Patterico's Pontifications

9/27/2020

EARTHQUAKE: New York Times Gets Trump Tax Returns

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:29 pm



Wow. This is going to shake up the race.

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

. . . .

The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.

The New York Times has obtained tax-return data extending over more than two decades for Mr. Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his business organization, including detailed information from his first two years in office. It does not include his personal returns for 2018 or 2019. This article offers an overview of The Times’s findings; additional articles will be published in the coming weeks.

We’ll be talking about this through the election, I would guess.

Please let me know what the spin will be below. Options that leap to mind: Fake News; it’s smart to minimize taxes; focus on who leaked them … well, whatever I missed, you guys will tell me.

UPDATE: This is charming:

Rather, there appears to be a closer-to-home explanation for at least some of the fees: Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by treating a family member as a consultant, and then deducting the fee as a cost of doing business.

The “consultants” are not identified in the tax records. But evidence of this arrangement was gleaned by comparing the confidential tax records to the financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she joined the White House staff in 2017. Ms. Trump reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii.

Very slick.

367 Responses to “EARTHQUAKE: New York Times Gets Trump Tax Returns”

  1. Like I said: Wow.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Doesn’t matter who released them, the NYT has a First Amendment right to do so. And only certain categories of persons are forbidden to release returns, and accountants aren’t among them.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  3. Since Trump promised to release his tax returns many times, and said he looked forward to doing it, I assume he’ll thank the NYT, since he’s been so busy that it slipped his mind.

    And here’s a comprehensive transcript.

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. No siren at Drudge, and no humping robots (yet) from Allahpundit.

    /disappointed

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. UPDATE: This is charming:

    Rather, there appears to be a closer-to-home explanation for at least some of the fees: Mr. Trump reduced his taxable income by treating a family member as a consultant, and then deducting the fee as a cost of doing business.

    The “consultants” are not identified in the tax records. But evidence of this arrangement was gleaned by comparing the confidential tax records to the financial disclosures Ivanka Trump filed when she joined the White House staff in 2017. Ms. Trump reported receiving payments from a consulting company she co-owned, totaling $747,622, that exactly matched consulting fees claimed as tax deductions by the Trump Organization for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii.

    Very slick.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. Whatever some Ukrainian oligarch paid Biden’s kid, it cost the US treasury or taxpayers a cent.

    Trump’s cozy little arrangement for deducting Nepotism Barbie’s allowance from his taxes, on the other hand…

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. Ah yes, the Rule of Law crowd swarms over illegally leaked tax returns and says tut, tut….

    beer ‘n pretzels (536446)

  8. Doesn’t matter who released them, the NYT has a First Amendment right to do so.

    Now do Assange.

    beer ‘n pretzels (536446)

  9. Because I am more concerned about the rule of law violations inherent in the tax cheating demonstrated by the article.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  10. Leaking stuff he promised to produce and has lied about does not bother me at all.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  11. citizen arrest, citizen arrest
    goober to barney

    mg (8cbc69)

  12. Like everything else about Trump, his wealth is phony. A combover and a spray tan. We already knew this. The difference is that now we can prove it.

    nk (1d9030)

  13. That’s what’s really pissing off the Butt Gerbils. Like what pissed off the Vatican with Galileo. That we can prove it.

    nk (1d9030)

  14. Wasn’t a certain videotape supposed to be an ‘earthquake’ 4 years ago, too?

    The Pentagon Papers were an ‘earthquake.’ This is just…

    Reaganomics.

    Donald Trump is a Reagan creation; the poster child of conservatism’s cherished, championed, gaudy, debt-riddled excesses of Ronnie’s 1980s ‘voodoo-economics’ era.

    He is the GOP’s ‘Picture of Dorian Gray.’ He is your Frankenstein monster who escaped from his gilded cage in Trump Tower to devour and destroy his very creators. Remember what loser GOP presidential candidate and now Utah senator Mitt Romney quipped: ‘Corporations are people, my friend.’

    Recall how much in taxes GE paid? Or Amazon? Etc., etc. The chickens have come he to roost: Trump is Republican; Trump is conservatism; Trump is you.

    “Only the little people pay taxes.” – Leona Helmsley

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. I feel so sad for Melania.

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. The so-called ‘rule of law’ has been a running joke to real world Americans for decades.

    Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin will do more time than Richard Nixon ever did– or Donald Trump ever will.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. Ah yes, the Rule of Law crowd swarms over illegally leaked tax returns and says tut, tut….

    Shh!!! Ignore the words on the page. I’m sure it’s fine when RonJon, Nunes, and RudyTooti are getting their documents from the Russian agent that the Trump admin is specifically targeting for election interference…for the information he’s trying to get RonDevinTooti to push in the US.

    It’s the NYT, there way less trustworthy than the guy the Treasury dept says his info is BS, that you’ve posted here one or two thousand times, sure.

    It’s not like the story is backed up by 50 years of history of Trump, the bidness main.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  18. @16. Sad Davey?? Have you seen her pre-nup?!

    And when Trump does die, he’ll get a government funeral- on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  19. Firing bunker busters in September – the basement yo yo must be in trouble

    mg (8cbc69)

  20. Trump is little people. He just wears elevator shoes (literally and metaphorically), that’s all. A jackass in a lion’s skin.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. And when Trump does die, he’ll get a government funeral- on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Legislation can fix that.

    Let them bury him in the Kremlin wall next to Putin.

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. Ah yes, the Rule of Law crowd swarms over illegally leaked tax returns and says tut, tut….

    beer ‘n pretzels (536446) — 9/27/2020 @ 4:04 pm

    Amazing.

    You’ve shot down collusion despite the mountain of evidence, so are you being consistent? Can you prove the leak was illegal?

    I’ve paid a lot more in taxes, and I work hard. Do you pay more in taxes than Trump? I don’t have (or want) golden mirror filled rooms, but Trump has wasted tons of our money on his golf trip security. he’s spent more money than any president, especially more than any conservative president. The idea he’s been a huge business failure forever is appealing, but I believe he’s cheated us. Don’t you?

    Dustin (4237e0)

  23. Now do Assange.

    The difference is that Assange is accused of violating the Espionage Act and actively assisting the theft of classified material by Bradley Manning. For all we know some accountant mailed the tax documents anonymously to the NYT. Accountants have no legal responsibility to keep tax documents secret.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  24. Because I am more concerned about the rule of law violations inherent in the tax cheating demonstrated by the article.

    Just like we were more concerned about the content of the hacked DNC emails than how they were obtained — oh wait….

    Just like we were more concerned about Biden’s dirt in the Ukraine than the “perfect call” — oh wait….

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  25. @20. His people must be perusing this blog– he dropped the tri-tipped breast pocket hankie today. Now he only looks a young 77 — not a cadaver 77. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. @21. ‘A jackass in a lion’s skin.’

    Reaganoptics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. he puts the lime in the coconut, DCSCA

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. Christmas comes in September.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  29. Patrick asked for predictions – hard to see what Trump can do but deny literally everything.

    That’s his approach to any information that reflects poorly on him (which is to say: any information), so I can’t see him doing otherwise.

    He’s conditioned his cultists to believe whatever he tells them, however absurd, so that won’t be a problem.

    Back in reality, I think it makes a Biden landslide that will save the country from post-election chaos more likely.

    Dave (1bb933)

  30. That $747,622 to Ivanka sounds like it could be more than mere tax avoidance to me, and I only know what I read in the papers. Like, say self-dealing or laundering bribes? Were Trump family members the only “investors” in the Vancouver and Hawaii projects? Did Ivanka’s consulting firm in turn pay out other “fees” to some other person or firm?

    nk (1d9030)

  31. Please let me know what the spin will be below. Options that leap to mind: Fake News; it’s smart to minimize taxes; focus on who leaked them … well, whatever I missed, you guys will tell me.

    As evidenced by the comments thus far:

    Whataboutism
    Look! Bright shiny object!

    The sad thing is, there are American taxpayers right here in the comments section that aren’t angry about the President of the United States cheating us and possible violations of the law. Rather they deflect and blame others instead of acknowledginge that what he has done has not only betrayed Americans, but evidences that he has directly lied to the public. Given that Trump loyalists will go to such lengths to protect him (and maintain their denial), then short of him actually shooting someone on 5th Avenue, there is apparently nothing will make them waver.

    Dana (292df6)

  32. Episode #2899 of “Now we got him!!”

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  33. I will point out that paying a family member (other than one on the return) and deducting those costs is not illegal. What would be illegal would be the family member not reporting them (she did) and paying taxes on them (hopefully she did). Even hiding them from the WH disclosure would be illegal, but she didn’t do that either.

    And it is done all the time.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  34. A company owner is allowed to hire a daughter, son, sibling, friend, or any other person they like, even if that person is not the most qualified for the job. In fact, hiring and promoting family is an extremely common employment practice dating back to the beginning of employment.

    https://www.goldstarlaw.com/is-nepotism-illegal/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  35. The sad thing is, there are American taxpayers right here in the comments section that aren’t angry about the President of the United States cheating us and possible violations of the law.

    Irony alert.

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  36. Trump was still a New York state taxpayer when all this happened, right? Hire more forensic accountants, Mr. Vance!

    nk (1d9030)

  37. It does seem to be a cause for schadenfreude in certain quarters though.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. one thing that will be news here is that Trump told the truth about being under audit. First time for everything right?

    The reasons why he paid only $750 are all that matter.

    It is both highly amusing and ironic that an Obama era IRS rule gave Trump back $72M.

    Gains offset by losses are part of investing in anything except if you are lucky enough to have only invested into the one sure thing. Real estate in particular.
    Wait until you see Trump’s returns and losses from this year in the USA due to Covid and general dumbassery by deBlasio in NYC. His rental and lease income can’t be good, his hotels have to be struggling. Look for Trumps lawyers to apply to lower property taxes due to devaluation (again) and I’ll bet Herb Simon’s malls are getting hosed too.

    Here are the funny things in the NYT article:

    Losses. Really? In real estate investments? Wow. How many words did that take? A short sentence would have been sufficient.

    Obama accidently gave Trump and his ilk a huge refund… which says Trumps tax lawyers are better than Obama’s IRS was… at least for now anyway.

    Trump avoided taxes. Three short words. End of story

    The NYT had to verify Trump was telling the truth about being under audit. That had to be painful

    I’ve done some minor league real estate development on my own and had large gains, then large losses. When I’ve had gains, my estimated taxes go way up, so even though I get a huge refund the next year, its only because I overpaid and also had some losses so I get to “claw back” some or even all of my money.

    Sometimes losses come from hedging and from income generating activity that goes sideways, like writing covered calls against a core position. I had a lot of stock in IMMU at $42 three weeks ago and had been writing calls at $60 to generate cash flow and take some cash off the table without selling the underlying equity which seemed safe enough six months out except for the company accepted an unexpected (at that point) offer for $88 (analysts had said a buyout might occur and predicted if and when it occurred would be around $60 which is how I came up with calls at $60). So I have a huge paper loss of $28 a share when I have to turn over shares worth $88 to get $60 and thus will not be paying “my fair share” on my overall gain due to this offsetting loss. AOC and the NYT are too dumb or dishonest to understand it, but I won’t be paying 15% on my long term gain and trust me… I’d rather be paying those taxes

    steveg (43b7a5)

  39. I don’t think schadenfreude means what you think it means. I don’t think schadenfreude is what the police feel when they find the dead body buried in the suspect’s basement.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. meanwhile hunter is collecting s&h green stamps from the foreign hooker brigade

    mg (8cbc69)

  41. And when Trump does die, he’ll get a government funeral- on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Just like Nixon and LBJ did and Jimmy Carter will.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. I don’t think schadenfreude means what you think it means

    It means taking joy in the discomfort of people you despise. Things like “Christmas comes in September” indicate exactly that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. @BarackObama who wants to raise all our taxes, only pays 20.5% on $790k salary. http://1.usa.gov/HFZJKH Do as I say not as I do.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/190866856624668672

    Davethulhu (1eb12e)

  44. @32: Some are oblivious as to how this plays in Peoria. Most assume political leaders cheat. It’s baked in. How do countless start their legislative careers poor and retire ungodly rich? You think the average Joe is too dumb to notice?

    What’s not baked in is being the takedown obsession of the entrenched government apparatus and their incestuous relations in the media for every day since being elected. By any illegal means necessary. People notice this too, despite it being utterly lost on some here.

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  45. I would like to know more about who Trump owes all this money to in these personally backed loans. Given all Trump’s bankrupcty’s, and no shortage of banks, why would someone borrow hundreds of millions from Trump? How do they collect against the leader of the free world? There are decisions the president makes worth a lot of money.

    We deserved to have these tax returns before the 2016 election, and we deserve answers to these questions. Like with the collusion, what I expect to hear is that the facts don’t matter because Trump is a big sad victim of the reporters and investigators.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  46. BTW, the fact that Trump HAS paid little in taxes does not mean that he is cheating. The tax law is very complicated in regards to development and real estate. In many cases it’s the law that is corrupt, not the taxpayer.

    When Trump leaves office this will all shake out. If he is not indicted in NY I will be very surprised, whatever the actual truth.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. Is anyone surprised the SDNY leaked trumps taxes to the NYT right before the election? Yeah, didn’t think so. Except it’s not quite October yet. I’m sure the extent of Biden’s corruption coming to light has nothing to do with the timing on this.

    I still think the only outcome that saves this country from Marxism is this: Trump wins in a landslide. Sometime around February/March of next year, evidence of actual corruption comes to light (not vague quid pro quo allegations that may or may not even be illegal). Trump is impeached and removed by a Republican Congress. Mike Pence becomes President by the summer. Then, the country has plenty of time to move past the Trump era before the midterms. Because Trump might be a corrupt megalomaniac, but the left is completely insane. They cannot be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

    Edoc118 (ff0132)

  48. This is not a surprise: $119 million out of $130 million in charitable giving were to his Seven Spring estate, and his charitable foundation was a fraud. It perfectly exemplifies his personal charity, which is mostly to himself.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  49. I’m sure the extent of Biden’s corruption coming to light has nothing to do with the timing on this.

    LOL

    Dustin (4237e0)

  50. We deserved to have these tax returns before the 2016 election

    This I have to take issue with. We don’t “deserve” anything of the sort. It is each taxpayer’s complete right to keep his tax forms private. Even if other people are releasing theirs.

    Considering who we elect to high office, year in and year out, all we really “deserve” is pretty much what we get.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. Trump avoided taxes. Three short words. End of story

    Nah. Trump wants to abandon our best NATO bases, stabbed the Kurds in the back for no reason, notified the Russians before his airstrike on the (then emptied) Syrian airbase. I betcha if we knew who Trump owes hundreds of millions of dollars to after decades of enormous financial failure, we’d understand his oddest and most anti-American presidential decisions.

    End of story? Not on your life.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  52. This I have to take issue with. We don’t “deserve” anything of the sort. It is each taxpayer’s complete right to keep his tax forms private. Even if other people are releasing theirs.

    Trump made a promise. I am (quixotically) pointing that this created an obligation on his part. Furthermore, such an enormous problem with a presidential candidate is something the people should know about. If Biden owed the Chinese government a billion dollars, I would insist the American people deserve to know about that before they vote for him.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  53. It’s been ‘Christmas’ all year long since January 20, 1981:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/16/these-91-fortune-500-companies-didnt-pay-federal-taxes-in-2018.html

    “Corporations are people, my friend.” -former Republican presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator, Mitt Romney, [R] Utah, 8/11/2011

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  54. Just like we were more concerned about the content of the hacked DNC emails than how they were obtained — oh wait…

    I would be just as upset at Putin for leaking Trump’s tax returns as I am at Putin for hacking DNC emails. One standard, applied to all. But so far, beer, you don’t know if the leak was illegal. You’re speculating.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  55. This is not a surprise: $119 million out of $130 million in charitable giving were to his Seven Spring estate, and his charitable foundation was a fraud.

    Giving unrealized gains to a charity is a traditional means of leveraging the value of charitable gifts. In this case, Trump donated the bulk of the 230 acres at Seven Springs to a land trust conserving the land against development. There is nothing illegal about that — it’s both legal and common although appreciated stock is the more familiar vehicle.

