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Coburn Highlights Tax Breaks for Celebrities, Luxury Goods and Gambling in Latest Tax Decoder Report

In the latest waste report titled “Tax Decoder” by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R), he highlights expenditures worth nearly $1 trillion which result in tax breaks for some of the wealthier in society.

According to Coburn’s press release, “Gamblers who lose at the casino or horse track can still win on their tax return by writing off gambling losses. Hollywood movie makers aren’t just collecting at the box office, they are also downloading tax subsidies from the IRS. There is no shortage of tax subsidies for the rich and famous, such as credits to renovate vacation homes and purchase luxury cars and deductions for yachts.”

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In a short video put out by Coburn, he highlights tax subsidies for Lady Gaga, Starbucks and IHOP to name a few.

“Ideally, Congress would throw out the entire tax code and start over, but at the very least the code should be made simpler, fairer and flatter,” Coburn wrote.

So why aren’t they doing it? Because this gives them control over people and allows them to take in billions of dollars that American’s work hard for in order to maintain their power by redistributing that money to others.

Don’t believe me? Coburn even agrees. He said that Washington politicians are hesitant to remove certain tax expenditures because “the tax code has become a powerful and elaborate system of rewards and punishments used to coerce Americans and manipulate the economy.” 

Among the tax preferences highlighted in Coburn’s Tax Decoder are:

  • Billions of dollars in tax breaks go to wealthy pro sports team owners, who can count the roster of players as a depreciable asset.
  • The Tuna Tax Break provides nearly $10 million to certain domestic corporations operating in American Samoa.
  • Tax credits for historic and nonhistoric structures result in lost revenue of $1 billion annually, subsidize beach front resorts, Major League Baseball stadiums, and luxury hotels.
  • Ani DiFranco, a Grammy award winning artist, took advantage of $1.5 million in historic preservation tax credits and $3.7 million in New Market Tax Credits to build her Righteous Babe record label headquarters.
  • Many charities give little to their cause, despite paying no taxes. For example, Lady Gaga‘s 501(c)(3), the Born This Way Foundation, raised $2.6 million in 2012, but only gave away $5,000 for “grants to organizations or individuals.”
  • For FY 2014, the tax gap will likely be about $500 billion.  If this amount were fully paid, virtually the entire deficit currently projected for FY 2014, $483 billion, could be eliminated.  

All of us try and take advantage of whatever we can in order to avoid giving more of our hard-earned money to the government, which we know will waste the majority of it. So, I don’t fault those who make a lot of money taking advantage of every opportunity they get to save more of their own money. I do fault a corrupt government that engages in the kind of tax code that punishes people for achievement and rewards others for laziness (welfare).

Personally, I’d love to see the IRS abolished and the tax code abolished and instead of an income tax something else be devised that would go through the states, not pulled out of paychecks and sent directly to the federal government to waste on unconstitutional items.

I’m all for people keeping as much of their money as possible, so instead of class warfare, which is what this seems to be about, let’s simply rid ourselves of the current tax code and hold Congress to the limitations of constitutional spending only.

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is a Christian and lover of liberty, a husband to his "more precious than rubies" wife, father of 10 "mighty arrows" and jack of all trades. He lives in the US-Occupied State of South Carolina, is the Editor at, and and; and also broadcasts on The Sons of Liberty radio weekdays at 6am EST and Saturdays at 8am EST. Follow Tim on Twitter. Also check him out on Gab, Minds, and USALife.

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