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Judicial Watch • Rich Actor Wants Stimulus Money

Rich Actor Wants Stimulus Money

Rich Actor Wants Stimulus Money

JULY 24, 2009

A rich and famous Hollywood actor who collects exorbitant paychecks per film could get millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds for a charity he created to “help lessen the burdens of government” by rebuilding homes in low-income neighborhoods. 

Multi-millionaire Brad Pitt, who makes about $20 million a movie, has applied and will likely get, a substantial chunk of taxpayer money to expand his new nonprofit (Make It Right), which supposedly builds affordable “green” homes that are energy efficient for those who normally could not afford them.

Although Pitt claims on the group’s income tax exempt form that its purpose is to help lessen the burdens of government by assisting in the rebuilding of communities, he still wants taxpayers to help fund the projects. The world-renowned movie star fully expects to get a piece of $65 million in stimulus funds administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the “neighborhood stabilization” of poverty-stricken areas. 

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has any say, Pitt will probably get the whole pot of cash. Though she’s one of the nation’s most powerful women, the 68-year-old Speaker quivered like a schoolgirl when the muscular actor visited the capital a few months ago to promote his charity. The drooling Madam Speaker actually referred to the 45-year-old Pitt as a “real hero.”  

Louisiana taxpayers may not view him that way since they were forced to finance a hefty share of his latest blockbuster film, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” As part of a state program to increase local film production, Louisiana subsidized $27 million through cash and tax credits, marking the state’s biggest movie payout to date. Louisiana has since enacted rules to prevent such payouts and the state’s film commissioner is in federal prison for taking bribes to inflate film budgets which, in turn, translated into higher subsidies.

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