    Let’s say I have $100 million in stock that I bought for $10 million five years ago. Netflix or some such. I want to cash it, but I don’t want to pay taxes. I also want to give some money to Harvard. IF I cased it all, I’d have to pay capital gains on $90 million. If I then gave $50 million to Harvard, I’d still have to pay cap gains on $40 million.

    But if, instead, I give Harvard $50 million of unappreciated stock, and sell the rest, I have capital gains of $45 million (50 – 5 basis) and a charitable gift of $50 million, $5M of which can cover some other income.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. One problem for Trump fans is that most of us realize Hillary was dirty. That Putin probably tried to own her the way it seems to own Trump. All these Republicans didn’t suddenly decide they don’t mind democrat scandals and hate Trump for no reason. Sarcastic claims that we just don’t care about the Team D’s problems, in an effort to dismiss Trump’s endless nonsense, can make it a little harder for Team R to see. Trump is the worst. We shouldn’t have been elected.

    I accept Trump’s claims to the American people that his business failed over and over and over and over, 15 times in a row. That he lost all this cash. Trump is probably the worst businessman in the history of the entire world.

    How did Trump intend to pay all those hundreds of millions of dollars? Why would a man so badly indebted say he didn’t need his salary? Why are so many of Trump’s decisions bad for American interests?

    We have plenty of time to discuss it. But Trump’s gotta go first. There will be no law that applies to this man when he controls the government.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  57. Trump made a promise.

    You sure believe him at the strangest times.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  58. Just like we were more concerned about the content of the hacked DNC emails than how they were obtained — oh wait…

    Anybody know what Amy Barrett’s position is on the Exclusionary Rule and Fruit of the Poisoned Tree Doctrine? What’s that you say? That only applies to a criminal trial? Well, we’ll just have to wait, I guess.

    nk (1d9030)

  59. DSCSA, Romney’s corporation made a nickel or two. Unlike Trump’s. If these corporations are people, one of them did what he was intended to. The other, year after year, seemed to be suicidal.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  60. You sure believe him at the strangest times.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:24 pm

    LOL fair

    Dustin (4237e0)

  61. Trump is just about the worst “foreign policy” president we have ever had. Oh, sure he’s getting us out of wars but he’s creating a strategic deficit, much like the isolationists of the 1930s did.

    “Peace in our time” tends to mean “war in our children’s time”

    Jimmy Carter was worse, destabilizing Iran. James Buchanan was terrible too, but it wasn’t quite foreign policy. Trump has failed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, let Iran build nukes, and fully screwed the pooch in North Korea. The war that is coming in Korea did not HAVE to be nuclear. Now, it will be, at least as far as Korea is concerned. There’s a nuclear exchange on the way in Iran, but at least it won’t involve us. I hope.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. There are lots of reasons — quite convincing reasons — not to want Trump re-elected. For many Americans, the idea of him in charge of a major crisis is beyond terrifying. This tax return stuff is more on a par with movie-star divorce scandals than anything people really worry about.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. It’s important to remember in times like that that we can’t raise taxes on the rich. In fact, we need more tax cuts like in 2017.

    Davethulhu (1eb12e)

  64. Giving unrealized gains to a charity is a traditional means of leveraging the value of charitable gifts. In this case, Trump donated the bulk of the 230 acres at Seven Springs to a land trust conserving the land against development. There is nothing illegal about that — it’s both legal and common although appreciated stock is the more familiar vehicle.

    Yes (and BTW, you’re talking to an ex-CPA). The point I was trying make is that his charitable giving doesn’t go to actual charities. There’s usually something in it for him. In the Seven Springs case, he gets a nice permanent greenbelt surrounding his 50,000 square foot mansion and multi-acre estate.
    As for Trump’s ability to avoid paying taxes, he may well have a reputation for screwing his vendors, but I’m guessing that he pays his CPAs handsomely for their creative accounting.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  65. “@32. The sad thing is, there are American taxpayers right here in the comments section that aren’t angry about the President of the United States cheating us and possible violations of the law.”

    There’s a fine line to it, Dana.

    Americans love and love to hate their ‘bad boys.’ J.R. Ewing did the same act in every episode for 14 seasons. Never met a woman who didn’t swoon over a bad boy or wasn’t determined to try to change an incorrigible guy into a saint.

    Don’t confuse ‘anger’ with ‘admiration’ for a fella who works at beating the system- or using it to his own best advantage– which most ‘average guys’ would love to do. As Capra reminded us so well- there’s a little larceny in all Americans. Even ‘John Doe’ was a liar fronting a scam, too:

    “I’m gonna talk about us – the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn’t tell him because he’s a million and one things. He’s Mr. Big and Mr. Small, he’s simple and he’s wise, he’s inherently honest but he’s got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shovin’ his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there.” – Long John Willoughby [Gary Cooper] ‘Meet John Doe’ 1941

    Still, this the best line:

    “Show me an American that can keep his mouth shut and I’ll eat him.” – Pop Dwyer [Aldrich Bowker] – ‘Meet John Doe’ 1941

    ______

    @28. ROFLMAO ‘…and he feel betta.’ You get it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. @60. Willard of Romney Marsh destroyed lives.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. But I do agree that this will not resonate much in Bug Tussle and Hooterville. It’s astrophysics to them.

    Peoria, on the other hand, was Abraham Lincoln’s district, as well as Everett Dirksen’s. They’re not Bubbas.

    nk (1d9030)

  68. @42. Ahhhh. But will he get a postage stamp–or an aircraft carrier– named after him?

    Betting the USPS will lose the Trump forever stamp plates in the mail… forever. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. 68. Big sale on Haney, hand-stitched, ‘gen-hue-wine tri-tipped hankies’ made popular by our beloved President McKinley and Joe Biden, at Drucker’s General Store, nk.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. @60. Willard of Romney Marsh destroyed lives.

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:40 pm

    Probably. I wasn’t a fan when he ran for president, to say the least, but he’s won me over with some of his prescient comments, such as about Russia remaining a real threat and foe, and of course how can I not love his impeachment vote?

    Obviously the NYT’s story, its length and depth, this was a planned and well funded October Surprise. Biden will have ready comments for Trump. Who do you owe all that money to? Does that have anything to do with your dumb freaking decision about this or that? How come you always suck at business and decision making?

    If Trump says fake news, that’s great, because he lied on his tax returns then.

    But nothing here is actually good or great. It’s terrible how badly the GOP failed the American people. It is terrible.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  71. I think that this a given: His base, while deflecting and spinning to protect Trump, also admire him for having gotten away with paying less in taxes than a huge number of them had to pay. They won’t do the deep dive to understand the whys and wherefores, they’ll just see him as bucking the system, breaking the norms, sticking it to the Deep State, outsmarting his enemies, blah, blah, blah. They will see it in any way that lionizes him for his successful tax games, as if it were the badge of honor that only the real alpha MAGA deserves. Ethics and the law matter not one bit.

    Dana (292df6)

  72. @91. There’s no ‘probably’ about it: he did.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  73. Okay, I’ll confess that this, from the NYT link in the post, is schadenfreude:

    Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.

    $100 million would be chump change to Michael Bloomberg, let alone Jeff Bezos. Snicker.

    nk (1d9030)

  74. Joel Pollak
    @joelpollak
    ·
    New York Times says Trump paid no taxes in some years, because of huge losses. They found nothing on Russia and no Michael Cohen. They confirmed he has been under audit a long time. And nothing illegal, apparently — except the IRS leak.
    __ _
    Charlie Sykes
    @SykesCharlie
    ·
    It’s not the taxes. It’s the failure.

    “Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.”
    __ _

    Joel Pollak
    @joelpollak
    ·
    Is that all you got? Looks like he’s doing pretty well to me. Though “it’s not the taxes” is an awfully funny thing to say when the report is about the long-sought tax returns.

    __

    harkin (ea7bff)

  75. I think that this a given: His base, while deflecting and spinning to protect Trump, also admire him for having gotten away with paying less in taxes than a huge number of them had to pay. They won’t do the deep dive to understand the whys and wherefores, they’ll just see him as bucking the system, breaking the norms, sticking it to the Deep State, outsmarting his enemies, blah, blah, blah. They will see it in any way that lionizes him for his successful tax games, as if it were the badge of honor that only the real alpha MAGA deserves. Ethics and the law matter not one bit.

    Dana (292df6) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:59 pm

    And this is all selective. Had Nancy Pelosi’s tax returns showed stunning and awesome business failure, enormous debts to mysterious lenders who chose the serially bankrupt over a bank, and shady massive deductions, suddenly it wouldn’t be so great to cheat the system.

    But let Trump try to double down on his ‘because I am smart’ answer, when this comes up. Let him explain he really was making money while pretending he was losing it.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  76. @72. Yes, well, that’s not Trump’s fault– he’s simply the embodiment of rejection and rebellion; that’s the failure of both major parties for decades. Everything from the Vietnam lie to Watergate, to failed trickle down; junk bonds, to the S&L collapse; Enron; no WMD, to the ’08 collapse and now the blatant hypocrisy of a Lindsey Graham.

    These two parties have been doing Putin’s work for him for decades- far better than Trump could.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  77. Intereseting to observe that no here is surprised by the report because, IMO, we all expected it to go something like this. Both Trump supporters and non-supporters. That in itself is revealing.

    Dana (292df6)

  78. And nothing illegal, apparently

    Weird that Joel Pollack has decided so quickly that there was no criminality. Reminds me of those really early ‘No Collusion! Exonerated!!!’ conclusions that had to be defended despite so much evidence, for years.

    If you believe, as Joel does, that Trump has been doing well in business, then these taxes are criminal. You simply cannot have it both ways. Trump can be the dumbest failure in business in history, or he can be a tax fraud. He cannot be neither.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  79. It’s sad, Dana. What you wrote in 72. That there are so many people who think that way in America that they can elect a President. That kind of thinking should only be found in prisons.

    nk (1d9030)

  80. Welp:

    Records show that in 2010 he claimed, and received, an income tax refund totaling $72.9 million — all the federal income tax he had paid for 2005 through 2008, plus interest.

    Dana (292df6)

  81. Biden Prep Tip: Nixon-Kennedy debates on CSPAN.

    Hey Joe, whaddya know- Walter Cronkite is asking questions. He worked with Mike Wallace- Chris Wallace’s daddy!

    And Joe, JFK only has a double-tipped hankie in his breast pocket. After all, it was 1960, not 1956. An his suit jacket fits. But dig that narrow tie!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  82. @48-
    Is anyone surprised the SDNY leaked trumps taxes to the NYT right before the election? Yeah, didn’t think so.

    Assumes facts not in evidence. The returns could have come from his accountants, and while unethical, it’s not a crime for them to release them. Only certain government officials are prohibited from releasing returns.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  83. @83. The NYT had these returns for weeks if not months– they had to research, cross-check, verify their sources and get their legal dept., involved before it went to press. The timing is wholly in the hands of the NYT.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. all the federal income tax he had paid for 2005 through 2008, plus interest.
    Dana (292df6) — 9/27/2020 @ 6:24 pm

    LOL the American people paid Trump interest for the tax refunds he got thanks to Obama.

    Amazing. There are homeless people sifting through dumpsters paying more tax than Trump, who lives in 70 palaces.

    Flat tax!

    Dustin (4237e0)

  85. @85. The real estste tax laws are screwy– in NYC in the 80s, you got a tax break to construct a building and another break for keeping it empty.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. @84-
    I am not disputing the timing, only the source of the returns. It could be his accountants or disaffected family members, not necessarily the SDNY. I doubt they would risk prosecution and disbarment.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  87. I count one month, one week, and one day, before the election. I’ll write to Webster’s and ask them to include it in the definition of “right before”.

    nk (1d9030)

  88. Ethics and the law matter not one bit.

    They matter to those of us who don’t seek political gain from an act devoid of both.

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  89. Comey revealing Anthony Winniewagger’s computer contents on October 27, 2016 (for all the good it did him), what was that?

    nk (1d9030)

  90. I doubt they would risk prosecution and disbarment.

    Maybe it was Clinesmith, or that senior Obama official who leaked classified info to WaPo, or any of those other people who had no idea they were risking prosecution to take down Trump.

    beer ‘n pretzels (9c5589)

  91. Some here are saying it’s fine for a tax preparer to release the tax returns of his clients. Uh…no it’s not. While there are many exceptions under specific circumstances, it’s pretty clear you can’t just release them to the press. There are IRS regulations that prohibit that and, yes, that’s a crime.

    https://www.cpajournal.com/2019/11/05/the-confidentiality-of-a-clients-tax-return-information/

    Not that it matters because I’m pretty sure we will never know what happened here.

    Eddie B (e24637)

  92. It’s important to remember in times like that that we can’t raise taxes on the rich.

    We never really have. We’ve only ever managed to constrain their investments. Back when the top rate was 90%, the ultra rich never paid more than 30-something percent. Exclusions, credits, depreciation, depletion allowances, etc. Believe it or not there are LOTS and LOTS of tax forms you’ve never seen (nor would you want to) that exist solely for some purpose that only the rich, or corporations, can use.

    The US tax law is only as moral and ethical as the US Congress will let it be.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  93. The returns could have come from his accountants, and while unethical, it’s not a crime for them to release them. Only certain government officials are prohibited from releasing returns.

    Pretty sure it’s actionable, to a degree that would bankrupt the firm if it could be proved.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  94. $100 million would be chump change to Michael Bloomberg, let alone Jeff Bezos. Snicker.

    A day’s income to Bezos, maybe less.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  95. Not that it matters because I’m pretty sure we will never know what happened here.

    Well, maybe we will. After he loses, then orders the FBI to raid the Times …

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  96. The really killing reason not to want more Trump: he is so incompetent he is dying from the death of 1000 bureaucratic cuts. What would Nixon Do? What Would Clinton Do? But Trump just sits there like a pinata, waiting for the next whack.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. @95. Could be a test run; is there a ‘Fifth Avenue’ in Ft. Lauderdale? 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  98. You should have shin splits for jumping to conclusions,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  99. Damn it, Dave, you beat me to it, but moreover, it would have given Chinese TikTok a body count more consequential than Tide-podders.

    urbanleftbehind (82c18a)

  100. Maggie Haberman
    @maggieNYT
    ·
    Recall Romney, under pressure for months to release his taxes, criticized for a roughly 14 percent effective rate. That was still nearly $2 milll. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/romney-paid-required-raising-tax-rate-141-percent/story?id=17291504
    __ _

    Stephen L. Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    Yeah Harry Reid accused him on the floor of the a senate of not paying taxes and you all had a laugh.

    Then he admitted he lied but Romney lost. And you all shrugged.

    And here we are. And no one cares now.
    __ _

    harkin (f084bc)

  101. You sure believe him at the strangest times.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:24 pm

    Holding someone accountable for a promise isn’t the same as believing it. If banks believed every loan they made would be paid back, they wouldn’t take collateral.

    We’re entitled to demand accountability from our president for every lie he tells and every promise he breaks, even if every one of them was transparent and predictable from the outset.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  102. @95-
    Fortunately Brad was taken into custody and is now in a rubber room.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  103. I’ll be the first to admit that this generation of Americans voting these days is not fit for democracy, but couldn’t we get an oligarch who can at least grow a moustache? Half the reason people rejected Hillary for Trump was “Year Of The Woman” and people looked at Trump and couldn’t tell the difference.

    nk (1d9030)

  104. This chart of Trump’s finances since 2000 is informative.
    He’s made over $13 million from his Trump Towers Istanbul deal. How can that blatant financial conflict of interest not affect his dealings with Erdogan. It makes VP Biden’s appearance of a conflict of interest involving Hunter Biden and Ukraine look like nuthin’.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  105. Ivanka Trump Could Be Going Down Thanks To Her Dad’s Tax Fraud
    Donald Trump’s tax returns show that he paid his daughter Ivanka as a consultant, even though she is a member of the company which is against IRS rules.
    ……..
    Ivanka Trump has already been under investigation for potential tax crimes related to the 2016 presidential inauguration, but the scheme with her father could have greater implications. It clear that out of the Trump children Ivanka is the favorite who is being groomed as the political and business heir apparent to Trump.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  106. Elie Mystal:

    If @KamalaHarris paid more money in taxes to India than the United States, Tucker Carlson would hack into the Emergency Broadcast System to tell you about it.

