Let’s all take a moment to shed a tear for Mark Zuckerberg. On Thursday, Zuckerberg’s personal fortune took a $16 billion hit as Facebook’s stock suffered a $119 billion loss. When Zuckerberg woke up on Thursday morning he was the third wealthiest human on the planet. By the time he went to bed, he was only the sixth wealthiest.
Losing $16 billion in one day is only the latest bad day for Zuckerberg. In recent months he has had to contend with revelations that Facebook misused users’ data, and he spent a couple of uncomfortable days being grilled by Congress and the European Parliament.
Okay, enough crying for Zuckerberg. His Facebook holdings are still worth $70.6 billion and, like other notable billionaires, he still harbors ambitions of remaking the United States through mass immigration. FWD.us, the mass immigration advocacy group Zuckerberg helped found and funds, is still lobbying hard for an essentially borderless country, where anyone who wants to “friend” the United States can enter at will, with no option for society to “unfriend” them.
And, of course, while the notion of a wall along the border of the United States horrifies him, his primary residence in Palo Alto, Calif., and his vacation home in Hawaii (where he is suing native Hawaiians who claim ancestral rights to the property) are well protected by…you guessed it, walls.
But even a man who lives behind guarded walls has to get out among the people sometimes. However, when he does, he is well guarded by a phalanx of security personnel subsidized by the people he is trying to keep at bay. The cost for protecting Zuckerberg and his family, $27,000 a day, is subsidized by a $10 million annual pre-tax allowance that enables him to delay (or perhaps avoid altogether in the long run) paying taxes on that money.
According to a Security and Exchange Commission filing, Zuckerberg can use the $10 million annual pre-tax allowance to cover the costs of “security personnel for his protection; the procurement, installation, and maintenance of certain required security measures for his residences; and the usage of private aircraft for personal travel. This allowance will be paid to Mr. Zuckerberg net of required tax withholdings, and Mr. Zuckerberg may apply the net proceeds to pay for additional personnel, equipment, services, residential improvements, or other security-related costs.”
See, life’s not so bad, even if you are only the sixth wealthiest person on earth. You can still get a little help from the taxpayers to protect yourself and your family, even as you try to erase borders for everyone else.
Ira Mehlman writes for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.