Larry Elder
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Democrats like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rail against the Bush tax cuts that rich people -- like himself -- "didn't need" and "didn't ask for." Rhode Island requires no sales tax on yachts registered in that state -- provided the boat is primarily housed in Rhode Island. Massachusetts is not so understanding. That state requires a sales tax and annual excise taxes. Folks say that Kerry and his 75-foot yacht spend way more time in Massachusetts than in Rhode Island. But accountants say that the wealthy yachtsman can avoid nearly $500K in state taxes by registering his boat in Rhode Island -- which he did. All was going well, until a New York paper got hold of the story and Kerry "voluntarily" agreed to pay the Mass. tax -- while continuing to insist that he does not really owe it.

Democrats like the late Ted Kennedy support the estate tax. And why not? The Kennedy family transfers wealth from generation to generation through trusts that avoid the very estate taxes that Kennedy consistently voted to impose on the wealth of others.

Shouldn't tax-hike-supporting rich people like Warren Buffett want to pay more rather than less taxes? Yet one of Buffett's companies is contesting tax claims against it.

Pro-tax-hike Democrats like MSNB-Hee-Haw's the Rev. Al Sharpton deserve a special wing all to themselves in the Chutzpah Hall of Fame. Sharpton assails the Bush-era tax cuts and wants "the rich" to pay more. Sharpton lists income from his nonprofit at just under a quarter million dollars. Add this to his estimated salary at the cable network, and the "civil rights leader" likely pulls in a tidy $500K. Not bad for a guy that not long ago was a gold-medallion-wearing Harlem rabble-rouser in velour sweatpants who got famous by playing the race card in a phony rape case.

Sharpton, according to the New York Post, owes federal taxes and state taxes totaling $3.5 million. How much income would Sharpton have had to earn to amass $3.5 million in state and local taxes? A lot. How much nerve does it take for a guy making a half mil to go on television and pound the podium for higher taxes on the rich -- when his own effective tax rate is 0 percent?

Ask Sharpton.

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Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.