A groundbreaking report from ProPublica shines a light on how the worlds’ richest people are avoiding paying taxes.
Meanwhile, leftist teacher Pedro Castillo has a narrow lead in Peru’s presidential election, while his right-wing opponent is making wild claims of fraud.
And lastly, the United Mine Workers strike is in its third month, and workers on the picket line have weathered physical attacks while the media and Biden Administration stays silent.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Nonprofit investigative outlet Propublica got its hands on the scoop of the year so far, showing us the dirty details of how billionaires hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes.
That may sound like a familiar refrain, but the data involved is stuff we’ve never seen before. Propublica says the massive trove of IRS data was provided to them in a raw, unedited form, and the story out on Tuesday is the product of weeks of careful editing and reporting.
The data shows that Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg and many other billionaires often pay precisely zero dollars in federal income taxes, despite their massive net worth.
Propublica reports that they gleaned this through the massive dump of data, which shows not just tax records but investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.
Put together, it tells a story that we all know: that these people are not paying their fair share. For years, though, that’s been an easy truth for many in government to avoid, which is why reporting like this is so vital. Already, it’s reignited calls from Elizabeth Warren and other prominent politicians to institute a wealth tax, which would put a tax on any person’s total net worth, not just their income.
It’s almost a given that these billionaires would seek ways to get out of that too. But the fact is right now, they don’t even have to try.
Peruvian Leftist In Lead for Presidency
A huge presidential election is underway in Peru. Voting ended on Sunday, but the margin is razor thin as results continue to filter in.
Right now, though, there’s good news: the leftist candidate, a teacher named Pedro Castillo, is up by roughly 70,000 votes.
His opponent, of course, is crying fraud. Her name is Keiko Fujimori, and she’s the daughter of Peru’s last right-wing dictator, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for his role in civilian massacres. You can see how this race is shaping up already.
Analysts told the Guardian that Fujimori’s fraud claims were an act of desperation. International observers did not report any irregularities in the election. It’s worth noting that Fujimori has been accused of various counts of campaign corruption, similar to her father.
Castillo, meanwhile, is the former leader of Peru’s teachers union. He’s currently the top candidate in the Peru Libre party, which has pretty strong marxist policies that favor widespread resource nationalisation, higher taxes, and import substitution, according to the Guardian. Castillo has also pledged to rewrite the Peruvian constitution in a more equitable way, which the Guardian reports has terrified the country’s elite.
All these themes should sound familiar by now -- so fingers crossed Castillo becomes the latest big winner for the global left wing.
Warrior Met Workers Weather Attacks on Strike
We touched on this yesterday, but there’s a story in Alabama that deserves a closer look. For the past two months and change, 1100 workers at two coal mines owned by a company called Warrior Met have been on strike, as their union battles a management force that seems prepared to do anything to break them down.
The miners are represented by the United Mine Workers, which was forced to make huge concessions when mining companies started to go bankrupt a few years back. But now, as the coal industry has recovered some post pandemic, the workers are still living on a razor’s edge.
So they did what organized labor has done for centuries: they stopped working. But now the UMA says that Warrior Met is pulling out the stops to break the strike, including in at least three instances hitting striking workers with vehicles driven by people associated with the company’s management.
In the Week magazine on Tuesday, writer Ryan Cooper made a great point: where is Joe Biden on this? When Amazon was brutally suppressing a Union campaign in the same state, Biden released at least some acknowledgement of labor’s right to organize there. But when it comes to coal, the Biden Administration is silent, even though the barest mention of the Warrior Met workers could drive a huge amount of attention to their plight.
Keep an eye on this story this week -- with any luck, it’ll start getting some traction in the wider media.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
The confusion we’re all feeling with the Democratic party isn’t unique to the left. NBC News reports that a survey of new democratic focus groups found that many voters quote "have trouble describing a clear positive vision of what the Democratic Party stands for.” endquote. That’s on the party leadership, and they’re running out of excuses fast.
French President Emmanuel Macron got slapped -- yes, slapped in the face -- by a protester during a public appearance on Tuesday morning. Heads of state feeling the heat! Imagine that.
We’ve got a very odd tidbit in the New York City Mayoral Race today: it’s unclear to anyone where Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams actually lives, and Politico reports that he’s often seen arriving at his office at midnight or in the early morning. He said he was living in his office earlier in the year to combat COVID-19, and may have just... continued to do so while campaigning. Bit strange, but ok!
And finally, a small point of well, not hope, but who knows. The Intercept reports that Republican Senators aren’t sure that Joe Manchin’s infuriating defense of the filibuster will hold, meaning that if his GOP overlords are nervous, there might be a chance that someone in the Democratic party can get through to him. We’ll see!
AM QUICKIE - JUNE 9, 2021
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn