Noam Chomsky: Income Tax Fan
Editor’s note: In light of news that a British poll identified Noam Chomsky as the world’s leading intellectual, we thought it would be a valuable exercise to run this excerpt from Peter Schweizer’s new book Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy (Doubleday $22.95).
Note from the Author: Whereas readers of The Prospect found the top public intellectual in Chomsky, I found a poster child for modern-day capitalism and, because of his anti-capitalist views, a complete hypocrite.
One of the most persistent themes in Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest one percent. The American tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor — like eighty percent of the population — pay off the rich.”
But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.
Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution — just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning.
I guess here’s one thing Chomsky has in common with the FairTax: the dislike for offshore tax havens.
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