March 13, 2016

On "Face the Nation" today, John Dickerson asked Donald Trump a question about law that I — being in the law field — found very weird.

From the transcript:
DICKERSON: At the debate, you talked about H-1B visas. You said: "It's something I, frankly, use, and I shouldn't be allowed to use it." When you have talked about the bankruptcy laws, you talk about how you took advantage of them. When you and I talked about your taxes, you say you try and pay as little as possible. If you are president, why would anybody follow the laws that you put in place if they knew you were taking advantage of those laws when you were in the private sector?
What's Dickerson trying to say, that taxpayers should pay more than they owe? That businesspersons shouldn't understand the law, see what's to their advantage, and structure their transactions efficiently? Why wouldn't voters trust a businessperson who followed the law and figured out how to use it? Don't we want someone knowledgeable and competent? We're supposed to prefer someone who's so intimidated by law that he wastes money? Is Dickerson a fool or is he just trying to manipulate viewers into thinking ill of Trump?

Here's Trump's answer (with another weirdly obtuse question by Dickerson):
TRUMP: Because I know the game better than anybody, because I have been on the other side. I have built one of the greatest companies. I did a filing which shows one of the great companies, great assets, very little debt, tremendous cash flow, some of the greatest assets in the world. But let me just tell you, I use the bankruptcy laws just like other very successful people. I don't [want] to use their names, but I could name 10 people right now, the biggest people in all of business. We do it. It's the game we play. We use the laws of the land.

DICKERSON: But why wouldn't people keep playing...

TRUMP: We use it. And that's the way we play the game. Wait a minute. As far as the visas are concerned, I'm not doing anything wrong. I think the -- those visas shouldn't be allowed. But they are allowed. They are part of the fabric of what you do. So, I'll use it. I mean, I'm a businessman. Now that I have turned politician -- I hate to say that, almost, about myself -- but now that I'm running for office, I know the game better than anybody. I'm the one that can fix all of this stuff. But when you start talking about -- I never went bankrupt. I never went bankrupt. You understand I never went bankrupt. But you take a look at the business leaders. Every once in a while -- I have 500 companies. I have so many different companies. And a very few, I will take advantage of -- frankly, by using the laws of the land, as every other major businessperson does.
"But why wouldn't people keep playing?" There's nothing wrong with "playing." The key is to put the right rules and regulations in place and then to enforce them. If you don't like what people are doing when they are following the law, then something's wrong with the law, not with the people who are finding effective ways to compete.

I don't see Trump as fomenting disrespect for the law. It's more the opposite. The law matters. Get it right. People using the law to their selfish advantage may reveal what's wrong with the law, and Trump is offering his services, as an expert player, in seeing and fixing the flaws so that the game produces a result that is in the general interest of the American people. There may be reasons not to trust him (and there are surely reasons to mistrust those who've played the law game from positions in government), but his use of the law isn't a good reason.

"It's something I, frankly, use, and I shouldn't be allowed to use it." Perfect!

127 comments:

Meade said...

To live within the law you must be dishonest
I know you always say you disagree.

Ann Althouse said...

"'It will be hard for [Trump] to change his me, myself, and I attitude and his being money hungry because he's too old to change."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I concur with your assessment. Businessmen "play" by a set of rules. There is no sense in complaining about people who follow the rules and thereby avoid paying taxes that they might pay under another set of rules. Change the rules if you don't like the result!

Right now the laws and regulations make it more profitable for large corporations to move their headquarters out of the US. People complain when that happens, but they're only doing what the laws and regulations tell them to do.

YoungHegelian said...

It's my understanding, as a business owner, that the case law on these matters is very clear: a taxpayer has the right to use any & all legal recourses that are available to him to lessen his tax bill. Period. End of story.

Now, some of those recourses may look a little funky to the IRS & they will audit you, but if you lose, you pay the taxes & penalties. If you win, you win.

It's weird that some people think there is some clearly delineated moral notion of "your fair share" of taxes.