    Fact check: True

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  107. Think back to your tax bill and the way you live your life. Think about the Trump (lack of) tax bill and the way he lives his. You are paying his taxes for him. If you are OK with that, that’s your business, but I am not OK with that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  108. Only 20.5%…

    @BarackObama who wants to raise all our taxes, only pays 20.5% on $790k salary. http://1.usa.gov/HFZJKH Do as I say not as I do.

    –Donald J. Trump, 4/13/2012

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  109. Yep.

    In 2016, Trump paid $129,250 more to Stormy Daniels than to the USA government.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  110. In 2016, Trump paid $129,250 more to Stormy Daniels than to the USA government.

    Stormy Daniels lets you do to her what the US government does to you.

    So it seems fair.

    Dave (1bb933)

  111. @113. So, she screwed him better than Uncle Sam.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. I’d question the judgment of someone who spent $50 on his hair and looked like Donald. He spent 70K.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  113. For anyone snickering about Brad Parscale, really do some digging mentally into what he’s facing, what his family is facing. It’s always been easier to make fun of mental illness than it should be.

    Sure, the guy worked for Trump, but put that aside. Lots of people do lots of things, and they are still people.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  114. Just going through it,literally every single business Trump starts is a gigantic failure, his tv personality and show bailed him out in the outs and daddy did the same in the 90’s , Fred Trump could have picked a rando off the street and odds were they’d have been a better bidness main than Donnie, a complete joke. The joke had fooled the dumbest voters on earth that the quy from the apprentice was qualified for president. He’s a boob, Gilligan,that the dumbest among actually bought.

    Trump voters a fool, plain and simple. Sold a view by the leader of their party, Vladimir Putin.

    Colonel Klink (ret) (1367c0)

  115. If the article is accurate, and he could be on the hook to the tune of $100M in back taxes, it would be a rare – singular in fact – example of self-restraint if he hasn’t tried to pull strings with the IRS to help himself. Even if only to stall the process.

    The fraudulent $78M refund was ten years ago. Why isn’t it resolved one way or another?

    Dave (1bb933)

  116. I wonder, after all is said and done and Trump has retired from the scene, how many “principled conservatives” are going to return to the GOP — which will never revert to the status quo ante? It will be something different, just like it was different after Goldwater, and then Nixon, and then Reagan, and then W.

    Or will they convince themselves that they can be conservative in the party of AOC and the hard Left?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  117. The fraudulent $78M refund was ten years ago. Why isn’t it resolved one way or another?

    I think the statue of limitations on taxes is 6 years for returns like Trump’s, unless criminal fraud can be proven. That doesn’t include differences of opinion or overstating a basis. It does include intentionally hidden income (but not simple mistakes). Unless you are nominated for Treasury secretary.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  118. Holding someone accountable for a promise isn’t the same as believing it. If banks believed every loan they made would be paid back, they wouldn’t take collateral.

    If banks didn’t believe in the collateral or the promise they wouldn’t lend the money.

    We’re entitled to demand accountability from our president for every lie he tells and every promise he breaks, even if every one of them was transparent and predictable from the outset.

    If the people who elected him didn’t care, you are as entitled to his tax returns as I am to keeping my doctor under Obamacare.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  119. Stormy Daniels lets you do to her what the US government does to you.

    And it is conceivably more pleasurable with Stormy. If bimbo is your thing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  120. Cause my money is spent
    On the g*ddamn rent
    Neither party is mine
    Not the jackass or the elephant

    – Chuck D (Public Enemy), “By the Time I Get to Arizona”

    Dave (1bb933)

  121. Stephen F. Cohen (82), academic, author, and Soviet apologist, has died. Also the husband of The Nation publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  122. The statute of limitations only applies applies to when proceedings can be initiated, doesn’t it?

    If the IRS catches you cheating on your taxes, and demands you pay up, I don’t think you get off the hook by stalling them for N years.

    Dave (1bb933)

  123. I would think people might be concerned that the president of the U.S. owes 400 million + to unknown parties who are in a position to push him into personal bankruptcy. Or not, I suppose, depending on favors.

    But that’s just me. My guess is that some Trump defenders will shrug and say, no big deal.

    Victor (661f31)

  124. So what! The trumpsters will still love him and the anti trumpers will still hate him. Besides state legislatures will decide who the electors will be not the voters.

    asset (bc8435)

  125. If the people who elected him didn’t care, you are as entitled to his tax returns as I am to keeping my doctor under Obamacare.

    Not legally entitled. Morally. That used to matter. Do you think that if Obama was running now the GOP wouldn’t air wall to wall ads of him saying “you can keep your doctor?” Of course they would, as they should. And the only difference between that and Trump’s tax return BS is that Trump has told so many disqualifying lies it’s impossible to focus on any one of them long enough to make the point effectively.

    Holding someone accountable for a promise isn’t the same as believing it. If banks believed every loan they made would be paid back, they wouldn’t take collateral.

    If banks didn’t believe in the collateral or the promise they wouldn’t lend the money.

    I don’t insult your intelligence, Kevin. Please don’t insult mine. They obviously believe in the collateral. That’s why they don’t have to believe the promise.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  126. The article clearly implies that Trump’s only really successful current business is maximizing the grifting opportunities of being president, by forcing taxpayers to pay his resorts for his visits, and encouraging foreigners to use his hotels.

    Every grifter needs a mark. In 2015 Trump looked around and realized that America’s greatest single collection of marks were the conservatives willing to hand support and cash to whoever best touched their fear of immigrants and who were most easily fooled by outward shows of wealth and power.

    America has always treasured its con men and grifters, so really I guess it’s only just that’s who we end up putting in power.

    Victor (661f31)

  127. and the clintons left the white house broke
    lmmfao

    mg (8cbc69)

  128. https://www.breitbart.com/immigration/2020/09/27/sanctuary-los-angeles-frees-illegal-aliens-charged-murder-sex-crimes/
    one would think district attorneys would quit before they let out these vermin, but alas Cantafordya is full of schiff

    mg (8cbc69)

  129. Link war!
    https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status/1310340090611277827

    He’s broke. And facing criminal charges. That’s why @realDonaldTrump is sabotaging the mail, welcoming foreign interference, and inciting violence to win an election. This is going to be a rocky ride — but civic participation and unity are our antidotes.

    nk (1d9030)

  130. Thankfully, some poor cop is not going to have Parscale on his conscience. Kudos to the Ft. Lauderdale police for not assisting his suicide.

    I was in rehab with a guy whose wife found him in the same condition as Parscale. Gun and everything, and alcohol too. She had sense enough to call the family doctor who called an intervenor, not the police.

    At the time I met him, he was very resentful at both his wife and the intervenor for “bullying” him into going into treatment. It’s been more than seven years, and we did not stay in touch, so I can only hope he “recovered” from that attitude too.

    I’d feel more sympathy for drunks, druggies, and the mentally ill if they did not make their problems other people’s problems, the people closest to them and innocent bystanders both.

    nk (1d9030)

  131. This is more evidence of several things that many people suspected;
    1. Trump isn’t a very good businessman.
    2. Trump is a crook who cheats on his taxes.
    3. His core supporters don’t care.

    My take that Trump is corrupt, dishonest, and incompetent is further supported by this information.
    My thought that most Trump supporters are motivated by a sense of tribal grievance is supported by the reactions of his supporters.

    I doubt this changes much. Biden is up 3-7 points in PA depending on the poll you use. I don’t think this will change that much. This was already included in the price for Donald Trump.

    I do want to know more about the loans. We should be concerned the President owes hundreds of millions of Dollars in personal debt that is coming due during his term in office. Especially since his business appears to be a money losing endeavor.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  132. Patterico only cares about the rule of law until he doesn’t. And you wonder why the general public holds lawyers in such low esteem.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  133. I’d feel more sympathy for drunks, druggies, and the mentally ill if they did not make their problems other people’s problems, the people closest to them and innocent bystanders both.

    nk (1d9030) — 9/28/2020 @ 4:25 am

    That makes sense. I’m sure his wife’s had many hardships beyond last night’s.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  134. Ah yes, the Rule of Law crowd swarms over illegally leaked tax returns and says tut, tut….

    beer ‘n pretzels (536446) — 9/27/2020 @ 4:04 pm

    If there’s evidence that someone broke the law in giving these to the NYT they should be prosecuted. But there’s no conflict in thinking that being interested in the results of the link. It’s like when that guy punched the Nazi in the head. I don’t have to be personally bothered by a Nazi getting punched to think the assailant should face justice.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  135. In 2015 Trump looked around and realized that America’s greatest single collection of marks were the conservatives willing to hand support and cash to whoever best touched their fear of immigrants and who were most easily fooled by outward shows of wealth and power.

    I’ve received about a dozen desperate texts asking me to donate to Trump or his allies in the last couple of weeks. I hope this is a last squeeze of the gullible and not a trend.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  136. The post did not bother to point out that it is illegal to release someone’s tax returns. That tells me that the poster is not at all concerned about it. Your ethics are no better than the person you claim to despise.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  137. If there’s evidence that someone broke the law in giving these to the NYT they should be prosecuted. But there’s no conflict in thinking that being interested in the results of the link. It’s like when that guy punched the Nazi in the head. I don’t have to be personally bothered by a Nazi getting punched to think the assailant should face justice.

    Time123 (cd2ff4) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:17 am

    I agree. We have a powerful interest in understanding our president owes weirdos so much money. I say weirdos because who lends a man hundreds of millions after all those bankruptcies and fraud settlements? Trump got into power with a lot of help, tons of free coverage, Russia spamming us on social media. I know we’ll hear otherwise, but it’s easy to see why Trump fought so hard to hide this stuff.

    Trump’s fans are rightly miffed that confidential docs were leaked, but that’s not really the big issue. In this case I can understand their disagreement on that. It’s not a ‘squirrel’ like most of the Biden stuff upthread. But whoever leaked this stuff is a patriot.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  138. Just arguing over price, dave.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  139. It might not have been illegal to leak the material, e.g. if it were his accountants. But even if illegal, it seems in this case an act of civil disobedience – breaking a law to serve a higher purpose. And if there is a higher purposes in this battered republic than figuring out the personal financial motivations of the guy who wants to lead it, it’s hard to imagine what they’d be.

    Victor (661f31)

  140. The post did not bother to point out that it is illegal to release someone’s tax returns. That tells me that the poster is not at all concerned about it. Your ethics are no better than the person you claim to despise.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:22 am

    I don’t agree that the post shows the poster is dishonest or anything. We all know Trump said he would be “happy” to release this information. He made that promise when asking for the nation to elect him. That promise was in exchange for something he got.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  141. During the 2016 campaign, whenever anyone cast aspersions on Trump’s limited vocabulary or his ignorance of things he ought to have known, his fans would inevitably point to his alleged fortunes and cluck: “Well, I wish I were stupid enough to make billions the way he has.” All that we can conclude now is that, if we are to believe that his enormous business losses mean that he really didn’t owe any taxes during those years, then his fortunes could never have been as great as he boasted all along. He obviously did not want the public to know this, otherwise he would have made the record public during his campaign, as other candidates did. The very fact that he intentionally hid this information indicates that he knew it would not play well.

    Roger (a5bda3)

  142. @143. Or he figured his readers were smart enough to know that already and not need few paragraphs explaining it.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  143. @144, Dustin, I was being sincere when I said that if someone broke the law to get those returns they should be punished. I think that’s important even if I think that Congress should pass a law mandating the Financial disclosures and Tax returns of all Members, staff and their spouses be published quarterly in an easy to search database. I also think that same group should prohibited from trading stocks without disclosing it for some period (a couple weeks+) ahead of time.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  144. @143. Or he figured his readers were smart enough to know that already and not need few paragraphs explaining it.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:35 am

    Good point. Unlawful? It’s possible, depending on the relationship. Ethical? I think it’s clearly ethical because Trump said his taxes were so good, and his success so amazing, he would be quote “happy” to share them if we supported him. I firmly believe it was much more ethical for Trump to stab us in the back over that promise.

    his fans would inevitably point to his alleged fortunes and cluck: “Well, I wish I were stupid enough to make billions the way he has.”

    LOL

    Imagine how prosperous our nation would be if everyone who pulled tax scams like this were in prison forever?

    Dustin (4237e0)

  145. @11

    Leaking stuff he promised to produce and has lied about does not bother me at all.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 9/27/2020 @ 4:06 pm

    It should.

    Because what was also leaked were information who worked for Trump (ie, compensation, etc).

    This is going to backfire immensely.

    whembly (c30c83)

  146. Stephen F. Cohen (82), academic, author, and Soviet apologist, has died.

    He really went off the rails in his “analysis” of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  147. @144, Dustin, I was being sincere when I said that if someone broke the law to get those returns they should be punished.

    I respectfully disagree, Time123. If it’s his lawyer, Cohen, for example, sure, he should be disciplined for breaching his duty to Trump. Something like that is greatly mitigated though, because this is the leader of the free world clearly compromised, and people have died as a result (not even considering COVID). At a certain point, corruption is so bad that it’s more ethical to shine a light on it. I do wish whoever did this would own up dramatically, just say they did what they did, they accept the consequences, but that’s not the world we’re in.

    I think that Congress should pass a law mandating the Financial disclosures and Tax returns of all Members, staff and their spouses be published quarterly in an easy to search database. I also think that same group should prohibited from trading stocks without disclosing it for some period (a couple weeks+) ahead of time.

    Excellent ideas.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  148. @Thread, this is one of those things that I’d urge folks to actually read ALL of the NYT article.

    Per the NYT own story, Trump actually paid to the US Treasury $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017.

    whembly (c30c83)

  149. @143. Or he figured his readers were smart enough to know that already and not need few paragraphs explaining it.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:35 am

    Good point. Unlawful? It’s possible, depending on the relationship.

    Right, there are ways it could be legal and expose the part that released them to a civil claim. From what I understand walking through all the possibilities would take a while.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  150. So people at the times, dont read their own paper huh

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  151. Time123’s point is strong because I imagine almost everyone Trump trusted was basically a criminal, and this leak could be the result of their internal struggles. Trump’s got a bunch of people giving him legal advice, scamming the IRS, setting up these frauds, loans, bankruptcies. They never turn out to be great patriots. Maybe if we knew the full picture how the NYT got the dirt I’d be less impressed. But it’s fun to imagine a patriot reading this stuff, realizing what it means, and refusing to honor confidentiality because the people need to know this stuff before they vote.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  152. @155, Dustin, It’s possible that the information was obtained not through an ethics violation but theft. If someone burgled the files, or hacked a computer they were stored on I very much want that person charged and convicted.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  153. Whembly, how do you think this will backfire? Curious how you see that playing out.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  154. The post indicates that the rule of law only matters when the poster agrees with how it applies. When a violation of the law furthers something the poster agrees with, them the rule of law no longer matters. The post should have taken the trouble to explain the rationale of why the violation of the law was not important. Otherwise you don’t really believe in the rule of law. Especially since this blog supposedly has a philosophy of believing in the rule of law. This doesn’t mean the post in itself is dishonest.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  155. The post did not bother to point out that it is illegal to release someone’s tax returns.

    It also did not point out that squirrels climb trees. How could you leave that out, Patterico?

    The legality of the NYT article is the NYT’s concern. I don’t know that it’s illegal. The squirrel-chasers don’t know that it’s illegal. The NYT’s lawyers very likely thinks that it is legal. A serious person would only care whether it is true.

    nk (1d9030)

  156. Much like time magazine discovering men and women were different.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  157. @78

    Intereseting to observe that no here is surprised by the report because, IMO, we all expected it to go something like this. Both Trump supporters and non-supporters. That in itself is revealing.

    Dana (292df6) — 9/27/2020 @ 6:10 pm

    I’m not surprised he’s avoiding taxes, like every other taxpayors does.

    Hell, there’s a whole multi-billion dollar industry JUST to mitigate tax liabilities.

