ORIGINAL STORY AT FORBES: Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America.
After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states. His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.
According to The Land Report’s research, the land is held directly and through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle. Cascade’s other investments include food-safety company Ecolab, used-car retailer Vroom and Canadian National Railway.
While it may be surprising that a tech billionaire would also be the biggest farmland owner in the country, this is not Gates’ only foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The foundation has further invested in the development and proliferation of “super crops” resistant to climate change and higher-yield dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced Gates Ag One, a nonprofit to advance those efforts.
It is not entirely clear how Gates’ farmland is being used, or whether any of the land is being set aside for conservation. (Cascade did not return Forbes’ request for comment.) However, there is some indication that the land could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards that prioritize protections of crops, soil and water resources. MORE FOR YOUDid You Get A Second Stimulus Check Today? Here’s WhyTrump Signs Executive Orders To Extend COVID-19 Economic Relief, Includes Unemployment Benefits, Eviction MoratoriumSwatting North Korea’s Rockets Is A Waste—South Korea Could Target The Launchers
Gates is not the only billionaire on The Land Report’s list of top private farmland owners. Wonderful Company cofounders Stewart and Lynda Resnick (net worth: $7.1 billion) ranked number three with 190,000 acres. Their farmland produces the goods for their brands including POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos mandarins.
While Gates may be the country’s biggest farmland owner, he by no means is the largest individual landowner. In its list of 100 top American landowners, The Land Report gives the top spot to Liberty Media Chair John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. CNN founder Ted Turner ranked number three with 2 million acres of ranch land across eight states. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is investing in land on a large scale, landing the 25th spot with his ownership of 420,000 acres, mainly in west Texas.
Biden May Owe Up To $500,000 In Back Taxes
Democrat President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly demanded that the wealthy “pay their fair share” in taxes, may owe up to $500,000 in back taxes, according a lawmaker’s analysis of a new non-partisan congressional report.
The report comes as Biden is pushing his party to pass a massive $3.5 trillion bill that has been widely criticized as a leftist wish list, which comes as inflation rates have skyrocketed under Biden’s presidency. The report also comes as Biden is trying to beef up the IRS by $80 billion to crack down on what he claims are people not paying their taxes.
The New York Post reports:
“A House Ways and Means Committee draft of the bill would end the accounting trick apparently exploited by Biden and boost IRS funding for audits — but the new report, drafted by the Congressional Research Service and provided to The Post, suggests Biden owes taxes under current rules, according to the congressman who requested it.“
“Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by $2.1 trillion while claiming the rich need to pay their ‘fair share.’ But in 2017, multi-millionaire Joe Biden skirted his payroll taxes — the very taxes that fund Medicare and Obamacare,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), said in a statement to the Post. “According to the criteria CRS provided to my office, he owes the IRS and the American people hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Every American should know about Joe Biden’s tax hypocrisy.”
Banks alleged that the report shows that Biden, who is not actually named in the report, misused “S corporations” to avoid paying Medicare tax on speaking fees and book sales while he was out of office during the Trump administration.
The Post added:
Biden and first lady Jill Biden routed more than $13 million through S corporations and counted less than $800,000 of it as salary eligible for the Medicare tax — exempting the rest from what would have been a 3.8 percent rate, the Wall Street Journal reported. The CRS report doesn’t name Biden but analyzes cases in which the IRS won a judgment against taxpayers who paid themselves suspiciously low salaries from S corporations and counted most of the revenue as “distributions” exempt from the Medicare tax. …
Tax law experts told The Post that the CRS report underscores the long-standing controversy, but that it doesn’t necessarily break new ground. They say the IRS simply doesn’t have the resources to make sure that all S corporations reasonably assess what counts as salary.
Reason Magazine’s October issued noted that Biden’s plan to beef up the IRS by $80 billion would effectively result in a world where “every one of your noncash financial transactions—a restaurant meal, a Venmo transfer to a friend, maybe some bitcoin bought on the dips—was automatically reported to a beefed-up, audit-hungry IRS.”
Hunter Biden emails boast ties to White House and China
Hunter Biden’s business contacts touted his access to his father, “State, Treasury,” his relationship with then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, as well as his ties to the “highest level” in China, as they weighed whether to work with him on a potential Libya deal in 2015, newly uncovered emails show.
The two emails — published by Insider on Thursday — date back to 2015, when Joe Biden was vice president, and reference getting Hunter’s help on a deal regarding billions in Libyan assets frozen by the Obama administration.
The emails are unrelated to Hunter’s infamous laptop.
In the first email, dated Jan. 28, 2015, Democratic donor Sam Jauhari repeatedly referred to Hunter as “#2 son” — an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s VP role at the time — and noted that Hunter had requested a $2 million retainer.
The business contact listed a string of positives to working with Hunter, including his business relationship with Kerry’s stepson Chris Heinz and Hunter’s apparent self-proclaimed high-level access in China.
Cruz Challenges AOC And Other Democrats To Visit Catastrophe At Southern Border
Cruz mocks Ocasio-Cortez in Senate floor speech, challenges Dems to ‘go see the Biden cages’
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz mocked Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her previous visit to a migrant facility, and issued a “simple challenge” to her and her colleagues to visit the “Biden cages” holding migrants amid the border crisis.
“Mr. President, every Democrat who stood up and lamented kids in cages, in the House of Representatives, Representative Ocasio-Cortez, has a famous photo of her grasping her head by the kids in cages,” Cruz said as he imitated the photo. “Well, I’m going to give a simple challenge for Representative Ocasio-Cortez and for every Democrat in this body. Go see the Biden cages with your own eyes.”
Cruz’s comments came during a Senate floor speech on Wednesday regarding the influx of Haitian migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico, with more than 14,000 migrants seen camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Cruz called out Democrats for not visiting the border to witness the crisis, while noting they were vocal about migration facilities during the Trump administration.
“Why does Joe Biden refuse to go to the Rio Grande Valley? Because if he goes, the TV cameras will come with him,” Cruz added later in his speech. “Why does Kamala Harris, who’s supposed to be the border czar, she’s supposed to be in charge of this, why won’t she go to the Rio Grande Valley? Because if she went, the TV cameras would come and would show the Biden cages. And the Democrats are counting on the corrupt corporate media to suddenly say nothing to see here. 15,000 Haitians under a bridge in Del Rio. Nothing to see here. Anyone want to know what Joe Biden’s favorite ice cream flavor is? That’s the news!”
Ocasio-Cortez visited a West Texas city housing migrant children in 2018 under the Trump administration, and was photographed standing near fencing, with her hands over her face, appearing visibly upset.
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