EDH said...

Does Trump even have to argue there is an establishment-wide conspiracy against him?

Gahrie said...

If we want people to follow the rules, we need to make the rules simple, and easy to follow.

But that would eliminate jobs for lawyers, and make corruption harder to hide.....

Walter Freeman said...

From the same Face the Nation episode:

http://i.imgur.com/Hf0V7Cq.jpg

Curious lack of an American flag behind Trump.

cubanbob said...

Its not called see See BS for nothing. Speaking of fair share of taxes Trump ought to consider bring back The Hollywood Tax as per Glenn Reynolds and a hefty gross receipts tax on broadcasters since they aren't paying their fair share for their use of the public airways. Consider it a minerals extraction tax. Then lets see Dickerson's face when the implications to his job and income become apparent.

Char Char Binks said...

If I drive on 35 mph in a 35 zone and I think the limit should be 45, or 25, and I stick to 35, does that make me a hypocrite?

Hagar said...

You have to assume that when our elected representatives craft laws they know what they are doing and intend for us to follow them.

Amanda said...

So now that Trump got to use the laws to his advantage to make him a multi billionaire, he wants to change the laws for the up and coming billionaires? Well, just how is that fair to all those prospective billionaires?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CWJ said...

Learned Hand said it best -

"Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant."

Nyamujal said...

Ah, seems like the "Do what I say, not what I do" cudgel is only to be used on people you disagree with.

rehajm said...

Tell me what the rules are and I'll play by tham.

Fuck you for blaming me for the rules.

dreams said...

When people pursue their enlightened self-interest, we all benefit and it is the basis for the free enterprise system. The aggressive pursuit of money is not bad and if done honestly will be a benefit to society.

Anglelyne said...

Char Char Binks: If I drive on 35 mph in a 35 zone and I think the limit should be 45, or 25, and I stick to 35, does that make me a hypocrite?

Depends on who you are.


(Raise your hands, anybody who tells their tax accountant "I want you to calculate my fair share of taxes, not my legal minimum".)

AA: Is Dickerson a fool or is he just trying to manipulate viewers into thinking ill of Trump?

Yes.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, of course you're right.

Laws may turn out to not be in the public interest, but especially in business, the more they are not in the public interest the harder it may be for any business not to use them. Businesses compete. If a business continually does the "right" thing by not taking advantage of some highly favorable law, then it is placing itself at a disadvantage relative to its competitors.

What Trump is saying here makes perfect sense to me, legally, ethically and politically.

dreams said...

The irony here is that the elite in Washington are so afraid of Trump because he threatens their pursuit of money and power through crony capitalism.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fabi said...

Following the law is just another fine example of Trump being a fascist. You bastard!

traditionalguy said...

Confusion is a many splendored thing. Dickerson is either joking or he is an an ignoramus.

Trump covered it up for him by treating his upside down nonsense challenge demanding why a man who keeps laws can ever be trusted, as if it was an intelligent prompt for another angle that Trump uses in mini speeches.

What else could The Donald do. If he humiliated Dickerson, then the millions of equally stupid listeners would have felt highly offended, angry, and jealous of him again. That damn smart guy Trump is as terrible as smart lawyers.

sinz52 said...

There's no contradiction between doing the best you can under current law and wanting those laws changed. In the vernacular, it's "playing the hand you were dealt."

Lots of folks like myself favor tax reform (I like the FairTax myself). But unless and until that happens, we'll still take advantage of every legal tax deduction and tax credit.

cubanbob said...

@ Tradeguy; what you said in jest is actually true. Imagine if Trump were to actually reply to Dickerson in a none-gibberish manner: millions of left-moron heads would stroke out.

pm317 said...

This is another one of common sense argument that appeals to the masses. Media wants to say 'ew how can you be so direct?' They can't quite say he is dishonest because he is following the law.

Jay Vogt said...

1. Congress writes tax law, not POTUS - just a reminder

2. Not aggressively pursuing the lowest/most deferred possible tax would put a thousand of the most innovative minds at General Electric out of work tomorrow.

