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President-elect Joe Biden

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Three days after the Associated Press, CNN, and other major media outlets reported that Joe Biden had an insurmountable lead in the Pennsylvania vote count and been elected president of the United States, President Donald Trump still refused to concede. He insisted that he was the real winner, and he claimed, without merit, that the election had been stolen from him through rampant voter fraud — even as his lawsuits based on these claims were repeatedly thrown out by courts.

On Tuesday at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, President-elect Biden was asked about Trump's refusal to concede, and he spoke his mind.


Biden told a reporter, "I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly…. I think it will not help the president's legacy."


The president-elect added, "I know, from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far, that they are hopeful that the United States' democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and enduring. But I think at the end of the day, it's all going to come to fruition on January 20. And between now and then, I hope that…. the American people do understand that there has been a transition. Even among Republicans who are people who voted for the president, I understand the sense of loss. I get that. But I think the majority of the people who voted for the president — a lot voted for him, a significantly smaller number, but a lot voted for him — I think they understand that we have to come together. I think they're ready to unite."

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Supreme Court of the United States

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Billionaires

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After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.

Last June, drawing on the largest trove of confidential American tax data that’s ever been obtained, ProPublica launched a series of stories documenting the key ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, strategies that are largely unavailable to most taxpayers. To mark the first anniversary of the launch, we decided to assemble a quick summary of the techniques — all of which can generate tax savings on a massive scale — revealed in the series.

1. The Ultra Wealth Effect

Our first story unraveled how billionaires like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos were able to amass some of the largest fortunes in history while paying remarkably little tax relative to their immense wealth. They did it in part by avoiding selling off their vast holdings of stock. The U.S. system taxes income. Selling stock generates income, so they avoid income as the system defines it. Meanwhile, billionaires can tap into their wealth by borrowing against it. And borrowing isn’t taxable. (Buffett said he followed the law and preferred that his wealth go to charity; the others didn’t comment beyond a “?” from Musk.)

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