I hate to say it, but Jason Mattera’s latest video and post on Brietbart.com is disgraceful. Mattera calls Irish rocker Bono a hypocrite for his band’s recent decision to move their corporate headquarters to Holland for lower tax rates because Bono advocates on behalf of giving foreign aid to poor countries in Africa. However, I can find no record of Bono actually advocating higher tax rates.
According toTime magazine, “Bono charmed and bullied and morally blackmailed the leaders of the world’s richest countries into forgiving $40 billion in debt owed by the poorest.”
Yet when Bono’s band mate “The Edge” (real name David Evans) was asked about why U2 moved from their homeland of Ireland to Holland to take advantage of the sizable cut in corporate taxes, The Edge replied: “Our business is very complex. Of course we’re trying to be tax-efficient. Who doesn’t want to be tax-efficient?”
Still, in his interview with Mattera, Bono, who is worth an estimated $900 million, said he loathes hypocrisy:
"I don’t like hypocrisy. And I don’t like it within the self and I don’t like it with others. I think it’s important for people to love and extend themselves."
You see, there is a huge difference between advocating foreign aid and calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Libertarians often argue that the US shouldn’t give any foreign aid, but that is a matter beside the point. It is, in fact, entirely possible to lower taxes while at the same time increasing foreign aid, providing a nation sets budgetary priorities. Jason Mattera misses this point completely and instead goes after Bono for for being rich.
In an exclusive interview with Big Hollywood, Mattera said he was stunned by Bono’s responses to his questions: “I’ve always liked U2, so when I began researching my chapter in "Hollywood Hypocrites" about Bono, I was surprised to find what a tax-dodging hypocrite the guy is. Still, I wanted to give the guy a chance to tell his side of the story. But when Bono told me he has “no control” over what U2 does and said it’s not hypocritical to ask everyday Americans to pay more in taxes for foreign aid and debt relief while he and U2 perform financial gymnastics to pay less in taxes, I was stunned.”
Mattera doesn’t cite his source in this quote. Again, I can find zero record of Bono ever asking Americans to pay more in taxes. Foreign aid? Yes. Higher taxes? No. Remember, fellow conservatives, paying less in taxes is a good thing!
Let’s save this kind of class-warfare rhetoric for the Occupy Wall Street crowd to engage in. Bono and U2 Ltd.’s decision to use the Netherlands as a tax shelter do not run parallel with his desire to see foreign aid increase, nor should they. Unless Mattera can find some direct quotes where Bono calls for the rich to pay higher taxes, his jab about “tax-dodging hypocrisy” is completely moot.
Bono actually appears to be quite the gentleman, despite Mattera’s circular blabbering. Don’t get me wrong. I really like most of Jason Mattera’s work, but this one really misses the mark.
UPDATE: Here’s a conservative perspective on foreign aid from Marco Rubio.
UPDATE #2: Brietbart/Big Hollywood have pulled Mattera’s story and video. No word yet on the reason.
UPDATE #3: It seems Mattera may have unknowingly interviewed a Bono impersonator! Talk about a facepalm! This doesn’t change my stance on his piece, however. So, unlike Brietbart, I’m leaving my piece up for you to read.