These days, stories of CEOs getting their companies to buy their antique map collections for millions of dollars have us yawning. We need examples of pure, systematic evil to get our bile mojo going. Thankfully the Times supplies it in a profile on how billionaire cosmetic heir Ronald Lauder dodges more taxes than a Black Friday crowd in Delaware.

Whether it's the "imprudent" tactic of borrowing against $72 million in stock, basing his European broadcast company, CME Enterprises in Bermuda, donating art (or donating a "portion" of a work and keeping it anyway, as the law used to allow) worth tens of millions of dollars in deductions or indefinitely postponing $10 million in capital gains taxes in a variable prepaid forward, Lauder's $3 billion fortune is "bolstered by aggressive tax planning, a skill that has become Ronald Lauder's speciality."

Lauder is clearly not alone: according to the IRS, the effective federal income tax rate for the 400 wealthiest Americans, or the top 0.000258% dropped from 30% in 1995 to 18% 13 years later. After the matriarch Estée Lauder died in 2004 and left $4 billion to her heirs, the family paid an estimated 16% tax rate on their estate, one third of the top estate tax rate in 2004. Before her death, Lauder and his mother sold 13.8 million borrowed shares of stock, avoiding as much as $95 million in taxes. In light of their actions, Congress passed a law limiting the technique to recover some of the lost revenue.

“There’s real truth to the idea that the tax code for the 1 percent is different from the tax code for the 99 percent,” a law professor at the University of Colorado says. “Any taxpayer lucky enough to have appreciated property is usually put to a choice: cash out and pay some tax, or hold the property and risk the vagaries of the market. Only the truly rich can use derivatives to get the best of both worlds—lots of cash and very little risk.” Imagine how much Lauder would hate taxes if he actually had to pay them!