3. Not only should the leadership of a publicly traded company pay the lowest tax as late as possible, in fact they have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to do so.

4. Show me a real estate developer that has not BKed a SPE, and I'll show you a developer that isn't trying hard enough.

n.n said...

Playing within the published rules will be a refreshing change. Unpredictability is the bane of a healthy and productive society

Now if we could just destroy the "gods" and their religion emanating from the darkest fringes of a penumbra.

It will be a giant leap for mankind when human life matters, and not just environmental stability, green lawns, and renewable debt.

Big Mike said...

millions of left/moron heads would stroke out.

This is bad because?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The issue, as has been stated before, is that the middle class gets pinched.

Below a certain level of income and wealth, all sorts of free or discounted stuff are available. Work a little bit, but not too much, and you will hit the "earned income credit" sweet spot.

The very wealthy can afford experts to minimize taxes, find and apply for special programs, etc.

The middle wealth and income small business owner, or guy with a couple of rent houses, labors under a disproportionately large time levy for collecting, reporting, and remitting sales tax, unemployment tax, payroll tax, filling out required surveys from this or that Federal agency, etc.

Why any middle class person would continue to vote Democrat or Republican is a continuing wonder.

If you think the Feral Gummit goes beyond its charter, if you think your Legislators pass laws that are needlessly complicated and that favor special interests, then don't re-elect them.

- Hammond X Gritzkofe - Card Carrying Libertarian

Jupiter said...

Amanda said...
"So now that Trump got to use the laws to his advantage to make him a multi billionaire, he wants to change the laws for the up and coming billionaires? Well, just how is that fair to all those prospective billionaires?"

Amanda, I can't keep up. Are we supposed to be concerned about whether the law is fair to billionaires? I thought the plan was to tax them into penury.

Michael K said...

"Dickerson is either joking or he is an an ignoramus."

Do you really expect a second generation talking head to understand ?

A native of Washington, D.C., Dickerson is a son of C. Wyatt Dickerson and Nancy Dickerson Whitehead. He has three sisters and one brother. He grew up in McLean, Virginia at Merrywood, a Georgian-style mansion high on a leafy bluff overlooking the Potomac River.[2]

He graduated from Sidwell Friends School in 1987 and holds a degree in English with Distinction from the University of Virginia. On Her Trail,[3] Dickerson's book about his relationship with his late mother Nancy Dickerson Whitehead, a pioneering television newswoman, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2006.


Why would you expect him to know anything about real people ?

rcocean said...

Businessman just aren't "Trying to make money" they're also competing against other businessmen. You'd be a fool to let your competition drive you out of business because you didn't want to do something lawful.

John A said...

Does Mr. Dickerson take no deductions on his tax forms?

Hagar said...

It is a question Mr. Dickerson would never ask Warren Buffet, since Mr. Buffet is a reliable Democrat, while Mr. Trump is a Republican (more or less and at least for the time being).

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Trump is not my guy in the primaries. He is a classic business-loving, America-loving, freedom-loving Democrat in the mold of Kennedy, Nunn, Truman, and Jackson (both Scoop and Andrew). He's a Democrat, but we could do incredibly worse with what now calls itself a "Democrat".

He does know how messed up the rules are, and as a populist he's willing to change even those rules from which he's benefitted. Sanders is a populist, but clueless. Clinton is clearly an authoritarian potential dictator. Cruz is a somewhat clumsy populist -- but superbly versed in the law -- and at this moment he's my choice.

Cruz - Trump, or the other way around. They should announce it tomorrow and the race is *over*.

Michael said...

Dickerson is a fool. Trump is honestly talking about how the world works and how the dozens of lobbyists have gouged loopholes in this law and that making it possible to do everything from protecting your assets in a bankruptcy to using foreign help. Dickerson, a tool of D.C. does not even know how D.C. works.

Unknown said...

