Ancient joke: What's the difference between god and Larry Ellison?
Ancient answer: God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison.
The list of people who take more flak than Larry Ellison for being rich is pretty short. But, then, Larry Ellison works very hard at maintaining and inspiring hatred. His efforts are so ceaseless, one might almost think he revels in the vitriol. Actually, we like to think that his divine metabolism absorbs energy, not only from the seething hatred of the mere mortals he enslavesemploys, but all of humankind.
It would be easy to chalk his abrasiveness to childhood trauma (born to a 19 year old, unwed Jewish mother, sent away to live with his aunt and uncle, etc. etc.) but it is so pervasive, it is just much cattier to attribute it to a sort of perverse pleasure.
There was that thing with the aircraft noise. After being cited repeatedly by the city of San Jose for noise violations stemming from his insistence that he could take off and land his Gulfstream whenever he damn well pleased, he simply sued the city for an exemption (a suit which, after record legal fees, he won).
And that time when he offered to "donate, as in free" the software to create the largest Big Brother database in the world along with a national ID program. (He didn't mention that Oracle planned to charge significant "maintenance fees").
And when accused of insider trading after dumping $1 billion in Oracle stock? He donated $100 million to charity in lieu of paying a fine. (The little detail that it was to his own charitable foundation seems to have attracted little notice until after the settlement was final). We'll let you guess if he claimed a deduction.
Oh, he pledged $115 million to Harvard- but decided he didn't want to pay- and so he didn't.
And now, he is stealing from school children. The cad!
The Oracle chairman, who is the fourteenth richest person in the world, recently had the value of his 23-acre Woodside, Calif., home reassessed from $173 million to about $70 million. That dropped his annual tax bill by more than a million dollars. The biggest loser: Local schools that depend on tax revenue for the lion’s share of their budgets, according to the Almanac.
The Portola Valley School District, for one, will lose an estimated $250,000 to $300,000 a year as a direct result of the Ellison reassessment, Tim Hanretty, the district’s assistant superintendent, tells the Business Technology Blog. That’s a healthy chunk of the district’s $11 million annual budget, and Hanretty tells us the district will have to lay off about six of its 100 or so employees to make ends meet. The cuts won’t come in the classroom, but in administrative and facilities positions.
Count on Larry Ellison to make subprime work for him, at the expense of helpless school children.
Ok, so the headline is a bit of a stretch. But he's been asking for it for years! (Even his Wall Street Journal "hedcut" is unflattering).
Yes yes, what a jackass. (Admit it, you want to be Larry Ellison).
Larry Ellison’s Tax Cut Breaks School’s Budget [WSJ]
Equity Q. Private is the author of Going Private and a Guest Editor at DealBreaker.com