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Articles about the work of David Kocieniewski

Pirrong and Irwin

Felix Salmon (here) and Powerline (here) do good jobs of pushing back against an attack by David Kocieniewski of the New York Times on two economists, Scott Irwin and Craig Pirrong. Professor Pirrong himself writes here:


Goldman Sachs Aluminum Warehouses

Slate's Matthew Yglesias has some intelligent criticism of Sunday's front-page New York Times article accusing Goldman Sachs of making aluminum products cost more by moving aluminum around within warehouses that Goldman owns: "The story is entirely missing a clear explanation of why this doesn't just lead someone else to open aluminum warehouses and undercut them."

Reuters had a long article two years ago about Goldman's aluminum warehouses. The Reuters work, which tread much similar ground, went entirely unmentioned in the Times story.


Apple's Taxes

The Times business section carries an article by Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski that is skewed to argue that Apple doesn't pay as much American tax as the Times seems to think it should pay.

Here is the way the Times article frames it: "Apple's domestic tax bill has drawn the interest of corporate tax experts and policy makers because although the majority of Apple's executives, product designers, marketers, employees, research and development operations and retail stores are in the United States, in the past Apple's accountants have found legal ways to allocate about 70 percent of the company's profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower, according to corporate filings."


Times Tax Error

A front-page New York Times article by David Kocieniewski that is also republished at CNBC reports: "In 1970, there were 14 tax brackets for the top 2 percent of earners, with a top rate of 91 percent."

That "91 percent" figure for 1970 is inaccurate. According to the Tax Foundation, the top rate in 1970 was 70%; according to the Tax Policy Center, it was 71.75%.

Maybe the reporter just hit a 7 instead of a 6, and meant 1960 instead of 1970. Or maybe it's just another example of the Times trying to pretend that the Kennedy tax cut never happened.


Times' hypocritical attack on Ron Lauder—Ira Stoll -

For sheer nasty hypocrisy masquerading as journalism, it's hard to come up with as foul an example as Sunday's 3,000-word Page One New York Times attack on Ronald Lauder.


NYT on Capital Gains

From a New York Times news article today:

Some economists say the cuts are necessary to keep capital from fleeing the United States to lower-tax countries. Scott A. Hodge, president of the conservative Tax Foundation, has written extensively that a capital gains tax is effectively double taxation on profits that have already been taxed at the corporate level. Many investors, and political leaders in both parties, have lobbied for tax cuts on capital gains and dividends by arguing that they spur investment and, therefore, job creation.


CEO Pay and Taxes

A report by the hard-left Institute for Policy Studies that 25 corporate CEOs earned more than their companies paid in taxes has attracted a surprising amount of press coverage. The Washington Post has an article by Peter Whoriskey, Politico has a dispatch by Mackenzie Weinger, the New York Times has a story by David Kocieniewski, public radio's "Marketplace" program has a piece by Eve Troeh, and Bloomberg has an article by Andrew Zajac.

Of these five articles, four — all but Bloomberg News — described the IPS's political leanings. Marketplace called it "liberal-leaning," Politico called it "left-leaning," the Washington Post called it "liberal," and the New York Times called it "liberal-leaning." (None asked what's "liberal" about an organization that's partnered with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which would replace Israel with a Hamas-run state that jails homosexuals and bans women from driving, but that's a separate issue.) Two — the New York Times and the Washington Post — included some reaction from the corporations being criticized. And exactly zero of the articles pointed out the hypocrisy of the Institute for Policy Studies, which as a non-profit not only pays no taxes itself at the corporate level but funds itself by offering tax deductions to donors, complaining about corporate taxes and compensation.


Coddling Buffett

The New York Times has a news article about Warren Buffett's op-ed piece calling for higher taxes on the "rich." From the news article:

Despite the intense antitax sentiment that has helped the rise of the Tea Party movement since Mr. Obama took office, tax rates in the United States are at their lowest level since Harry Truman was president.

In 1950, the top income bracket had a 91 percent rate; today it is 35 percent.


NYT on Repatriation Tax Holiday

The New York Times has a totally ridiculous front page news article about the effort by American companies to get the government to cut taxes on bringing cash back from overseas. Let's take it from the top.

The Times article begins: "Some of the nation's largest corporations have amassed vast profits outside the country and are pressing Congress and the Obama administration for a tax break to bring the money home."

This isn't news to anyone who has been paying attention; "60 Minutes" did a similar story in March.

The Times article goes on:

Corporations and their lobbyists say the tax break could resuscitate the gasping recovery by inducing multinational corporations to inject $1 trillion or more into the economy...


Morgenthau, Rangel, Nabors, and the New York Times

The New York Times really goes off the deep end this morning with an article suggesting, on the basis of not a scintilla of evidence, that the former district attorney of New York County, Robert Morgenthau, was motivated by personal greed in putting a donor together with City College.

I rang Mr. Morgenthau this morning (it so happened we were in the same town in Massachusetts), to find out what the Times smear-hatchet job left out.


GE's Taxes

The New York Times has a long front-page news article calling for General Electric to pay more taxes. Regular readers of the coverage here of both General Electric and taxes know that I am critical of General Electric's efforts to use its political clout for special subsidies and that as a general matter I favor a tax code with simple low rates (or even a single flat rate) that treats everyone the same rather than favoring certain companies or groups or behaviors.

The Times does a pretty good job of explaining how GE achieves its low tax rate using outside lobbyists and an in-house 975-person (!) tax department that "includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress."


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David Kocieniewski


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