To return to the original question regarding the HI-B Visas, Trump is accused of, & may be prosecuted for, lying/falsifying statements made to obtain these Visas. Kinda like Donk moneyman McAuliffe did for his fictitious "green" car company. Oh, and to excellent commenter Jar Jar's speed limit test, Mother Goose says to the officer "but, 60 is the new 40" while my hero, Grimmy looks on. SMOD 2016!

Amanda said...

Jupiter,
Just pointing out Trump's double standard. He benefitted, now he wants to take away the benefit from other potential billionaires? First of all I don't believe it for a minute, secondly if he truly meant it, HOORAH! but its easy for him to be ok with this now isn't it since he already got all those unfair tax breaks. What a hypocrite. He should give all that money back if he thinks it was unfair that he benefitted from bad laws.

Chuck said...

You are correct, Professor Althouse. It is a weird question. And because it is such a weird question, I give very little credit or credence to the answer(s) by Mr. Trump.

You could have asked 10 or 20 better "law" questions. I'd like to think that I could have.

I wonder if Dickerson was trolling around the great column by Kevin Williamson in the National Review Online, in which Williamson savaged Trump's sleazy operation of the Trump Model Management. (Trump met his third/current wife, who most definitely qualifies, in Trump's words, as "one of the greatest pieces of ass in the world," when she was an immigrant in the USA on an H1B visa working with the Agency.)

Williamson's thesis was that Trump's modeling agency operation was a case study in one of the many tricky uses of H1B visas (along with other assorted social depredations on the part of the Trump Organization):

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432679/donald-trump-melania-trump-immigration-h1b-visa

rhhardin said...

News shows are for women.

John said...

Hegelian,

You say that we have a right to use any and all legal means of avoiding taxes. I agree but would go further. I would say we have an obligation to use any and all legal means.

In Trump's case, since he owns the company, it is only a moral obligation.

In the case of Pfizer/Allergan or Burger King, they have shareholders. If management does not do everything it can to legally minimize tax payments, they may be legally responsible. They may be guilty of corporate malfeasance in their obligations to the stockholders.

If the law is wrong or bad policy, change the law. Don't criticize law abiding citizens who follow the law.

Trump seemed like he handled the answers to the questions pretty well.

How about they next ask Kasich, Little Marco, Cruz, Sanders, Hilary! is they use accountants to figure out how much tax they owe? Ask if they take deductions they are legally entitled to? Ask if they pay every cent that they are legally obligated to and no more

If they do pay more than they owe, ask them why they think it is morally right to do so?

John Henry

cubanbob said...

Amanda said...
Jupiter,
Just pointing out Trump's double standard. He benefitted, now he wants to take away the benefit from other potential billionaires? First of all I don't believe it for a minute, secondly if he truly meant it, HOORAH! but its easy for him to be ok with this now isn't it since he already got all those unfair tax breaks. What a hypocrite. He should give all that money back if he thinks it was unfair that he benefitted from bad laws.

3/13/16, 6:39 PM"

Yes lets pass a hypocrite tax; that would wipe out most of the lefty millionaires and all of the lefty billionaires. With such a tax in place not only will Hillary Clinton be in the jailhouse but in the poorhouse as well.

Barbara said...

I felt exactly the same when my (small) company got additional points for being a woman-owned business in bidding on government-funded work. I detested getting that advantage because of my sex but did it because it was the state-encouraged practice and used by competitors who qualified. Dickerson's questions were ignorant and he knew better, I'm sure. They are the right thing to ask though, if one's desire is to make Trump appear to be a hypocrite.

Jonathan Graehl said...

knave or fool? knave.

Jonathan Graehl said...

(generally the answer is fool, but when it comes to arguments against Trump, always bet on 'knave')

Sebastian said...

"On "Face the Nation" today, John Dickerson asked Donald Trump a question about law that I — being in the law field — found very weird." Corollary to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect: any question by any journalist that is not about pop culture trivia or horserace issues will be 'very weird" to anyone who knows anything.