    The difference here is that some think there’s illegality afoot and other believes Trump is maximizing all the available laws to his advantage to minimize the tax bill.

    Something ya’ll should consider: The Mueller Team had direct access to the US Treasury for Trump’s tax information. And yet, they found nada to aggressively go after Trump.

    whembly (c30c83)

  158. @162, how do you know that the information was provided to the NYT illegally? I can think of at least 1 person who might have had legal access to the information and a motive to release it; Trump’s niece. If she had legal access I’m sure there was an NDA, but violating that isn’t a crime.

    Additionally one of his accountants could have leaked it, which is unethical, but I don’t believe is criminal.

    Or someone could have mishandled the material through incompetence; Emailed a zip file to the wrong person, put the files in the garbage and not a shredder etc.

    We don’t know that yet.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  159. Now hes they believe things that arent true, like chimera and puyallops

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  160. @155, Dustin, It’s possible that the information was obtained not through an ethics violation but theft. If someone burgled the files, or hacked a computer they were stored on I very much want that person charged and convicted.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:49 am

    It is interesting that the times pointed out this material was stuck in an oversight committee’s congressional storage. Probably a red herring. Sure, if someone kicked down the door or hacked into a computer, or kidnapped and ransomed someone, or sold a bunch of heroin to buy it, or drove way too fast to Manhattan to share them with reporters, those are crimes.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  161. I have always suspected that Trump was all hat and no cattle. That he was operating on debt. But I had no proof. Now the NYT has provided it.

    nk (1d9030)

  162. I’m not surprised he’s avoiding taxes, like every other taxpayors does.

    Whembly, this is an interesting argument. You think every other taxpayer is like this? 15 years no taxes, charging America millions in interest for tax refunds that weren’t even legit? Paying your kid employee consulting fees on top of their salary?

    I don’t even itemize.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  163. The post did not bother to point out that it is illegal to release someone’s tax returns.

    There’s no secret that the NYT’s source likely broke the law. I expect that that source knew the risks, and I expect that if their source is found, then he/she will and should be prosecuted. And I also expect that the source believed to be doing his/her patriotic duty, helping Trump honor his pledge to release his tax returns. One standard and all that.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  164. Did you two ever apologize to nick sandmann,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  165. @171, if this legal the law needs to change. I think I recall Trump telling an audience that the rich get away with murder and that he alone could put a stop to it because he knew how the game was played. I should look that up.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  166. Jebus, I’m going to take a break until I can get a simple comment posted without a glaring typo.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  167. Why hasnt norma desmondoh right shes been chasing squirrels.

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  168. I seem to recall re the Mueller investigation that Trump made clear that investigating his finances was a “red line” that Mueller was not to cross. And Mueller, the excellent Establishment Republican that he was, made sure not to cross it.

    It looks like Trump ran for president in 2015 figuring the run itself would promote his brand, and help bail him out of his increasingly desperate financial situation.

    For those unfamiliar with the plot of the Producers, here’s a short clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD0HJSKbubE

    Victor (661f31)

  169. Did you two ever apologize to nick sandmann,

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:01 am

    LOL

    Help help talk about something else!

    Dustin (4237e0)

  170. @147 I don’t agree that the post shows the poster is dishonest or anything. We all know Trump said he would be “happy” to release this information. He made that promise when asking for the nation to elect him. That promise was in exchange for something he got.

    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:32 am

    If we’re all honest, his promise to release his taxes was when his IRS audit is over.

    So, if the NYT is to believed, they just proved that he’s still under audit.

    I mean…we’re all striving to be honest, no?

    whembly (c30c83)

  171. If we’re all honest, his promise to release his taxes was when his IRS audit is over.

    I addressed this in @3. You can see and read for yourself exactly what he promised. “When the audit is over” was added late in the game to renege on all the earlier promises.

    Dave (1bb933)

  172. I don’t know that it’s illegal…. A serious person would only care whether it is true.

    And a serious person would only care if the content of Clinton’s hacked emails was true, or if the Ukraine dirt on Biden was true.

    There’s evidently a lot of unserious people who comment here. Some of us knew that already.

    beer ‘n pretzels (733264)

  173. And a serious person would only care if the content of Clinton’s hacked emails was true, or if the Ukraine dirt on Biden was true.

    I think you raise a good point. If we learn that Joe Biden worked with our nation’s mortal enemies to break into Trump’s computer, the way Trump did to Hillary (on national TV), that is a serious betrayal of our democracy. Why would Russia fight so hard for Trump? Well maybe those hundreds of millions have something to do with it.

    But this is a fantasy at this point. You never know if Trump didn’t sue or cheat whoever had these documents. You never know how bad this guy is at making decisions.

    If we’re all honest, his promise to release his taxes was when his IRS audit is over.

    Nope, that’s not honest. That was an ad hoc defense when Trump flip flopped. Trump has been on both sides of that and everything else. Trump’s actually bashed Obama for not paying more than 20 percent in taxes. He’s a liar, Whembly. Taking any one thing Trump says and insisting everyone must accept that version, that’s not really good faith.

    Trump said it was not possible to release the taxes, and that’s why he didn’t do what he would happily to, because his taxes are amazing, the best, show his success. Turns out that was a lie. The taxes are out and the sky is not falling.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  174. And like the squirrel chasers would care about ethics if it were Hunter Biden’s tax returns. They only care that their orange has been proven to be a wax fruit.

    nk (1d9030)

  175. Beer N Pretzels, The media spent a lot of time going into the details of what was released by WikiLeaks from the DNC hack. That was covered.

    As I’ve said before, if we find out that these were obtained through a criminal act the people involved should be punished.

    We should also be worried that Trump appears to be financially compromised and deeply in debt. That’s not something I think we want in a president.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  176. And a serious person would only care if the content of Clinton’s hacked emails was true, or if the Ukraine dirt on Biden was true.

    I’m pretty sure the NYT did not pay $8 billion of the taxpayers’ money to Ukraine for this story. If it did, it should be impeached by the Noble Committee.

    nk (1d9030)

  177. Here was Trump in 2015: “You’ve seen my statements. I do very well. I don’t mind paying a little more in taxes. The middle class is getting clobbered in this country.” So, his “little more” is $750 instead of nothing. Then we were favored with this comment: “I’m not surprised he’s avoiding taxes, like every other taxpayors does.” Every other?!? Speak for yourself. I’ve always paid what I owe, and it’s always been more than $750 (and I’m sure that’s true for a majority of taxpayers). Like most everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, his 2015 statement was a lie, like every smarmy statement he has made about sympathy for the middle class.

    Roger (a5bda3)

  178. There are bigger questions than the taxes. Who are Trump’s sugar-daddies? Who lays out the cash for Melania’s gowns and Baron’s school fees? Because even with more than 500 corporations to kite checks on, at some point cash has to be put on the table.

    nk (1d9030)

  179. We should also be worried that Trump appears to be financially compromised and deeply in debt. That’s not something I think we want in a president.

    Considering that’s exactly the condition he’s left the whole country, it makes him the perfect man for the job, doesn’t it?

    Dave (1bb933)

  180. Sorry, Time123, I had not seen your 184.

    nk (1d9030)

  181. @161 It’s not going to matter one bit.

    This won’t convince folks who’s already voting for him to vote for Biden.

    The NYT’s credibility (most of the media’s really) is shot, such that it probably won’t impact swing voters either.

    whembly (c30c83)

  182. The media spent a lot of time going into the details of what was released by WikiLeaks from the DNC hack. That was covered.

    Much much more time was spent trying to link Trump to the hack. It’s not even close. Not by a thousand miles.

    A two year multi million $$ fishing expedition, and an impeachment, driven entirely by how the data was obtained.

    They didn’t even know whether Trump was involved — it didn’t matter. We knew as much that Trump was involved as we do that the Biden campaign or a Biden stooge in the IRS was involved in the tax leak.

    beer ‘n pretzels (733264)

  183. @167

    @162, how do you know that the information was provided to the NYT illegally? I can think of at least 1 person who might have had legal access to the information and a motive to release it; Trump’s niece. If she had legal access I’m sure there was an NDA, but violating that isn’t a crime.

    I seriously doubt she had legal access to it.

    Additionally one of his accountants could have leaked it, which is unethical, but I don’t believe is criminal.

    That’s definitely illegal. Accountants are “Enrolled Agents” (If I have that vernacular right) and not only it’s illegal, it’s a massive breach of trust.

    Or someone could have mishandled the material through incompetence; Emailed a zip file to the wrong person, put the files in the garbage and not a shredder etc.

    We don’t know that yet.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:56 am

    All of those are still violation of a crime Time123.

    whembly (c30c83)

  184. @171

    I’m not surprised he’s avoiding taxes, like every other taxpayors does.

    Whembly, this is an interesting argument. You think every other taxpayer is like this? 15 years no taxes, charging America millions in interest for tax refunds that weren’t even legit? Paying your kid employee consulting fees on top of their salary?

    I don’t even itemize.

    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 6:59 am

    I think every other taxpayers want to pay as little taxes as possible.

    Trump’s different because he’s a massive realestate developer and media mogul.

    Paying kids “whatever” in their business is as old as there’s been commerce and its interesting folks are hanging their gripe on that.

    whembly (c30c83)

  185. I think every other taxpayers want to pay as little taxes as possible.

    I also want my neighbor’s sweet Ram pickup.

    You’ve been paying Trump’s way all your life. Your kids, your parents, your friends, they’ve all been paying Trump’s way. He lives like a king on money he doesn’t have, and has indebted you and yours. Trump was right to complain that Obama didn’t really pay his fair share at 20 percent. A lot of us in this middle class (maybe I’m lower than middle, but whatever) pay a lot more than 20 percent. Trump doesn’t pay anything. He just takes. From you.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  186. Whembly, thank you for the correction. I’m not saying those are ethical, but I had (apparently wrongly) thought they were ethical lapses and not criminal acts.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  187. @thread, the other thing why this leak should concern everyone is that this raise the likelyhood of retaliatory strike.

    Say, a MAGA-zealot working for the IRS leaks tax information of Democrat Senators/Republicans and there’s some “stuff” there.

    Still okay with that? (I know Dustin/Time123 and others reiterated that the source likely broke laws and should be held to account).

    Also, I’d like to point out that the NYT story isn’t releasing the actual documents. So, we have to rely on their analysis.

    whembly (c30c83)

  188. “Voodoo economics.”

    Trump. Is. Wholly. Your. Creation.

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  189. Who are Trump’s sugar-daddies?

    YES, this is the question.

    Roger (a5bda3) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:27 am

    Also this is the bottom line. Trump lied his ass off when asking for Whembly and BAP’s votes. He was supposedly a successful man who would bring his Art of the Deal success to cut the fat, get the wall done, make it happen. But he never could make a deal with congress because he is really bad at everything. So who are the sugar daddies?

    Remember all those times Trump said he had secret info on Obama’s birth records (weird that Trump’s fans thought that was ethical)? What if Trump said he had secret info Obama owed a billion bucks to an anonymous lender?

    Dustin (4237e0)

  190. @194

    I think every other taxpayers want to pay as little taxes as possible.

    I also want my neighbor’s sweet Ram pickup.

    Hey! Me too!

    You’ve been paying Trump’s way all your life. Your kids, your parents, your friends, they’ve all been paying Trump’s way. He lives like a king on money he doesn’t have, and has indebted you and yours. Trump was right to complain that Obama didn’t really pay his fair share at 20 percent. A lot of us in this middle class (maybe I’m lower than middle, but whatever) pay a lot more than 20 percent. Trump doesn’t pay anything. He just takes. From you.

    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:54 am

    Your *ire* should be directed at Congress then, not Trump.

    And according to the NYT’s article, he PAID, as in transferred to the US Treasury, $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017. Note also that most of the overpayment was rolled forward, not refunded. The $750 figure is an ADDITIONAL $750. Thus every single story saying he paid $750 is a lie.

    whembly (c30c83)

  191. How does someone with a 48 year political career, and his son, get rich? Squirrel!!

    beer ‘n pretzels (733264)

  192. The Mueller Team had direct access to the US Treasury for Trump’s tax information.

    I doubt that. Mueller was charged with investigating the campaign, not his personal finances.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  193. @191

    The media spent a lot of time going into the details of what was released by WikiLeaks from the DNC hack. That was covered.

    Much much more time was spent trying to link Trump to the hack. It’s not even close. Not by a thousand miles.

    Other then your persecution complex there’s no reason to expect the coverage to be identical.

    A two year multi million $$ fishing expedition, and an impeachment, driven entirely by how the data was obtained.

    You’re getting your theories confused, let me re-cap.
    -The SC was investigation Russian interferences in the 2016 campaign. The SC was appointed after Trump went on TV and announced he’d fired the head of the FBI to stop such an investigation. The SC found many criminal actsand didn’t find Trump was criminally involved.
    -The impeachment wasn’t related to that. It was based on Trump extorting Ukraine to announce a baseless investigation of a political rival by withholding military aid Congress had approved.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  194. If we’re all honest, his promise to release his taxes was when his IRS audit is over.

    This was a renege on his earlier promise to release his returns. The IRS audit excuse came later.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  195. Still okay with that? (I know Dustin/Time123 and others reiterated that the source likely broke laws and should be held to account).

    To be honest, that’s time123’s point. It’s a nice one. I don’t think there is any info to know if the source broke the law. I believe the source’s action was very patriotic, but because the source is probably associated with Trump, that could just be an accident, since everyone who works with Trump probably hates America, Giuliani style.

    If it’s really just a whistleblower flouting the confidentiality rules, I would support statues in public squares. If it’s a hacker burglar, I support probation and one of those ‘don’t do that again’ classes, maybe a reality show.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  196. @thread, the other thing why this leak should concern everyone is that this raise the likelyhood of retaliatory strike.

    Say, a MAGA-zealot working for the IRS leaks tax information of Democrat Senators/Republicans and there’s some “stuff” there.

    Still okay with that? (I know Dustin/Time123 and others reiterated that the source likely broke laws and should be held to account).

    Also, I’d like to point out that the NYT story isn’t releasing the actual documents. So, we have to rely on their analysis.

    whembly (c30c83) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:56 am

    A norm of lawbreaking is bad. I don’t want one established. I think the general release of such information would be good for our country.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  197. @201

    The Mueller Team had direct access to the US Treasury for Trump’s tax information.

    I doubt that. Mueller was charged with investigating the campaign, not his personal finances.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:59 am

    I’m trying to find it, but there were reports that the Mueller team reached out to IRS to get that information. If you’re going to investigate for conspiracy, the first thing you’d look are financial connections.

    whembly (c30c83)

  198. Thanks for re-capping the BS explanations that no serious person believes, Time123. I don’t think you even believe it.

    beer ‘n pretzels (733264)

  199. Your *ire* should be directed at Congress then, not Trump.

    Why not both?

    The reason is basically that every time Trump screws up, the defense is that I should really hate someone else so much I don’t care about Trump anymore.

    To be honest I am not following politics that much, because it is so boring reading the same 2 defense over and over. Either the real problem is *look over there!* or the real problem is *you nevertrumpers would have been super cool with Hillary doing it*

    Trump was right to fight so hard to hide this from the American people. There is no way this loser gets re-elected honestly.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  200. This was a renege on his earlier promise to release his returns. The IRS audit excuse came later.

    Correct. “If we’re all honest.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  201. @195

    Whembly, thank you for the correction. I’m not saying those are ethical, but I had (apparently wrongly) thought they were ethical lapses and not criminal acts.

    Time123 (cd2ff4) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:54 am

    Yup.

    The NYT is fine under 1st amendment.

    However, at some point we need to see the sourcing because I don’t think the author understood what they’re looking at and definitely framing it in the worse possible manner.

    whembly (c30c83)

  202. I feel so sad for Melania.

    I feel like you’re not entirely serious here but I am: I don’t feel sorry for her. She’s very we’ll compensated compared to most women in her profession.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  203. @208

    Your *ire* should be directed at Congress then, not Trump.

    Why not both?

    The reason is basically that every time Trump screws up, the defense is that I should really hate someone else so much I don’t care about Trump anymore.

