Speaker Exposes Tax Myths

David Cay JohnstonPulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston, author of "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else," will speak at Reed College Monday, Feb. 6, in the Vollum Lecture Hall at 7 p.m.; at Willamette University in Salem Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Cone Chapel at 7 p.m., and at the LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. All lectures are free and open to the public.

The title of the lecture is: "Stealing from the Future: Tax Cuts for the Super Rich--Debt for You."

The series is sponsored by the Willamette Valley Forum, Reed College Krause Fund for Economics Lectures, Willamette University and Oregon State University.

In an interview with Forbes.Com, Johnston said, "Most Americans believe what turns out to be a myth--that we heavily tax the highest-income Americans to subsidize the poor. What the government's data show is that the middle class and upper middle class--people making $30,000 to $500,000 per year--are subsidizing the highest-income taxpayers. Tax rates on the middle and upper middle classes are rising, the government's data show, but for the people who make millions per year, effective tax rates are falling dramatically."

The New York Times hired Johnston in 1995 to conduct a running investigation of how our tax system actually operates, as opposed to what politicians say about it. His work has shut down tax dodges valued by Congress at $258 billion.

?Johnston's investigative reporting captured the Pulitzer in 2001; he has been a finalist for that award three times since 2000, a record unmatched by any other journalist.

"Perfectly Legal" a New York Times bestseller, was honored as Investigative Book of the Year by Investigative Reporters and Editors, an association of 5,000 journalists.

In 1968, at age 19, Johnston became the youngest reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, and went on to report for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times and Philadelphia Inquirer before joining The New York Times in 1995.

What other writers say about "Perfectly Legal":
"My favorite authority on taxes is David Cay Johnston of The New York Times, who won a Pulitzer for reporting on the terminally unsexy topic of taxes. His book 'Perfectly Legal...,' "is the single best work on public policy of recent years, I think." Molly Ivins, nationally syndicated political columnist.

"David Cay Johnston is one of this country's most important journalists. A nine-year veteran of the tax beat for The New York Times, Johnston combines the best of Eliot Spitzer and Seymour Hersh. He's an old-fashioned crusading reporter who mines the internal revenue bureaucracy and comes up with potent, pertinent reports on tax fraud and other financial shenanigans...Johnston's stories always have steam coming off them. Now, he's poured that decade's worth of hard-won expertise into book form, arguing the tax system itself deserves much of the blame for America's growing economic inequality." Nicholas Thompson, senior editor at Legal Affairs and a Washington Monthly contributing editor.