Why Lewis Black's Pro-Private-Equity-Tax PSA Won't Make Any Difference

Comedian and Daily Show commentator Lewis Black has made a PSA on behalf of the Service Employees International Union designed to convince regular people how ridiculous it is that wealthy private-equity firms like KKR make extravagant sums of money yet only have to pay a small amount of taxes.

Black takes some major, yet obvious, shots at Henry Kravis and his fellow p-e titans, but it’s so scripted and stiff that we doubt anyone will really rally behind the cause just because of this ad; Black can’t even convince the people sitting next to him.

Black provides a basic primer on leveraged buyouts: “the company they’re buying goes into debt…then they make a ton of money.” (Hold on. Let me write that down while I chew on another piece of hay.) Then he continues to rant about how much money KKR and other private-equity firms make. Meanwhile, the blue-collar workers at the lunch counter he’s sitting at, attired in a suit and unknotted tie (very “man of the people”) couldn’t look less interested. (Maybe next time SEIU should hire a more convincing audience.)



How much was Black was paid for this? Regardless, we bet when this is all said and done, he’ll have paid more taxes percentage wise on that than KKR had to pay on its most recent acquisitions.

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