@JV: "they have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to do so" Right. It's the law that they should exploit the law.

@BH: "He's a Democrat, but we could do incredibly worse with what now calls itself a "Democrat"." And nothing prevents Trump from announcing, right after he gets the nomination, that, as he said before, he "gets along with the Republicans," but that he is, in fact, a Democrat. He contains multitudes, I tell you.

John said...

I suspect that Trump has relatively little income that he pays tax on. He should take as much as he needs to live on and no more. That is one way to minimize taxes.

Look at Warren Buffett for a great example of this concept. He is currently worth around $70 billion or so. If he earned 4% return, he would have income of $2bn per year and would pay tax on that. If he paid 40% tax, that would be around $800 million

Instead, he is a relatively low earner. He gets $125,000 in salary from B-H, plus a substantial bonus. He has some other investments and has a total taxable income of around $50 million. (Yeh. I wish my earnings were that low)

If he pays 40% tax, he pays $20 million/yr.

So is he cheating the American public out of $780mm/yr in taxes? Is he paying his fair share? Is 40% of income too little for a man like that? OK, make it 80%. Now he is paying $40mm as against $800mm.

Cue the howls of outrage!!!

We do not generally tax wealth in the US, we tax income. Maybe we should tax wealth instead of income. If we did, I suspect we would find Buffett earning $60bn in income ans his only asset a passbook saving account with $5,000 in it.

It doesn't matter how we tax or what, people will organize their lives to protect themselves.

John Henry

John said...

Any commenters here consciously pay more taxes than they owe?

They are the only ones with moral authority to Criticize Trump, Buffett or anyone else who does not pay more than they owe.

John Henry

pm317 said...

Now if only Romney had been this confident about his wealth and business, Obama and his media minions would not have shamed him.

Chuck said...

John said...
Hegelian,

You say that we have a right to use any and all legal means of avoiding taxes. I agree but would go further...
...
In the case of Pfizer/Allergan or Burger King, they have shareholders. If management does not do everything it can to legally minimize tax payments, they may be legally responsible. They may be guilty of corporate malfeasance in their obligations to the stockholders.


Including a corporate inversion, yes? The kind that Democrats are railing against?

And I wonder why the corporate/fiduciary duties to shareholders don't also include moving production to places where it is more efficient to do so, and where significant corporate savings can be had?

Char Char Binks said...

Anglelyne said...

(Raise your hands, anybody who tells their tax accountant "I want you to calculate my fair share of taxes, not my legal minimum".)

"Fair share" is the same as "legal minimum", or at least it should be.

Char Char Binks said...

@Anglelyne

You're welcome to pay more if you'd like.

John said...


Sebastian said:

Right. It's the law that they should exploit the law.

Why "exploit" there, Sebastian? Why not say "Follow" the law? Isn't that what we are talking about?

John Henry

Chuck said...

pm317 said...
Now if only Romney had been this confident about his wealth and business, Obama and his media minions would not have shamed him.


I expect that if Romney had been willing to be more like Trump, Romney would have come a lot closer to Trump's 35% popularity. And a true landslide loss.

But then, Romney would also have needed to pander to blue collar Democrats with absurd promises of bringing back jobs 'from China and Mexico; so many jobs it'll make your head spin! You'll say, Stop! You're doing too much!'

Paul said...

As long as you follow the law, even if you find, and use, 'loopholes' that the law allows, that's ok. That is following the law.

But when you IGNORE THE LAWS, like using private email servers with secret information, in violation of federal laws, then you should go... to... jail.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

There is no "double standard" by Trump, as one commenter suggests.

Suppose an IRS regulation permits anyone who "like's" a certain entry on Obama's Facebook page will receive a $500.00 income tax credit. (Not unimaginable, considering the special interests already enshrined in the Tax Code.)

Trump may well think the regulation is bad, inequitable, wrong-headed, and should be repealed. Sure - folks who don't do Facebook will miss out entirely. Yet while the regulation is in place, no one should be condemned for taking advantage of it.