    To be honest I am not following politics that much, because it is so boring reading the same 2 defense over and over. Either the real problem is *look over there!* or the real problem is *you nevertrumpers would have been super cool with Hillary doing it*

    Trump was right to fight so hard to hide this from the American people. There is no way this loser gets re-elected honestly.

    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:07 am

    …and if it was found that his tax mitigation strategies over the years were kosher… you’d still be mad at him?

    whembly (c30c83)

  204. And according to the NYT’s article, he PAID, as in transferred to the US Treasury, $1 million in 2016 and $4.2 million in 2017.

    Not personal income taxes, according to the Times.

    Dave (1bb933)

  205. I’m trying to find it, but there were reports that the Mueller team reached out to IRS to get that information. If you’re going to investigate for conspiracy, the first thing you’d look are financial connections.

    True. That doesn’t mean they did that. They had Rosenstein sitting on top of them and may have decided he would not allow that. Weissman’s book comes out tomorrow. Hopefully it sheds light on this. I should be done with Woodward’s by then.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  206. …and if it was found that his tax mitigation strategies over the years were kosher… you’d still be mad at him?

    whembly (c30c83) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:10 am

    Kosher according to who? Trump runs the IRS now. It’s amazing his bad 70 million refund hasn’t been settled. He’s leaned heavily to obstruct justice at every turn. He is above the law. Everything Trump does in Kosher in the Trump administration.

    My point was a lot more simple. He lives in palaces and you and your family pay his tax burden. You know that’s not fair.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  207. However, at some point we need to see the sourcing

    I bet Putin already has some guys on that.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  208. If it’s really just a whistleblower flouting the confidentiality rules, I would support statues in public squares. If it’s a hacker burglar, I support probation and one of those ‘don’t do that again’ classes, maybe a reality show.

    Dustin, Please rethink your stance.

    Our politics is characterized by a cycle of increasing violations of norms and rules. I think there’s no chance that a norm of “it’s ok to leak tax returns” stops there. Whoever feels most recently wronged will expand the rule to something else, health records, family information, something. If needed it becomes “since leaks were OK burglary/other crimes are OK”. Because this is inevitable I want clear violation of the law punished regardless of how I feel about the impact. Not because I think whoever did this has caused direct harm to the public, but because of where it leads.

    Also, Trump and his family have had their rights violated and our political system needs to address that regardless of how I feel about them personally. That’s ALSO an important principle.

    To take it back to the Nazi that got punched; You don’t need to feel bad that a Nazi got punched to see the need to prosecute someone for assaulting others on the street.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  209. 200. LOLOLOLOL looking forward to a 47-year government-salaried employee whine about a private sectored entrepreneur -successful or failed- not paying enough to keep him in a job to spend other people’s money and where he only has to show up for half-a-year at best. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  210. Thanks for re-capping the BS explanations that no serious person believes, Time123. I don’t think you even believe it.

    beer ‘n pretzels (733264) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:05 am

    It’s the one best supported by the known facts.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  211. but mr p with community property she could be on the hook for her deadbeat husbands bad debts and lose everything she worked so hard and gave the best years of her life for under unimaginable conditions

    alas

    alackaday

    Dave (1bb933)

  212. The reason is basically that every time Trump screws up, the defense is that I should really hate someone else so much I don’t care about Trump anymore.

    Dustin, I think the main feature of Trump for many of his supporters is that he hates the people they hate and fights with them on social media. So when people who think this way see bad news about Trump they point out something that outrages them not because they want to change the subject, but because trump attacking that is what they honestly think is more important. Because admitting any error on the part of their team makes them feel bad they can’t frame it as open trade off. That would feel like losing.

    I am not saying all trump supporters feel that way or that all (or any) trump supporters here feel that way.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  213. I feel so sad for Melania.

    I feel like you’re not entirely serious here but I am: I don’t feel sorry for her. She’s very we’ll compensated compared to most women in her profession.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:10 am

    Leave off the First lady and any of Trump’s Kids aren’t fully involved Adults. You’re better then that.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  214. To take it back to the Nazi that got punched; You don’t need to feel bad that a Nazi got punched to see the need to prosecute someone for assaulting others on the street.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:17 am

    I know you’re right. I’m just being honest that despite you being right, I have a blind spot over what I sincerely care about. I am kinda OK with turnabout. Trump has done a lot wrong, not just with democracy, elections, and the rule of law, but at a certain point I definitely appreciate whoever let us know about these massive debts before election day. It is really important.

    Those dead Kurds, betrayed by us after many sacrifices, so Putin could gain a great foothold, that’s always weighed more heavily than comparable decisions on Trump’s part. Trump has behaved oddly in his decisions when it comes to Russia. I think these taxes show someone has tremendous pull over our president.

    We shouldn’t just permit our political enemies to have no legal protections, no confidentiality, etc. That’s a good point. No one’s home should be broken into to steal secrets. But we don’t know that this happened and there are human lives at stake that do matter more to me.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  215. If you trust Toobin’s source, whembly, then no, Mueller didn’t get access to Trump’s returns, and there is mention of a red line (although it’s behind a paywall) that Mueller didn’t cross.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  216. Weissman’s book comes out tomorrow.

    Another corrupt hack getting rich off government malfeasance — his own. The cockroach has already shed some light on himself.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/7/muller-prosecutor-weissmann-says-look-italian-mode/
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/13/andrew-weissmann-says-roger-stone-now-key-removing/

    beer ‘n pretzels (d299f9)

  217. Melania isn’t the First Lady, she’s First Hostage. Even with her transactional marriage, I doubt she signed up for that.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  218. reason I bring it up dustin, is you jumped on sandmann, so hard your shins must have split, same with our telecommuter from olympia, and of course we remember the nameless evil that was christine o’donnell,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  219. weissman is like commander krennic, vaporizing arthur anderson, oops sorry 40,000 employees were put out of work, and the crumbs were swallowed up by hsbc,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  220. Those dead Kurds, betrayed by us after many sacrifices, so Putin could gain a great foothold, that’s always weighed more heavily than comparable decisions on Trump’s part. Trump has behaved oddly in his decisions when it comes to Russia. I think these taxes show someone has tremendous pull over our president.
    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:29 am

    Dustin, those Kurds have no allies in the region. Their plight was sealed years ago; this has nothing to do with Trump. Giving the Kurds what they want – an independent Kurdistan, would roil the Middle East for decades, if not longer.

    The Turks, Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians can all agree on one thing: Kurds should not get their own nation.

    You seem to be harsh on Trump for seeing this geo-political reality and a tad bit flippant at putting American lives on the line for the Kurds. I think after thousands dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’d see more hesitancy to trying to solve all the world’s problems with American blood.

    Hoi Polloi (2f1acd)

  221. @226-
    Melania Trump: An illegal immigrant doing a job no American would do.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  222. @217

    If it’s really just a whistleblower flouting the confidentiality rules, I would support statues in public squares. If it’s a hacker burglar, I support probation and one of those ‘don’t do that again’ classes, maybe a reality show.

    Dustin, Please rethink your stance.

    Our politics is characterized by a cycle of increasing violations of norms and rules. I think there’s no chance that a norm of “it’s ok to leak tax returns” stops there. Whoever feels most recently wronged will expand the rule to something else, health records, family information, something. If needed it becomes “since leaks were OK burglary/other crimes are OK”. Because this is inevitable I want clear violation of the law punished regardless of how I feel about the impact. Not because I think whoever did this has caused direct harm to the public, but because of where it leads.

    Also, Trump and his family have had their rights violated and our political system needs to address that regardless of how I feel about them personally. That’s ALSO an important principle.

    To take it back to the Nazi that got punched; You don’t need to feel bad that a Nazi got punched to see the need to prosecute someone for assaulting others on the street.

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:17 am

    Exactly this.

    I mean, is it really that far-fetch of an escalation when important cases hit the SCOTUS that someone leaks a justice’s financial data to pressure them or delegitimize the courts?

    whembly (c30c83)

  223. Leave off the First lady and any of Trump’s Kids aren’t fully involved Adults. You’re better then that.

    Last I checked she’s an adult. You have to be to do that job.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  224. The Turks, Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians can all agree on one thing: Kurds should not get their own nation.

    The choice isn’t bail on the Kurds or national independence; that’s a false choice, akin to Trump defenders’ trope that the choice is between Trump or socialism.
    Like in Iraq, the Kurds have been fine with autonomy, which is what they had before bailed. They were our best allies in the ME this side of Israel since the start of the Iraq War and Trump betrayed them. He cut-and-ran for the same reasons Obama cut-and-ran from Iraq: He wanted to tell the American people that he brought our troops home, even though the work wasn’t done.
    Oh, and Trump’s decision benefited Erdogan, a country where Trump has received over $13 million this century for Trump Towers Istanbul.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  225. Patterico, Unless it’s about something they’re actively doing the right thing to do is leave the spouses and offspring of elected officials alone.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  226. reason I bring it up dustin, is you jumped on sandmann, so hard your shins must have split, same with our telecommuter from olympia, and of course we remember the nameless evil that was christine o’donnell,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5) — 9/28/2020 @ 8:43 am

    The reason you brought it up was to change the subject.

    Christine O’Donnell?

    LOL

    Dustin (4237e0)

  227. Dustin, those Kurds have no allies in the region. Their plight was sealed years ago; this has nothing to do with Trump. Giving the Kurds what they want – an independent Kurdistan, would roil the Middle East for decades, if not longer.

    The Turks, Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians can all agree on one thing: Kurds should not get their own nation.

    You seem to be harsh on Trump for seeing this geo-political reality and a tad bit flippant at putting American lives on the line for the Kurds. I think after thousands dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’d see more hesitancy to trying to solve all the world’s problems with American blood.

    They were our allies and we betrayed them. Furthermore, the deal was that they were acting as our ground forces in the region, with the casualties that entails. It was a good deal for us, then our president got bullied by Turkey and we ran.

    Hope we don’t need allies in that region any time soon.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  228. this willingness to focus on the media’s designated pinata, you should check that out,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  229. @233, Patterico, doesn’t Trump’s friendship with Maxwell and Epstien imply that you don’t need to be an adult to do that job?

    Time123 (b0628d)

  230. I mean, is it really that far-fetch of an escalation when important cases hit the SCOTUS that someone leaks a justice’s financial data to pressure them or delegitimize the courts?

    whembly (c30c83) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:03 am

    Another squirrel. This isn’t what happened. Trump said his taxes would show he pays more than the rest of us. That’s a specific lie he told. Trump said he would be happy to release these taxes, but he could not do so lawfully. Another lie. Now we see that there is indeed pressure and delegitimization, but the revelation of the hundreds of millions owed are going to help. Lives are at stake and someone is pulling the president’s strings.

    Time123’s point is that if someone broke the law to get this stuff, that’s illegal. True. But if someone is pulling the president’s strings, and people are dying as a result, it might be justified. You both have zero idea who revealed this information, what duty they owed to Trump, and if Trump has broken his own duty to them (which is not unlikely). You both have zero idea that hackers or burglars found this stuff (which is unlikely). Whoever did this, has put themselves in great danger for your benefit.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  231. Trump’s friendship with Maxwell and Epstien imply that you don’t need to be an adult to do that job?

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:19 am

    Ivanka is the “Trump kid” here right? She is the one the taxes implicate. She is not a minor. That Trump was wishing a child sex slave trafficker might indeed be related to these massive debts he was hiding from us, but we really don’t know.

    What we know is that very dark, very wrong things are happening that we simply do not know enough about, and any effort to investigate or shed light, brings more efforts to silence them than to bring actual justice.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  232. Their plight was sealed years ago; this has nothing to do with Trump.

    Trump told them to withdraw from advantage, he would take care of them, then he betrayed them and many of them are dead.

    “I take no responsibility” Trump has created a century of bitterness from a recent ally.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  233. He points out what NYT stated:

    One other important sentence in the Times article: “Nor do the [tax returns] reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.”

    whembly (c30c83)

  234. A year from now, nobody here will be owning the interference they’ve run for the Biden campaign.

    beer ‘n pretzels (d299f9)

  235. Trump’s friendship with Maxwell and Epstien imply that you don’t need to be an adult to do that job?

    Time123 (b0628d) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:19 am

    Ivanka is the “Trump kid” here right? She is the one the taxes implicate. She is not a minor. That Trump was wishing a child sex slave trafficker might indeed be related to these massive debts he was hiding from us, but we really don’t know.

    What we know is that very dark, very wrong things are happening that we simply do not know enough about, and any effort to investigate or shed light, brings more efforts to silence them than to bring actual justice.

    Dustin (4237e0) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:22 am

    I think you’ve missed the joke.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  236. he’s already out of jail, man crime does pay, so when will the book by the suspected russian spy, igor danchenko come out, he was fiona hill’s protege, man that’s embarassing,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  237. @245, impossible, they’d never point out accurate information that helped Trump.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  238. Our politics is characterized by a cycle of increasing violations of norms and rules. …..

    I agree that norms and rules should apply equally to all sides. Goose and gander. But I don’t believe that most Trump defenders are seriously committed to that principle. A lot of them scoff at the very idea of principles.

    A central doctrine of the Trumpist creed is that we needed someone willing to throw away norms and fight dirty to “win.” Another is that criticizing Trump is always worse than anything Trump has done.

    Any Trump defender who decries dishonesty or nastiness or self-dealing (by anyone not-Trump) cannot be taken seriously. And there’s little chance that Trump defenders would worry about the legality of any leaks concerning Biden.

    I’ve been critical of Dem. misdeeds and hypocrisy for a long time. But giving the presidency to someone whose core value is “whatever benefits me is good,” and then reflexively defending him and trashing his critics no matter what, has put R’s in a very poor position to invoke rules & norms & equal standards for all. And considering the way Trump treats other people, it’s hard to be greatly offended if someone is mean to him.

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  239. there are more mirrors than in scaramanga’s island fortress, who will play the herve villechaize part,

    bolivar de gris (7404b5)

  240. The hand-wringing about how the tax returns were made public is mostly coming from the same people who have trashed those who went through the established whistle-blower procedures and those who have resigned their positions and spoken openly about what they saw in watching Trump operate up close. In those cases, the Trump defenders have tried to deflect from the substance and try to make an issue out of alleged motives. Anything to avoid the truth about Donald Trump.

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  241. Forbes has him pegged at $2.5 billion, so Trump is still a multi-billionaire. The author makes the important distinction between operating income and taxable income. Trump can cash-flow nicely in real estate and still have small tax liability due to depreciation and other write-offs.
    However, Trump has 15 golf resorts and multiple hotels, and that kind of real estate has lower margins than other commercial properties and involve much more intensive management. IMO, Trump will always have problems running the latter kind of properties because he manages them in-house and he’s not a good hands-on manager. He’s lucky to get 20% operating margins on any of those properties, and most of them are probably running negative cash flows this year because of the virus he’s currently tanking on.
    Also, this doesn’t mean that Trump didn’t commit tax fraud this century, but he does play and fast and loose with this stuff, so I assume he is breaking some rules. However, it’s more than probable that Trump committed fraud in settling his dad’s estate by severely undervaluing the real estate portfolio.

    Paul Montagu (39c87e)

  242. I think you’ve missed the joke.

    Time123 (cd2ff4) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:35 am

    My apologies. I’m running on very little sleep and got invested in how much Trump has fallen on his face in business.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  243. Our politics is characterized by a cycle of increasing violations of norms and rules.

    The “violation of norms” was Trump corruptly refusing to release his tax returns, as every other candidate had done for the last half-century, so he could lie about what was in them.

    That outrage has now been partially remedied.

    Dave (1bb933)

  244. The “violation of norms” was Trump corruptly refusing to release his tax returns, as every other candidate had done for the last half-century, so he could lie about what was in them.

    That outrage has now been partially remedied.

    Dave (1bb933) — 9/28/2020 @ 11:31 am

    Except they will feel this is escalation of the wrong and respond accordingly and you will feel that’s unfair and respond accordingly etc etc.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  245. ‘I’m with stupid’ and ‘No miracle is coming’ stickers are popular, too.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  246. First off, “morality” doesn’t have jack shit to do with taxation. You pay what you legally owe. Nobody willingly pays the government more than they legally owe.

