Author: David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston is the Editor-in-Chief of DCReport. He is an investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

Will Biden Administration Hold Fast or Cave on Punishing Corrupt Credit Suisse? Unless the Biden administration loses its nerve, one of the most corrupt banks in the world – Credit Suisse – will soon be banned from the lucrative business of steering pension fund assets into opaque investments where thievery and poor performance are easy to hide. If you haven’t heard this news it’s because nothing has appeared about it in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post or even Bloomberg. We checked those and other influential news organizations and found zip. That’s not surprising because…

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Maverick Economist Tells Congress What the Oil Industry Wishes You Didn’t Know Are oil and gasoline prices being manipulated to create inflated profits? It’s easy enough to find out, maverick energy economist Robert McCullough told Congress Tuesday. It’s also easy for our government to adopt temporary policies that will lower costs at the pump by: Ripping the dark veneer off opaque market Creating incentives for more drilling in the short run Taxing away any windfall profits McCullough is a super smart and jolly old man who runs his own energy economics consulting firm in Portland, Ore. He is hated by…

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New York’s Governor Has Authority to Take Charge of the Case, But Will She? We hope DCReport followers will read my op-ed essay in today’s New York Daily News on how to revive the moribund criminal investigation of Donald Trump by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. That op-ed begins: For more than two years, seasoned Manhattan prosecutors, working with two grand juries, investigated Donald Trump’s finances, coming to the firm conclusion that the former president has committed numerous crimes. But when prosecutors Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne recommended an indictment earlier this year, Alvin Bragg, the newly elected Manhattan…

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Already Rampant Cheating on Gift and Estate Taxes Encouraged After months of delay, the Biden administration is moving ahead with a diabolical Trump era tax favor for the super-rich. This decision will cost our government billions of dollars and further entrench dynastic wealth in America while working people are fully taxed. We call the Trump era plan diabolical because on the surface it looks like a severe crackdown on wealthy tax cheats. In fact, it makes cheating easier and much less likely to be detected by IRS auditors. The Trumpian scheme increases by more than half the number of…

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Measure Would Undo Police Accountability Law  A bill that would make it easy for police to hide for years body-cam videos and other evidence of police misconduct is sitting on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk. Until now it has received no news coverage. Senate Bill S7734 would undo a reform law enacted last summer and that took effect just weeks ago to increase police accountability and protect citizens from excessive use of force by making it hard for police to withhold body-cam and dash-cam video and evidence documenting police interactions with citizens. The theory is that such videos are…

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Putin’s Invasion Points to a Dangerous Issue We Aren’t Talking About Let’s step back for a moment from the awful human tragedy in Ukraine as the Russian army targets civilians. There is an even bigger issue here. And until we come up with an answer it’s going to continue to plague the world. It’s an issue that Americans, more than anyone else, should understand. Yet based on all the news and commentary I’ve been reading since the Russian buildup began almost a year ago, this overarching issue is not even on the table. The bigger issue is that there is no…

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Detection of Gift, Estate Tax Cheating Far Less Likely  A secret tax favor for the super-rich, authorized in the Trump administration, was just two days away from taking effect last summer when DCReport exposed the giveaway.  After our story appeared, the IRS abruptly stopped advancing the plan. But now President Joe Biden is letting the giveaway for the super-rich go through, an internal IRS document obtained by DCReport shows. It’s the latest example of how Biden embraces Trump policies that favor Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans. On Jan. 10, for example, we reported on Biden allowing wholesale changes to…

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Just 21 States Raised Wages of Their Lowest Paid Workers Very few of the poorest paid workers in America have unions to advocate for them, but many have a proxy for unions: government. The minimum wage rose in 21 states this month thanks to a combination of ballot measures passed by voters, state laws raising the minimum and automatic inflation adjusters authorized by nine legislatures. These laws set a floor, a minimum standard, of pay. That’s not as good as it could be. Indeed, it’s a glass-less-than-half-full scenario for the lowest paid American workers in 29 states. For them, the…

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