Curious George said...

"Amanda said...
So now that Trump got to use the laws to his advantage to make him a multi billionaire, he wants to change the laws for the up and coming billionaires? Well, just how is that fair to all those prospective billionaires?"

Pick a lane.

Michael said...

Dickerson: "If you are president, why would anybody follow the laws that you put in place if they knew you were taking advantage of those laws when you were in the private sector?"

This is worth pondering. The question is not even in English as far as I can tell. Is he suggesting that Trump is taking advantage now of laws he plans to put in place in the future? Why would he put them in place if they were already in place?

Terry said...

There is a very large part of the educated population that has no idea about how capitalism and business is supposed to work. Basically, as an investor, I give a person money. That person and I have a business relationship, not a personal relationship. The person I give the money to gives me back more money than I gave him. We can attach all kinds of conditions on the transaction, but since this a business relationship, and not a personal relationship, these conditions need to be legally enforceable. It doesn't work to say 'Wah! you cheated me! Now I'm not going to be your friend!' because the principal agent won't care.
If I want to put conditions on my investment, like 'pay more in taxes than you have to', I am free to do so. I am not free to condition my investment on my principal agent doing something illegal with my money, like discriminating in employment in an illegal manner.

cubanbob said...

Chuck perhaps in the alternate universe you live in you might be right but not in this one. The felonious traitor and the Communist have even more unfavorable's than Trump.

Curious George said...

"Amanda said...
Jupiter,
Just pointing out Trump's double standard. He benefitted, now he wants to take away the benefit from other potential billionaires? First of all I don't believe it for a minute, secondly if he truly meant it, HOORAH! but its easy for him to be ok with this now isn't it since he already got all those unfair tax breaks. What a hypocrite. He should give all that money back if he thinks it was unfair that he benefitted from bad laws."

This comment is so stupid it actually hurts to read. The following is a list of rich lefties who say that taxes aren't high enough on them and they should be higher, who pay that higher amount voluntarily:

Ann Althouse said...

It is as if Dickerson thinks taking advantage of law is like taking advantage of a person as opposed to taking advantage of an opportunity.

Michael said...

As we can see, Dickerson is on the same page as Amanda. Confused but convinced they are on to something.

Birkel said...

One of the great benefits politicians of the present day enjoy is the least critical, most obsequious, and frankly most stupid class of talking heads ever to exist. I have a hard time understanding - beyond the hair and physique - how any of the idiots managed to get a job.

I would think the I-9 itself might be too much for their wee little brains.

Trump should have called on Dickerson to reveal Dickerson's own tax returns for public vetting to see if he claimed the mortgage interest deduction on whatever over-large house he owns instead of the standard deduction. I think some good, old-fashioned mockery of the press is long since overdue.

Beaumont said...

Is Dickerson a fool or is he just trying to manipulate viewers into thinking ill of Trump?

Should I be able to determine if Dickerson is a fool or manipulative based on the Ann's transcript or watching Face the Nation? Are there any other possible scenarios that could account for Dickerson's questions?

Speaking of underlying motivations or personal traits "People using the law to their selfish advantage may reveal what's wrong with the law, and Trump is offering his services, as an expert player, in seeing and fixing the flaws so that the game produces a result that is in the general interest of the American people."

What makes one think that just because Trump was able to use Bankruptcy Laws to his own advantage that he would know how to change them to make them better or fairer for others? I guess you are assuming that someone who knows how to take advantage of a situation would know how to prevent that from happening. It is certainly possible that a criminal may know the best way to guard against criminality.

Can we assume that the most knowledgeable and successful lawyers in this country would be in the best position to know how to improve the law to make it better in general for the American people?

grackle said...

From a business standpoint knowingly paying more taxes than is necessary makes no sense at all. From a capitalistic standpoint it would be heresy. If Trump has tax illegalities I’m sure the lefty-biased IRS will have already ferreted it out. I doubt there will be anything to feed the rampant TDS or it would probably have already been leaked before now, just before some important primaries.

