I certainly don't blame Bono and U2 for moving their operations to the Netherlands to avoid taxes. Everyone hates paying taxes, and we all do whatever we can legally to minimize our payments. Duh. What I do resent is when leftists devise all sorts of ways to spend "public" money but then aren't willing to put up their own cash for the effort.

After Ireland said it would scrap a break that lets musicians and artists avoid paying taxes on royalties, Bono and his U2 bandmates earlier this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands. The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5 percent tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate.

So Bono and the rest were already paying far less than the Irish plebes, and now that their special rate is going to be eliminated they jump ship.

For years, Bono and U2 got a better deal than most Irish taxpayers because songwriters paid no tax on earnings from music publishing. That will change next year, when Ireland limits the tax exemption, which also applies to writers and artists. From Jan. 1, artists that make more than 500,000 euros ($625,450) will pay tax on half their ``creative'' income, according to Ireland's Revenue Authority.

Remaining in Ireland would have forced Bono to pay a 42 percent tax on such earnings. Alternatively, the band could have channeled profits through a company to pay the 12.5 percent corporation tax.

Who wants to pay 42% of their income to the government? No one! But some rich leftists are quick to pull their money out of the pot while at the same time haranguing the rest of us for wanting to keep what we earn! Reminds me of environmentalist Barbara Streisand's $22,000 water bill and the like.

All this is aside from the fact that most of the foreign aid Bono advocates is foolish, misguided, and actually serves to strengthen the tyrannical powers that cause third-world poverty in the first place.



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