Rock star and U2 frontman Bono is about as sanctimonious as they come.
While he has been one of the few celebrities not actively joining the “resistance” movement against President Donald Trump, the ever-opinionated Bono has made no secret of his pious distaste for the American commander in chief.
In a September interview, for instance, he told Rolling Stone that after last year’s presidential election, he felt that for the first time in a long time, the “moral arc” of the universe “was not bending in the direction of fairness, equality and justice for all.”
However, Bono is only concerned about fairness when it doesn’t have to do with his money. Once it comes to his own bank account, all bets are off.
Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE reported that Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, was one of several celebrities to be named in the so-called “Paradise Papers,” a collection of confidential documents relating to offshore investments that were leaked to a German newspaper.
Bono, who makes a public show about raising awareness of global poverty, reportedly used a company based in Malta, a low-tax jurisdiction, to pay for a share in a Lithuanian shopping center. In Malta, taxes paid by foreign investors on company profits are only 5 percent.
The leaked documents reportedly revealed that Bono invested in Maltese company Nude Estates, which bought the shopping center.
According RTE, a Bono representative said the rocker was a “passive, minority investor in Nude Estates Malta Ltd, a company that was legally registered in Malta until it was voluntarily wound up in 2015.”
Bono, 57, told the media he was “distressed” about the matter.
Speaking with The Guardian, the U2 frontman said he would be “extremely distressed if even as a passive minority investor … anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it.”
Bono also said he welcomed an audit, if it came down to that.
The Guardian reported that the arrangement is not illegal, but experts suggested the underlying company used for the purchase of the property may have broken rules to reduce its tax bill.
This isn’t the first time Bono and his band have come under fire for questionable financial behavior.
In 2009, the band was accused of storing some of its wealth in a tax haven based in the Netherlands.
Bono defended the act, saying it was a savvy business move.
“It’s just some smart people we have working for us trying to be sensible about the way we’re taxed. And that’s just one of our companies, by the way. There’s loads of companies,” Bono told Sky News in 2015, as reported by the U.K. Guardian.
Apparently, there’s loads of money, too.
While he preaches to the rest of us about solving world poverty, Bono also likes to hide his money in tax shelters — just like a lot of liberals.
Now, let’s be realistic. No one is under a moral obligation to pay any more taxes than they legally have to. And Bono is one of the more honest celebrities when it comes to at least trying to be nice to Republicans. (He actually praised George W. Bush’s anti-AIDS efforts in Africa. )
But a guy who sets himself up as some kind of moral exemplar should be a little more reflective before parroting the same old liberal line when it comes to attacking Donald Trump.
Bono should take a look in the mirror before he bemoans the fact that the moral arc of the universe is not bending toward fairness and equality.
H/T Eagle Rising
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