to impose, showing how some Communication Workers of America members, whose contract allowed them to retire at age 55 with $23,000 a year for life, would have gotten a one-time payment of $17,000 under one of these “modern” plans. The bosses had said the plan would make the CWA members millionaires.

And it shows that the income gap is vastly wider than previously reported. This gap will continue to widen because the political donor class, who buy their access to congressmen, have filled the law books with policies that are steadily shifting the burden of taxes off of them and onto you.

If you have children and make $50,000 to $500,000 you will soon see your Bush tax cuts taken back by a stealth tax, part of the scheme to make you subsidize the super rich so they can enjoy the benefits of America at your expense.

– National Lawyers Guild