    I’m a big fan of Larry but this needs to be expanded upon.

    I don’t now that Trump broke the law.
    If he followed the law I don’t fault him for benefitting from it.
    I do fault him for doing nothing to improve the law while he was president.
    This is worse because he ran as a populist and made claims that he would drain the swamp etc etc.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  247. So, the NYT article is not all that much of an expose on taxes as it is on Trump’s business acumen. While they do not publish full information on his tax payments — the cherry-picking there detracts from their credibility actually — nowhere do they suggest that Trump’s business losses are fraudulent. He took a billion dollar write-down when his Atlantic City casinos collapsed, which the Times calls “real.” The law allows this to be written off going forward, and to a degree backward. Which he did.

    They also clear up the mystery about the “audit” that Trump says prevented him releasing his taxes: that audit has been going on for 10 years and shows no sign of ending soon, and $100 million is at stake. So that too, is real. Whether or not that’s a reason not to release tax filings to the public is something I can’t judge, but I’ll bet that Trump’s tax lawyers can. And did.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  248. Trump has accused the Times of obtaining his taxes illegally.

    The Times responds that they received them from someone who had access to them legally.

    The non-denial denial is pretty clear here.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  249. I think that when and if the tax subpoenas return to the Supreme Court, this article is going to come up in the discussion.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  250. @262, How is that a non-denial?

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  251. Biden’s campaign selling “I paid more in taxes than Donald Trump” stickers.

    Some years, yes. Other years no. Trump had some steep losses and used those to get a $73 million dollar refund of taxes paid in prior years. That suggests there were big taxes paid in prior years. The Times doesn’t mention those, or list the range of his tax payments.

    This kind of cherry-picked release sure helps Biden though. I guess it’s just an oversight by the Times.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  252. How is that a non-denial?

    Because they do NOT state that the TIMES access to those documents was legal. A person may have legal access to documents, but that does not mean they can legally disseminate them. Even if the Times cannot be charged, they did not obtain them legally if the dissemination was illegal.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  253. The Times doesn’t mention those, or list the range of his tax payments.

    Actually they do.

    Dave (1bb933)

  254. The Times has shown that Trump is a pretty good huckster and carnie, that he’s a pretty terrible businessman generally, that he employs capable (or at least aggressive) tax lawyers and that he’d be a nobody if not for the family wealth.

    What they haven’t shown is that he’s a tax cheat. If they could, they would, and they haven’t. I expect though that 3rd parties are going to be unhappy when THEIR little games are exposed.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  255. The volume of the TrumpWorld echo chamber is turned up to 11…

    Dave (1bb933)

  256. How is that a non-denial?

    Because they do NOT state that the TIMES access to those documents was legal. A person may have legal access to documents, but that does not mean they can legally disseminate them. Even if the Times cannot be charged, they did not obtain them legally if the dissemination was illegal.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 9/28/2020 @ 12:30 pm

    I agree.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  257. Actually they do.

    I see lots of income charts, not well presented (gross income and gross losses with no combination). But I see no annual tax payment information. Just some allusions here and there, except for the political gotcha low-tax years.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  258. What they haven’t shown is that he’s a tax cheat. If they could, they would, and they haven’t.

    Actually they did.

    Dave (1bb933)

  259. But, Dave, show me a link to where the list his year-by-year tax payments 2000-2018. It’s not in the main article.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  260. Actually they did.

    Well, I agree they may have convinced you, but you wouldn’t make it onto the jury. A solid, evidentiary quote, link or similar please.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  261. The words “fraud” or “cheat” do no appear in the story. Trump’s only issue with the IRS is a long dispute over a tax refund. Other than your standard “If it comes from Trump, it’s a lie” “reasoning”, what can you point to in the linked article?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  262. ‘Working the system’ to your best advantage with the best tax lawyers you can buy makes you a fraud and a cheat?!?!

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  263. https://monsterhunternation.com/2020/09/28/no-you-idiots-thats-not-how-taxes-work-an-accountants-guide-to-why-you-are-a-gullible-moron/

    steveg (43b7a5) — 9/28/2020 @ 12:32 pm

    It is amusing but:

    Of course the comments are all about the “morality” of paying your “fair share”. Which isn’t how any of this works in real life.

    Nah, I can have opinions even if PJMedia doesn’t like them. Doesn’t make me a crazy lefty or a communist or a moron or a cuck.

    Trump himself whined that Obama was only paying 20% income tax. My tax dollar has put him on golf courses and gone into his absurdly overdecorated palaces. The guy’s a slimeball who promised he was paying more than the rest of us in 2015. Yeah I can say Trump isn’t paying his fair share.

    An America without Trump would be richer, safer, have more living people.

    IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S MONEY! IT IS YOUR CLIENT’S MONEY. YOU OWE THEM YOUR BEST! IT IS YOUR SACRED DUTY TO SAVE THEIR MONEY! YOU DISGUST ME AND YOU SHOULD NEVER BE A CPA!

    This is such a strained effort to say Trump’s just paying his fair share of taxes, like all of us, and not overpaying is simply rational. The guy charged you interest on a 72 million dollar refund for his extra years of business failure. Part of that failure was the millions he paid his daughter for ‘consulting’ despite her being an employee. Look at how he lives, playing every day, living like a king, paying nothing, while you and I pay a lot more.

    Trump is a loser and on welfare. No one praising this kind of tax outcome is a conservative.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  264. ‘Working the system’ to your best advantage with the best tax lawyers you can buy makes you a fraud and a cheat?!?!

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/28/2020 @ 12:49 pm

    You can’t have it both ways. Either Trump is an idiot, who failed over and over and over and over and over and over, or Trump is a fraud.

    Or he’s both of course.

    But everyone knew this was a deeply dishonest fraud who failed at business, bankrupt over and over. Let’s keep the focus on the most important issue. Who does Trump owe 300 million bucks to? Why did the broke loser forgo a salary? What is the president doing to repay that kind of debt?

    Dustin (4237e0)

  265. @265. Why would Biden push stickers to people advertising they’re no as smart as Donald Trump? 😉

    Another classic Biden gaffe.

    Really hope Kamala wears an ‘I’m with stupid’ mask at the next join Biden-Harris appearance.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  266. ^no = not

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  267. From the summary article:

    Combined, Mr. Trump initially paid almost $95 million in federal income taxes over the 18 years. He later managed to recoup most of that money, with interest, by applying for and receiving a $72.9 million tax refund, starting in 2010.

    Perfectly clear.

    The Times looked at 18 years.

    In 11 of those, he paid no taxes at all. Zero.

    In two others, he paid $750. So that leaves five years where he paid a non-negligible sum: $95M in total.

    But he got nearly all of that refunded. So as of today, he paid a net $22M in taxes over a period of 18 years; an average of $1.2M/year.

    For comparison, the Obamas paid $1.8M in federal taxes in 2009.

    There’s also this comparison, based on his gross income and the average effective rate paid by the wealthiest of the wealthy:

    In 2017, the average federal income rate for the highest-earning .001 percent of tax filers — that is, the most affluent 1/100,000th slice of the population — was 24.1 percent, according to the I.R.S.

    Over the past two decades, Mr. Trump has paid about $400 million less in combined federal income taxes than a very wealthy person who paid the average for that group each year.

    Dave (1bb933)

  268. @279. You just don’t get it- we can have it ‘anyway we want.’

    America has a Burger King POTUS. Are you not entertained?!

    Remember: “No miracle is coming”… but then Trump is holding a presser right now announcing a 15-minute COVID 19 test is available. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  269. @265. Why would Biden push stickers to people advertising they’re no as smart as Donald Trump? 😉

    Another classic Biden gaffe.

    Nice try. Everyone thinks Trump’s a joke of a businessman now. He had the means to employ a tax pro, and he was willing to break any rule he came across. But business success? Completely eluded Trump, year after year.

    To characterize this historically ‘worst in American history’ businessman as a Biden gaffe takes a boldness I do respect. Biden is quite the master to always be at the root of all issues.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  270. @282. You mean Trump paid more in taxes than General Electric and Amazon?!?!

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  271. @284. Dustin– Did you miss the 1980s???????????

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  272. “Trump is a loser and on welfare. No one praising this kind of tax outcome is a conservative.”

    One other thing I found. The author of this article has also used the phrase “skin in the game” referring to low income folks who don’t pay federal taxes.

    Does Trump have skin in the game?

    Davethulhu (db4a26)

  273. A solid, evidentiary quote, link or similar please.

    I was tempted to say “I’m not doing your research for you,” as someone told me yesterday.

    The Times identified a number of things that appear to violate the law. Remember that Trump’s returns are Trump’s picture of the facts, dressed up in the way most favorable to him. The Times obviously has very limited ability to check the representations made in the returns.

    Items I recall off the top of my head:

    Deducting Ivanka “consulting fees” when she was an executive of the organization.

    Many questionable claims of business expenses for personal luxuries and services.

    Claiming a family retreat as a business property.

    The $72.9M refund, for which they explain the problem very explicitly:

    When applying for the refund, he cited a giant financial loss that may be related to the failure of his Atlantic City casinos. Publicly, he also claimed that he had fully surrendered his stake in the casinos.

    But the real story may be different from the one he told. Federal law holds that investors can claim a total loss on an investment, as Mr. Trump did, only if they receive nothing in return. Mr. Trump did appear to receive something in return: 5 percent of the new casino company that formed when he renounced his stake.

    Dave (1bb933)

  274. Who’d have thought the one time Trump didn’t lie was when he said he didn’t benefit from the tax cuts?

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  275. @284. Dustin– Did you miss the 1980s???????????

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/28/2020 @ 1:06 pm

    Pretty much, my friend.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  276. Who’d have thought the one time Trump didn’t lie was when he said he didn’t benefit from the tax cuts?

    lurker (d8c5bc) — 9/28/2020 @ 1:13 pm

    LOL!

    Dustin (4237e0)

  277. You mean Trump paid more in taxes than General Electric and Amazon?!?!

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/28/2020 @ 1:05 pm

    Bezos paid a ton in income tax actually.

    I agree it’s a reasonable thing to discuss that a lot of corporations profiting the most from the pandemic but paying zero taxes are a tough nut to crack.

    Flat tax sounds good to me.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  278. Except they will feel this is escalation of the wrong and respond accordingly and you will feel that’s unfair and respond accordingly etc etc.
    Time123 (cd2ff4) — 9/28/2020 @ 11:57 am

    What’s the next escalation? Disclose Kamala’s 4th grade science project? Every other candidate’s finances since Nixon are already an open book. I realize we’re all waiting with bated breath for Trump’s investigator to return from Hawaii with the goods on Obama’s birth certificate, and he never did let up about wanting to see Obama’s college transcripts and test scores. I’d be fine with that stuff coming out, especially if it ferreted out Trump’s own grades and test scores. I doubt strongly he’d look good in that comparison.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  279. No, The New York Times Did Not Break the Law by Exposing President Trump’s Tax Returns

    The New York Times published details on two decades worth of Donald Trump’s tax returns, sparking outcry from many of the president’s supporters that the Times and its reporters should be investigated for breaking the law. It’s important to understand that while the financial records may have been unlawfully disclosed to the Times, legal precedent shows that it was legal for the Times to publish reporting on confidential documents.
    ……
    Andy Grewal, a tax law scholar who has written extensively on topics related to Trump’s tax returns and teaches at the University of Iowa College of Law, noted that the tax returns could have come from a few sources that aren’t the IRS.

    “From the article, I cannot tell the source(s) of the documents. The documents could be from an IRS employee, a state revenue agent, a Trump Org employee, a bank employee, or someone else,” Grewal told Law&Crime.
    ……
    Bartnicki v. Vopper is a Supreme Court case that was decided in 2001. A 6-3 SCOTUS held that the First Amendment protected the disclosure of illegally intercepted communications by third parties who didn’t participate in said interception…..

    In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court held that the First Amendment protects the disclosure of illegally intercepted communications by parties who did not participate in the illegal interception. “In this case, privacy concerns give way when balanced against the interest in publishing matters of public importance,” wrote Justice Stevens. “[A] stranger’s illegal conduct does not suffice to remove the First Amendment shield from speech about a matter of public concern.” ……

    Then there’s New York’s Civil Rights Law § 79-h, which the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press noted “provides an absolute privilege from forced disclosure of materials obtained or received in confidence by a professional journalist or newscaster, including the identity of a source. Beach, 62 N.Y.2d 241 (applying absolute privilege against disclosure of a confidential source even though the disclosure of the materials to the reporter may itself have been a crime).”
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  280. I predict Trump will make an empty threat to sue, if he hasn’t already.

    Dave (1bb933)

  281. @292. Amazon didn’t. Actually.

    Why Amazon paid no federal income tax – CNBC

    https//www.cnbc.com/2019/04/03/why-amazon-paid-no-federal-income-tax.html

    In 2018, Amazon paid $0 in U.S. federal income tax on more than $11 billion in profits before taxes. It also received a $129 million tax rebate from the federal government.

    =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  282. @294: Straw man.

    Someone likely broke the law in releasing it to the NYT, but making it about whether the NYT could legally print its story skirts that question entirely. The NYT could release the home address, genetic data and SS# of ACB and everyone related to her and it would be legal. Who cares.

    beer ‘n pretzels (ec3c34)

  283. ‘Working the system’ is not cheating.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  284. Parscale’s wife had bruises on her arm and scratches and bruising on her face, from her husband (who is 6’8″ and had a basketball scholarship in college) hitting her.

    What a peach.

    She claimed he “suffers from PTSD”, but he has never served in the military, or as a police officer. He’s held cushy office jobs and been wealthy to one degree or another his whole adult life.

    Dave (1bb933)

  285. @299 You can also get PTSD from various childhood traumas. I don’t know enough about him to say if that is likely or not.

    Or he could have some kind of biochemical (or just chemical 😛 ) issue.

    Nic (896fdf)

  286. Losing peacefully isn’t in the DNA of a huge chunk of Biden supporter

    Sorry, you’re trying to hard to find a way to make Trump normal. Trump is a person, bezos is a person. Granted, exact opposite ends of the scale on business ability.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  287. I meant to quote dcsca saying Amazon didn’t pay taxes.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  288. I tried to read a Larry Correia book once. The one where the protagonist is working late one evening and his boss turns into a werewolf and tries to eat him. I had to put it down at around the third page because my brain ran out of purple prose dehydrogenase.

    nk (1d9030)

  289. @302. See #296.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  290. 301. =sigh= Trump is an organization:

    The Trump Organization – Wikipedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trump_Organization

    The Trump Organization is a group of about 500 business entities of which Donald Trump is the sole or principal owner. About 250 of these entities use the Trump name. The organization was founded in 1923 by Donald Trump’s grandmother, Elizabeth Christ Trump, and father, Fred Trump, as E. Trump & Son.

    =mike-drop=

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  291. Since 2001, the president is offered an annual salary of $400,000. Additionally, the president receives a $100,000 non-taxable travel account, a $50,000 annual expense account, as well as $19,000 for entertainment purposes.

    Doesn’t The Donald donate his salary?!?

    And tips Uncle Sam $750. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  292. 301. =sigh= Trump is an organization:

    Not sure why you’re exasperated. We aren’t talking about Trump’s organization. We’re talking about trump, the person, comparable to Bezos the person (except in capability, one being among the best, and the other objectively the worst at the same task).

    It might be easy to compare Trump the person to many corporations because so many of them are effective at dodging tax, but it’s more reasonable to compare Donald to Jeff, than Donald to Amazon.com. I know sometimes Trump barely looks human, but that’s what he is.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  293. He’s a refugee from Duckworld, trapped in a world he never made! He’s Donald the…Barbarian?! That’s right — sword in hand, Donald the Debt Ducker is storming the castle of Pro-Rata, would-be Chief Accountant of the Universe! Can Howard survive a run-in with Pro-Rata’s Cosmic Calculator, save the imprisoned Amy Coney Barrett and avoid becoming dragon food?

    (Gleefully plagiarized from Marvel’s “Howard The Duck”.)

    nk (1d9030)

  294. Badly, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  295. Because I am more concerned about the rule of law violations inherent in the tax cheating demonstrated by the article.

    I refuse to sign up to the NY Times,even for free, and so cannot access the article.

    Can you enlighten us as to what actual illegality, as oppose to grossly taking advantage of the tax code, has been revealed?

    I assume we all know Learned Hand’s famous statement about the right to organize one’s affairs to minimize one’s taxes, so I won’t repeat it her. But a quick Google check revealed this homely analogy by no less than Louis Brandeis:

    I lived in Alexandria, Virginia. Near the Supreme Court chambers is a toll bridge across the Potomac. When in a rush, I pay the toll and get home early. However, I usually drive outside the downtown section of the city and cross the Potomac on a free bridge. The bridge was placed outside the downtown Washington, D.C. area to serve a useful social service: getting drivers to drive an extra mile to help alleviate congestion during rush hour.

    If I went over the toll bridge and through the barrier without paying the toll, I would be committing tax evasion. However, if I drive the extra mile outside the city of Washington and take the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical and suitable method of tax avoidance, and I am performing a useful social service by doing so.

    For my tax evasion, I should be punished. For my tax avoidance, I should be commended. The tragedy in life is that so few people know that the free bridge even exists.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  296. @307. No. You are talking about Bezos. You injected his name. My post doesn’t mention him at all.

    Only Amazon.

    And GE.

    Trump is both an individual- and an organization. =mike-drop-

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  297. The New York Times recently discussed Trump’s personal income tax returns, DCSCA. You’re comparing this to Amazon, but Bezos paid many millions in taxes, because he has many many millions in income.

    We’ll hear for years that all this was was proof how smart Trump was, cheating his country because this guy fights. He doesn’t fight for us. None of us should vote for him.

    It’s going to be much harder for Trump to win now. This cuts to the core of why the country has been losing for four years. It’s run by a damn loser.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  298. Bloomberg, Bezos and Gates should dig around under the sofa cushions and put together a bail-out package to pay off Trump’s debts in return for immediate resignation and permanent exile.

    Dave (1bb933)

  299. And a hearty eye-roll to anybody who pretends they believe Trump was totally free of fraud this one time, in this completely absurd series of failures and refunds on the backs of working Americans. Give me a break. You know as well as I do…

    Dustin (4237e0)

  300. to pay off Trump’s debts in return for immediate resignation and permanent exile.

    Dave (1bb933) — 9/28/2020 @ 7:09 pm

    The kind of person who lends cash to Trump in exchange for destroying the Kurds isn’t someone you can part ways with peacefully. Granted I’m making some assumptions here, but they are logical ones that we all have thought of but don’t want to believe.

    Trump’s better off doing what Putin tells him. The Russians take great care of those who betray Americans. They always think ahead that way.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  301. @314

    Instead of eye-rolling, can you just answer the question?

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  302. However, if I drive the extra mile outside the city of Washington and take the free bridge, I am using a legitimate, logical and suitable method of tax avoidance, and I am performing a useful social service by doing so.

    Brandeis’s analogy leaves out that you can only take the free bridge if you own a fleet of 500 cars, I think.

    nk (1d9030)

  303. Each bought with borrowed money.

    nk (1d9030)

  304. @318

    In his analogy, would that be illegal? You know the answer, although perhaps you inadvertently fell into it.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  305. It depends on whom you borrowed the money from and how you are expected to pay it back.

    nk (1d9030)

  306. Who are Trump’s sugar daddies?

    nk (1d9030)

  307. @320

    No it doesn’t. In terms of the tax authorities that collect the tolls on the bridge, it makes no difference.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  308. The NYT just released another long article about how The Apprentice briefly pulled Trump out of insolvency, before he flushed the $400M+ windfall down the toilet just like he did with his dad’s money in the 90’s.

    Dave (1bb933)

  309. I do not insist that Trump tax evader. I am more concerned with a poor broke Donald, who is using the Presidency just to keep his head above the water.

    nk (1d9030)

  310. that Trump *is a* tax evader

    (Don’t listen to rap when typing.)

    nk (1d9030)

  311. (Don’t listen to rap when typing.)

    Live and learn.

    I am listening to Mendelson’s Violin Concerto in E. Yitzchak Pearlman playing lead violin.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  312. @321–
    Foreign banks, like Deutsche Bank

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  313. HOW REALITY-TV FAME HANDED TRUMP A $427 MILLION LIFELINE
    From the back seat of a stretch limousine heading to meet the first contestants for his new TV show “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump bragged that he was a billionaire who had overcome financial hardship.

    “I used my brain, I used my negotiating skills and I worked it all out,” he told viewers. “Now, my company is bigger than it ever was and stronger than it ever was.”

    It was all a hoax.

    Months after that inaugural episode in January 2004, Mr. Trump filed his individual tax return reporting $89.9 million in net losses from his core businesses for the prior year. The red ink spilled from everywhere, even as American television audiences saw him as a savvy business mogul with the Midas touch.
    …….
    By analyzing the tax records, The New York Times was able to place a value on Mr. Trump’s celebrity. While the returns show that he earned some $197 million directly from “The Apprentice” over 16 years — roughly in line with what he has claimed — they also reveal that an additional $230 million flowed from the fame associated with it.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  314. I am listening to Mendelson’s Violin Concerto in E. Yitzchak Pearlman playing lead violin.

    I guess that would qualify as “old school”…

    Dave (1bb933)

  315. @329

    I guess so. The technology is not that old school. I am playing a digitial file I ripped off, err, borrowed, from Youtube. It’s amazing how much good music you can get there.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  316. Like so

    https://youtu.be/8OjPMZJK04E

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  317. In any event, I think this Trump scandal is far more sinister:

    Aggressive Raccoon Attacks ‘Multiple News Crews’ Outside White House

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  318. @312.THe only person who has mentioned Bezos is you. Trump allegedly paid $750 more Federal taxes than Amazon and GE have.

    Trump is slipping.

    For shame! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  319. @325. ‘Working the system’ to his advantage doesn’t make him an evader nor a cheat.

    Just a capitalist.

    Reaganomics. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  320. @334

    Working the system was around long before Reagan. I referenced Learned Hand and Louis Brandeis here, and they were several generations older.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  321. Yes, Donald Trump Is Still A Billionaire. That Makes His $750 Tax Payment Even More Scandalous
    ……..
    Add up all of Donald Trump’s assets—the ones that throw off big cash, the ones that lose serious money and the ones that don’t really operate as businesses—and the total hits that $3.7 billion figure. Real assets worth real money. But that’s not Trump’s net worth. In order to figure that out, you have to consider liabilities.
    ……..

    A big chunk of Trump’s liabilities is concentrated in 1290 Avenue of the Americas in New York City and 555 California Street in San Francisco, the two skyscrapers he owns in conjunction with Vornado. In its most recent quarterly filings, Vornado disclosed $950 million of debt at the New York property and $543 million at the San Francisco one. That adds up to $1.5 billion in total debt, and Trump’s 30% share amounts to $448 million.

    The president owes hundreds of millions more on other Manhattan buildings, as documented in SEC filings and property records. At Trump Tower, he has a $100 million loan. At 40 Wall Street, he owes $139 million. At Trump Plaza, $13 million. At Trump International Hotel & Tower, $6.5 million. At Trump Park Avenue, an estimated $10 million. That’s another $268 million, bringing the tally to $716 million.

    The president borrowed $125 million through two publicly recorded mortgages at Doral. His company secured an agreement to borrow $170 million against the D.C. hotel. The Times story lists a balance on that loan of $160 million. It’s possible that Trump has paid some of it down. The president’s financial disclosure report lists liabilities against his Chicago tower of more than $75 million. Tack on at least another $360 million to make it $1.1 billion.

    Trump has an $11 million mortgage against a mansion in Palm Beach, plus another loan against a palace in Bedford, New York. He took on one loan at his golf club near D.C. and two mortgages at one of his New Jersey golf courses. Include those, and the total still rounds to $1.1 billion.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  322. @335.It’s the Reagan system he worked; junk bonds, Hollywood glitter, glitz an excess; glamour and image over substance [see the 14 year DVD set of The Apprentice for details]… He was baked and sautéed in Ronnie and Nancy sauce; He is a total Reagan Creation.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  323. @336. Scandalous?

    ROFLMAOPIP

    “You can’t cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.” – Larson E. Whipsnade [W.C. Fields] ‘Never Give A Sucker An Even Break’ 1939

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  324. “Weissman’s book comes out tomorrow. Hopefully it sheds light on this.”

    Oh yeah, this Weissmann guy is totally on top of it:

    The Justice Department’s Barnett interview report described Mr. Weissmann’s interest in the yacht angle. Overall, the FBI agent criticized the Mueller team for a “get Trump” attitude.

    “Barnett said it seems there was always someone at SCO [special counsel office] who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove the collusion only to have the information be a dead end,” the report said. “Barnett provided an example: Weissmann said there was meeting on a yacht near Greece that was going to be the proof of collusion, ‘quid pro quo.’ Barnett said within a day or two the information was not substantiated.”

    Responding to Sunday’s New York Times article that President Trump paid little in federal income taxes, Mr. Weissmann tweeted about his son:

    “As you read the NYT Trump tax story, remember the Eric Trump statement in 2013: “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

    This is not a verified quote. It came from a golf writer and book author James Dodson. He provided the disputed quote during a May 2017 appearance on WBUR, an NPR station in Boston. He claimed Eric Trump said this during an interview at Trump’s National Golf Course in Charlotte, N.C.

    Eric Trump immediately rebutted it as false. “This story is completely fabricated and just another example of why there is such a deep distrust of the media in our country. #FakeNews.” he tweeted.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/28/andrew-weissmann-pushed-trump-yacht-theory-inside-/

    beer ‘n pretzels (d299f9)

  325. RIP Robert Gore (83) American inventor.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  326. For Dodger fans of a certain age, RIP Jay Johnstone, one of the funniest guys in baseball.

    Rip Murdock (631d7a)

  327. @341: Sad to hear. As a kid, I shook Johnstone’s hand at an autograph signing when he was with Philly. He was super nice. I believe he was in The Naked Gun, too.

    beer ‘n pretzels (130212)

  328. And in line with my Brandeis/Hand reference, see this, which is ruder, but makes the same point:

    NO, YOU IDIOTS. THAT’S NOT HOW TAXES WORK. – AN ACCOUNTANT’S GUIDE TO WHY YOU ARE A GULLIBLE MORON

    The last paragraph:

    Which brings us to today, with people freaking out about how Trump allegedly didn’t pay taxes for 10 out of 15 years and how that’s UNFAIR. Assuming that the anonymous tip isn’t total bullshit—and this is the New York Times we’re talking about and they love to just make shit up—and that the information is accurate (which means that whoever leaked it committed a felony, but that’s a whole different discussion)… my answer is so?

    Is it plausible that a billionaire paid no taxes for a period of several years? Yep. Totally. See all that stuff I wrote above about the complicated tax code and how it is an accountant’s sacred duty to take advantage of all the stupid laws congress has passed to save their client’s money? Pretty much that. It has happened many times before, and it will happen many times again.

    Bored Lawyer (7b72ec)

  329. @312.THe only person who has mentioned Bezos is you. Trump allegedly paid $750 more Federal taxes than Amazon and GE have.

    Trump is slipping.

    For shame! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/28/2020 @ 9:07 pm

    You compared a person to a corporation, and I corrected you. The head of Amazon paid income tax on the kind of taxes, personal income taxes, Trump doesn’t seem to be paying. You don’t get to limit the comparison between Trump to non-persons that make Trump look normal. Trump is nominally human.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  330. Of course Bezos paid more in taxes. His business makes money.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  331. The Trump organization apparently exists to deplete their inheritance in a slow and high profile way.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  332. Interesting analysis on the NYT story.

    3) As a matter of net worth, Trump appears not to be rich (despite his having inherited a large fortune). The impending financial liabilities, and selling off of assets (plus taking out of loans) to keep the cash flowing is only one reason for concluding that, as a matter of net worth (as distinct, from say, lifestyle), Trump does not appear to be rich. Consider that, from 2000 to 2018, his net profit from assets – his own businesses, plus investments in businesses run by others – is only $4.2 million (the excess of his investment gains over his business losses).

    2) Trump appears to be an absolutely terrible businessman. This is a man who netted $606 million over nineteen years (from 2000 to 2018) through The Apprentice, licensing and endorsements, and investments and businesses run by others, and yet has created enormous financial peril for himself by buying prestige business properties for high prices, and then pouring cash into them without thereby generating positive net returns. Even with the cash infusions, his personally run businesses have continued to lose a great deal of money (even leaving aside depreciation deductions that might or might not be accompanied by actual declines in economic value). One therefore suspects that he is simply funding the negative cash flow, not creating new value that might pay off in the future. (Even the enhanced revenues at some U.S. properties from their being used by lobbyists have failed to eliminate the pattern of losing a great deal.)

    There is an old saying that one can never detect tax fraud purely on the face of a tax return – but this comes closer than usual. – Even wholly fraudulent tax returns generally do not proclaim their fraudulence on their face. The Trump returns presumably are no exception, and much of the evidence suggesting possible fraudulence was developed in the Times article through the use of other sources. Nonetheless, with that aid, the Times article makes a powerful initial case, clearly meriting investigation, that substantial tax fraud may have occurred.

    Time123 (b87ded)

  333. DCSCA knows all that. He is demonstrating Trumptalk. Our monthly chocolate ration was increased (sic) from 4.7 ounces to 3.2 ounces as well, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    nk (1d9030)

  334. This is why I think Trump is doing more than tax avoidance.

    This is from financials for the Aberdeen property. It’s one page from one year, but tells a story repeated year after year.

    The thing everyone reports is the losses–the shareholder (Trump) has lost more than £7M.

    But the interesting stuff is the fixed asset value and the creditors–over one year.

    Trump is all of them: he owns the asset, lends the money, owes the money, is owed the money.

    We see the same process year after year. He lends himself millions, the asset value is increased by that same number of millions.

    This happens in many years when he does no work on the property–no investment, no building.

    It happened through the 2008 crash.

    Aberdeen was collapsing from the overall financial crisis and the–locally–far worse collapse of North Sea Oil. Property values were shrinking.

    Trump Aberdeen saw the same process–no development, but huge loans from Trump and huge increase in claimed asset value.

    Those loans are actually spent. Here is Page 10.

    You see: major outflows of cash for operations and capital. The cash on hand at end of year is only £94K.

    Again–this happens in years when he spends no money on developing the course or resort.

    There’s much more to say–each line here is fascinating.

    But the overall picture is crystal clear: Every year, Trump lends millions to himself, spends all that money on something, and claims the asset is worth all the money he spent.

    He cannot have spent all that money on the properties. We have the planning docs. We know how much he spent–it’s far less than what he claims.

    The money truly disappears. It goes from one pocket to another pocket and then the pocket is opened to reveal nothing is there.

    A bit of this could be explained as tax avoidance or fraud. But he is going to enormous effort to falsify upwards the overall valuation of the property–the opposite of what he’d do if this was solely tax fraud.

    Instead, this is a huge effort to mask a money pit as an appreciating asset–in other words, one he can’t write off.

    That is why I am skeptical of the idea that this is all his own money.

    I have shown these docs to many accountants, lawyers, prosecutors, FBI agent, etc.

    Nobody has come up with a plausible legitimate reason for these accounting shenanigans. And all agree it’s a bit ornate and not quite right for simple tax avoidance.

    The most likely explanation is, of course, money laundering.

    Davethulhu (62e67d)

  335. Source for the above: https://twitter.com/adamdavidson/status/1310929478030426112

    Includes images of the documents he’s referring to.

    Davethulhu (62e67d)

  336. The Trump organization apparently exists to deplete their inheritance in a slow and high profile way.

    Reminds me of the joke about the farmer who won $10M in the Lotto.

    The reporter asked him if it would change his lifestyle.

    The farmer replied, “Nope, I’ll just keep farmin’ ’til it’s all gone!”

