Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Two Certain Things In Life: Trump Being a Con Artist and Taxes.

So the New York Times received an envelope mailed from Barad-dur Trump Tower itself, and they apparently took the time to get the papers inside that envelope vetted, and last night they released what their Sunday paper was going with on the front page:

Trump Tax Records Obtained by The Times Reveal He Could Have Avoided Paying Taxes for Nearly Two Decades

Remember the constant drum beats from Democrats, critics, certain media pundits, and pretty much most Americans that Trump should publicly release his tax records the way most candidates have done since 1968?

Remember how Trump kept throwing up excuse after excuse after lie?

"Oh, I'm being audited, rules say I can't release while I'm audited." IRS says nuh-uh, nothing stopped him from that obligation.

"It's meaningless, I'm rich, believe me." Reagan taught us to Trust But Verify, Ferret-hair.

"Oh, you won't like what you see so I just won't release them." ...Well, that turned out to be right.

Just the brief taste of revelation we're getting here - a set of state-level returns documenting the fallout of Trump's disasters in the early 1990s - is enough to raise more red flags than a mailbox vendor convention:

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period...

I don't who this is worse for: Trump, or the state and federal governments whose tax laws allow a massive black hole like $916 MILLION IN LOSSES turn into a decades-long benefit for uber-rich people. I doubt that kind of loss for a middle-income small-business owner would turn into 18 years of write-offs.

Just remember: The NYTimes reportedly has more tax returns in their possession. They just needed to release this one first because all the following tax papers require this context.

Aside from the schadenfreude of guessing just who within Trump Tower itself has betrayed their master,* this brings up a set of troubling facts:

1) This revelation demonstrates once again that the current tax code benefits the wealthy over the rest of us. The tax breaks Trump is qualifying for - even with his massive financial disasters - are simply unavailable to lesser incomes,

2) This one tax return is showing massive losses close to A BILLION DOLLARS. Given Trump's obvious habits of bankruptcies, failures, sinkholes, money pits, shell games, and additional screw-ups, how bad are the other years' returns?

3) We've had Trump running around this Presidential campaign cycle claiming he's worth $10 Billion. Yet this one tax return suggests he's lost hundreds of millions before with little evidence he's been able to reclaim any of that back (the reports of him living entirely off credit and Other's People Money become more obvious by the minute). Either he's really not worth billions of dollars - in which case he's clearly lying to EVERYBODY from the Beltway pundits to the American voters - or he's falsely reporting lost earnings to the tax collection agencies in order to scam them on the benefits of reporting these "losses". Either way, he's committing FRAUD.

This is Trump, aiming for the hat trick of stupidity, scamming, and self-aggrandizement.

Never one to apologize or admit a mistake of this scale, Trump's response to this has been to accuse the leak of being illegal and then argue via Tweet that "I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them."

Of course he knows those complex tax laws, he's been playing them like the con artist he is turning billion-dollar losses into fool's gold. But there's no way this con artist is going to fix a rigged game that benefits himself. His own tax cut proposals - killing the estate tax entirely, dropping the upper income rates to their lowest at 33 percent, and reducing corporation tax rates to an insane 15 percent - are proof of that.

I wouldn't trust Trump on taxes simply because he doesn't value them at all. He's clearly gaming the system to avoid paying as much of it as possible, and when confronted on his avoidance he smugly claims "that makes me smart."

No, Donald, that makes you a tax-dodging tiny-fingered Cheeto-faced ferret-wearing shitgibbon. And Americans DO NOT TAKE KINDLY TO TAX DODGERS.

* Personally, I got money on an elite team of high-tech accountants who performed the Heist of the Century (well, until the Wu Tang Clan and Bill Murray team up to steal their album back from PharmaBro).


dinthebeast said...

Just ask Al Capone what happens to quasi-sympathetic crooks who evade taxes in the US...

-Doug in Oakland

maxk1947 said...

Trump's accountants have mastered the US tax code. Trump just signs the returns (see his testimony about not reading contracts before he signs them). I don't understand why he gets credit for understanding taxes any more than he understands anything else.