    Dave (1bb933)

  337. CNN breaks down where Trump’s $750 went. This is Pulitzer Prize-worthy stuff!

    CNN Business analyzed figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to breakdown how income tax dollars were spent in fiscal year 2017. And using those figures to make estimates, the biggest chunk of Trump’s $750 was about $181.87 that went to pay for the Defense Department, of which the president is a vocal supporter. That was only enough to pay for about a single day’s worth of salary for an Army sergeant with about 10 years of seniority.

    But that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

    Read the whole thing…

    Dave (1bb933)

  338. Of course Bezos paid more in taxes. His business makes money.

    Time123 (b87ded) — 9/29/2020 @ 6:48 am

    No, you don’t seem to follow. Bezos paid income tax on his personal income. Leaders of corporations aren’t always paid proportionally to the profitability of their corporation. If anything, it’s harder to run a sinking ship, so it can work the other way.

    Regardless, Trump paid no taxes, but comparing to Amazon was not a good comparison. Trump is a human being, not a corporation. He runs an enterprise, and lives like a king, and does not pay his fair share under any common sense point of view. Comparisons to Amazon fail because the people running that enterprise paid millions in income tax.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  339. DCSCA knows all that. He is demonstrating Trumptalk. Our monthly chocolate ration was increased (sic) from 4.7 ounces to 3.2 ounces as well, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    nk (1d9030) — 9/29/2020 @ 7:24 am

    And it’s funny and I don’t mind. I actually appreciate the comparison because of how much the russians seem to hate Bezos. It’s a great thing to point out Trump has talked so much crap about Bezos, but Trump’s the biggest loser in business in all of the history of civilization. There are baboons I’ve seen in laboratories under UT who make more profit in their businesses than Trump has.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  340. Of course Bezos paid more in taxes. His business makes money.

    Time123 (b87ded) — 9/29/2020 @ 6:48 am

    No, you don’t seem to follow.

    Time123, you were clearly poking fun at Trump and it flew over my head. Sorry about that. My brain is goo these days.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  341. 4. Dave (1bb933) — 9/27/2020 @ 3:40 pm

    Since Trump promised to release his tax returns many times, and said he looked forward to doing it, I assume he’ll thank the NYT, since he’s been so busy that it slipped his mind.

    The New York Times didn’t release them; only facts about them. They say they have not released the exact things what they have to protect whoever leaked it to them, but they say that whoever leaked the information – and they leaked it quite some time ago – they’ve been studying this for quite some time – but whoever gave it to them had legal possession of the tax returns. (in other words they weren’t stolen by hackers)

    One possibility is the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Yes, a committee of Congress may have had it all along, but anyone who has access to it is sworn to the highest levels of secrecy. Refunds require the approval of I.R.S. auditors and an opinion of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan panel better known for reviewing the impact of tax legislation. Tax law requires the committee to weigh in on all refunds larger than $2 million to individuals.

    Records show that the results of an audit of Mr. Trump’s refund were sent to the joint committee in the spring of 2011. An agreement was reached in late 2014, the documents indicate, but the audit resumed and grew to include Mr. Trump’s returns for 2010 through 2013. In the spring of 2016, with Mr. Trump closing in on the Republican nomination, the case was sent back to the committee. It has remained there, unresolved, with the statute of limitations repeatedly pushed forward….House Democrats who have been in hot pursuit of Mr. Trump’s tax returns most likely have no idea that at least some of the records are sitting in a congressional office building. George Yin, a former chief of staff for the joint committee, said that any identifying information about taxpayers under review was tightly held among a handful of staff lawyers and was rarely shared with politicians assigned to the committee. It could also be someone in the IRS, or someone working for Trump or who worked in the past.

    There may be more than one source.

    And I suspect somebody told the Biden campaign something, probably as it got closer to publication, because the Biden campaign was ready immediately with an add about Trump paying only $750 in taxes.

    (For two consecutive years, and that probably only because Trump or his accountants wanted to be able to say (or swear) truthfully that he had paid some federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  342. There are baboons I’ve seen in laboratories under UT who make more profit in their businesses than Trump has.

    That’s an unfair comparison. The baboon starts with a $70,000 head start because his orange hair is natural.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  343. Trump will still not release his tax returns (or preliminary tax returns if you will) because contrary to people who would say that the IRS doesn’t need aany help, it xould ffect the outcome.

    Congress might even settle it by passing a special law that would cost him over $100 million (and to read the New York Times force him to go back to television work which is the only thing they say on which he made any money, especially if you say that all the licensing deals stemmed from his his TV celebrity)

    But if Congress doesn’t know the exact details they won;t be able to pass a law that affects only Donald Trump.

    So no he won’t release his tax returns until the audit is over.

    What;s the issue in the audit?

    Most likely, the New York Times speculates…

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html

    …[C]onfidential records show that starting in 2010 he claimed, and received, an income tax refund totaling $72.9 million — all the federal income tax he had paid for 2005 through 2008, plus interest….

    ….[W]hile the records do not lay out all the details of the audit, they match his lawyers’ statement during the 2016 campaign that audits of his returns for 2009 and subsequent years remained open, and involved “transactions or activities that were also reported on returns for 2008 and earlier.”

    Mr. Trump harvested that refund bonanza by declaring huge business losses — a total of $1.4 billion from his core businesses for 2008 and 2009 — that tax laws had prevented him from using in prior years.

    But to turn that long arc of failure into a giant refund check, he relied on some deft accounting footwork and an unwitting gift from an unlikely source — Mr. Obama.

    Business losses can work like a tax-avoidance coupon: A dollar lost on one business reduces a dollar of taxable income from elsewhere. The types and amounts of income that can be used in a given year vary, depending on an owner’s tax status. But some losses can be saved for later use, or even used to request a refund on taxes paid in a prior year.

    Until 2009, those coupons could be used to wipe away taxes going back only two years. But that November, the window was more than doubled by a little-noticed provision in a bill Mr. Obama signed as part of the Great Recession recovery effort. Now business owners could request full refunds of taxes paid in the prior four years, and 50 percent of those from the year before that.

    Mr. Trump had paid no income taxes in 2008. But the change meant that when he filed his taxes for 2009, he could seek a refund of not just the $13.3 million he had paid in 2007, but also the combined $56.9 million paid in 2005 and 2006, when “The Apprentice” created what was likely the biggest income tax bite of his life.

    The records reviewed by The Times indicate that Mr. Trump filed for the first of several tranches of his refund several weeks later, in January 2010. That set off what tax professionals refer to as a “quickie refund,” a check processed in 90 days on a tentative basis, pending an audit by the I.R.S.

    His total federal income tax refund would eventually grow to $70.1 million, plus $2,733,184 in interest. He also received $21.2 million in state and local refunds, which often piggyback on federal filings.

    [But the issue]

    Whether Mr. Trump gets to keep the cash, though, remains far from a sure thing….

    ….The dispute may center on a single claim that jumps off the page of Mr. Trump’s 2009 tax return: a declaration of more than $700 million in business losses that he had not been allowed to use in prior years. Unleashing that giant tax-avoidance coupon enabled him to receive some or all of his refund.

    The material obtained by The Times does not identify the business or businesses that generated those losses. But the losses were a kind that can be claimed only when partners give up their interest in a business. And in 2009, Mr. Trump parted ways with a giant money loser: his long-failing Atlantic City casinos.

    After Mr. Trump’s bondholders rebuffed his offer to buy them out, and with a third round of bankruptcy only a week away, Mr. Trump announced in February 2009 that he was quitting the board of directors.

    “If I’m not going to run it, I don’t want to be involved in it,” he told The Associated Press. “I’m one of the largest developers in the world. I have a lot of cash and plenty of places I can go.”

    [But, the problem]

    The same day, he notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that he had “determined that his partnership interests are worthless and lack potential to regain value” and was “hereby abandoning” his stake.

    The language was crucial. Mr. Trump was using the precise wording of I.R.S. rules governing the most beneficial, and perhaps aggressive, method for business owners to avoid taxes when separating from a business.

    A partner who walks away from a business with nothing — what tax laws refer to as abandonment can suddenly declare all the losses on the business that could not be used in prior years. But there are a few catches, including this: Abandonment is essentially an all-or-nothing proposition. If the I.R.S. learns that the owner received anything of value, the allowable losses are reduced to just $3,000 a year.

    And Mr. Trump does appear to have received something. When the casino bankruptcy concluded, he got 5 percent of the stock in the new company. The materials reviewed by The Times do not make clear whether Mr. Trump’s refund application reflected his public declaration of abandonment. If it did, that 5 percent could place his entire refund in question.

    [100 million dollars plus on just that one issue!]

    If the auditors ultimately disallow Mr. Trump’s $72.9 million federal refund, he will be forced to return that money with interest, and possibly penalties, a total that could exceed $100 million. He could also be ordered to return the state and local refunds based on the same claims.

    Trump’s lawyer said facts cited by The Times were incorrect.

    He also said it was incorrect (illogical was his word) to say that Donald Trump did not pay any taxes for 10 out 15 years, because, for 3 of those 10 years, he did pay taxes – it is just that he got refunded all the money on other year’s tax returns.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  344. 34. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 9/27/2020 @ 4:48 pm

    I will point out that paying a family member (other than one on the return) and deducting those costs is not illegal.

    There is the issue of whether he overpaid her. He might have been happy to. But it is all a matter of judgment.

    She got paid both as an employee and as a consultant. She got 20% of almost everything. She was basically made into a partner.

    The New York Times was bothered by that:

    …To claim the deduction, the consulting arrangement must be an “ordinary and necessary” part of running the business, with fees that are reasonable and market-based, according to the I.R.S. The recipient of the fees is still required to pay income tax.

    The I.R.S. has pursued civil penalties against some business owners who devised schemes to avoid taxes by paying exorbitant fees to related parties who were not in fact independent contractors. A 2011 tax court case centered on the I.R.S.’s denial of almost $3 million in deductions for consulting fees the partners in an Illinois accounting firm paid themselves via corporations they created. The court concluded that the partners had structured the fees to “distribute profits, not to compensate for services.”

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  345. 46. Dustin (4237e0) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:02 pm

    I would like to know more about who Trump owes all this money to in these personally backed loans. Given all Trump’s bankrupcty’s, and no shortage of banks, why would someone borrow hundreds of millions from Trump?

    Theye lent money to Trump, or rather to his businesses. As happens in risky deals, including even commercial rent leases for Mom and Pop stores, the money owed is personally guaranteed, so the landlord can collect even if the business goes bankrupt.

    Trump apparently managed to get extensions but it all comes to a head or some of it does) by 2024 or before.

    And within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans — obligations for which he is personally responsible — will come due.

    But he may owe it to himself:

    And Trump Corporation, a real estate services company, has reported losing $134 million since 2000. Mr. Trump personally bankrolled the losses year after year, marking his cash infusions as a loan with an ever-increasing balance, his tax records show. In 2016, he gave up on getting paid back and turned the loan into a cash contribution.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  346. The New Yrok Times doesn’t have anything for the 2018 and 2019 tax years.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  347. 54. Paul Montagu (39c87e) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:15 pm

    . One standard, applied to all. But so far, beer, you don’t know if the leak was illegal. You’re speculating.

    The leak was almost certainly illegal (if it came from somebody who works for the government) or at least something for which somebody could be sued. (if it came from somebody who works for or worked for Trump or somebody he had to supply his tax returns to.)

    The New York Times says whoever gave it to them came into possession of the information legally. They’re probably telling the truth.

    The leak did not include any tax return past 2017. The New York Times might have obtained it last year.

    57. Dustin (4237e0) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:23 pm

    How did Trump intend to pay all those hundreds of millions of dollars? Why would a man so badly indebted say he didn’t need his salary?

    What’s $1,600,000 (minus taxes) to several hundred million Dollars?

    He may have assets. Or he maybe intended to borrow more. Maybe he can’t while he is president. Or to cancel the debt in exchange for equity.

    On paper at last, not even his golf courses are making money. And that was before the pandemic. Trump Tower is, or was. (About $20 a year)

    New York Times:

    Mr. Trump has an established track record of stiffing his lenders. But the tax returns reveal that he has failed to pay back far more money than previously known: a total of $287 million since 2010.

    The I.R.S. considers forgiven debt [when it becomes official] to be income, [unless you’re insolvent or you;re covered by a special law] but Mr. Trump was able to avoid taxes on much of that money by reducing his ability to declare future business losses. [Doesn’t this require some footnote or explanation?] For the rest, he took advantage of a provision of the Great Recession bailout that allowed income from canceled debt to be completely deferred for five years, then spread out evenly over the next five. He declared the first $28.2 million in 2014.

    Once again, his business losses mostly absolved his tax responsibilities. He paid no federal income taxes for 2014….

    ….As he settled into the Oval Office, his tax bills soon returned to form. His potential taxable income in 2016 and 2017 included $24.8 million in profits from sources related to his celebrity status and $56.4 million for the loans he did not repay. The dreaded alternative minimum tax would let his business losses erase only some of his liability.

    Each time, he requested an extension to file his 1040; and each time, he made the required payment to the I.R.S. for income taxes he might owe — $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017. But virtually all of that liability was washed away when he eventually filed, and most of the payments were rolled forward to cover potential taxes in future years.

    To cancel out the tax bills, Mr. Trump made use of $9.7 million in business investment credits, at least some of which related to his renovation of the Old Post Office hotel, which qualified for a historic-preservation tax break. Although he had more than enough credits to owe no taxes at all, his accountants appear to have carved out an allowance for a small tax liability for both 2016 and 2017.

    He made sure to pay $750 each yer.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  348. 65. Paul Montagu (39c87e) — 9/27/2020 @ 5:37 pm

    There’s usually something in it for him. In the Seven Springs case, he gets a nice permanent greenbelt surrounding his 50,000 square foot mansion and multi-acre estate.

    He was frustrated anyway in his development plans. So he made lemons into lemonade.

    One problem: Personal use. In 2014, he classified the estate itself as an investment property, so he was able to write off $2.2 million in property taxes as a business expense. This creates an intent test.

    Dana (292df6) — 9/27/2020 @ 6:10 pm

    78. Intereseting to observe that no here is surprised by the report because, IMO, we all expected it to go something like this. Both Trump supporters and non-supporters. That in itself is revealing.

    Some of the details are surprises, or clarify uncertainty.

    Like there really is an open audit, (well I thought so, but this had an issue that affected all those tax years() and that more than $100 million my hinge on essentially one question/

    Trump was probably going to settle for $10 or $15 million dollars, allowing any auditor to claim a big recovery, when his running for president, froze the audit process. That’s new.

    And some Congressional staff may have a great deal of information. That’s new too.

    And that you can deduce that it might very well cost him $100 million or more to disclose his tax returns. The idea that disclosure could change the outcome of the audit probably wasn’t, and isn;t wrong. Which is why Trump will still not disclose them.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  349. I will point out that paying a family member (other than one on the return) and deducting those costs is not illegal.

    Actually it is, according to the Times, because she was an officer of the company. It has nothing to do with being a family member.

    What Trump did was compensate one of his employees out of the company’s pre-tax revenues. It seems obvious why that’s tax fraud.

    Dave (1bb933)

  350. Actually it is, according to the Times, because she was an officer of the company. It has nothing to do with being a family member.

    Yeah this is tedious sometimes. All these headlines saying ‘gotcha, this specific thing didn’t happen’ when it’s not actually a defense of what the problem is.

    Obviously it is not illegal to pay your daughter a massive consulting fee. It reportedly is illegal to write off massive consulting fees when the consultant is secretly an officer over the company, when that fee should probably be the salary. That comes across as shifting money around to pretend to always have losses.

    I’ll defend Trump though. He wasn’t hiding profits from the IRS. He’s simply failed at his business and that’s why he needed help, I guess from whoever in Russia really wanted him to be the president.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  351. NK 303

    My deepest sympathies. Haven’t read his books… not my style (his books, not reading)
    His take on the tax kerfuffle made me laugh

    steveg (43b7a5)

  352. #364
    If only Trump had known the wife of the mayor of Moscow. She was into “plastics” and made billions on Moscow contracts… something is missing in her story. I know Russia has a corruption problem, but I cannot imagine Moscow needing so many billions of dollars of plastics that she could siphon off a billion or two for herself

    steveg (43b7a5)


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