The Sunday panels were spinning a Trump = violence narrative. There were references and comparisons, replete with video of the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention, ranging from declarations of foreboding to the fondly wistful. O those hallowed days of yore!

He should give all that money back if he thinks it was unfair that he benefited from bad laws.

But Trump is fine with the abstract principle of paying the least amount of taxes that comply with the law, whatever that law may be. That he also believes that the current tax law should be changed in order to close some loopholes doesn’t make him a hypocrite, it makes him a reformer. File this under “Straw Man Fallacy.”

Skeptical Voter said...

Beaumont you equate "most knowledgeable lawyers" with "most successful lawyers".

The two factors don't always go together. And it is, or was, the legislature's job to enact (or abstain from enacting) laws to make things better for the American people. But the legislature(s) both state and federal--but mainly federal abdicated that job. They delegated it to the various administrative agencies.

Nancy Pelosi---bless her empty ignorant little head--was correct when she said, "We have to pass this law [Obamacare] to know what's in it." Aside from the fact that the passel of clowns in the big white building on a hill above the Potomac hadn't read all or maybe any of the 5,000 pages in the bill, it was going to be turned over to the administrative agencies to promulgate regulations to run it.

Limited blogger said...

They are throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Trump. It ain't working.

Trying to pin all the violence on Trump may be the boost he needs to win Ohio.

Thanks again, lefties.

Hagar said...

What is all this talk about "taking advantage of the law"?
The law says that if your situation is this, you do as follows . . . ., and following the law is presumably what our elected representatives wanted us to do when they crafted the law in question.

cubanbob said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
It is as if Dickerson thinks taking advantage of law is like taking advantage of a person as opposed to taking advantage of an opportunity.

3/13/16, 7:46 PM

Bingo! Succinct observations like this are one of the reasons for being an addict to this blog. Still why do I get the depressing notion that despite it all our hostess will windup voting for the grifter and felonious criminal.

cubanbob said...

Beaumont said...
Is Dickerson a fool or is he just trying to manipulate viewers into thinking ill of Trump?" Both are not mutually exclusive.

Char Char Binks said...

@Ann Althouse

It's as if Dickerson thinks OBEYING the law is the same as TAKING ADVANTAGE of the law. I suppose it is, in a manner of speaking.

Sebastian said...

@John H: "Why "exploit" there, Sebastian? Why not say "Follow" the law? Isn't that what we are talking about?" Not to worry, we're on the same page. "Exploit" used loosely only in the sense of "following the law so cleverly and precisely as to maximize profit." (Not used strictly to refer to maximum appropriation of surplus value, since in the labor theory of value law can affect exploitation but not itself be exploited. Maybe someone should ask Trump a question about that :).)

Chuck said...

cubanbob said...
Chuck perhaps in the alternate universe you live in you might be right but not in this one. The felonious traitor and the Communist have even more unfavorable's than Trump.


Cuban bob: It's funny, that I was sort of wondering what alternate universe you live in!

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog isn't in the polling business; they are in the polling analysis business. I have never much wanted Silver to be right on many of the big recent electoral results, but here he is on the subject of Trump's unpopularity, as of about 3-4 weeks ago. I think it is a safe bet that Trump's numbers haven't changed much, given the near-constant negative favorability numbers that have remained constant throughout most of the campaign. I've seen other polling that indicated that Trump's unfavorables have gone up since the Detroit debate!

Trump's numbers are an order of magnitude more negative, than others in the field, very much including Mrs. Clinton and Senator Sanders.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/donald-trump-is-really-unpopular-with-general-election-voters/

Now, perhaps you'd send to me your polling numbers from across the universal divide, to show me how dandy Trump is doing in the unfavorability polling these days.

Levi Starks said...

Laws are made to be taken advantage of. If a law does not result in the desired effect, it's neither the fault of the law, or the person who used it to their advantage.
It's because it was an I'll conceived, and executed law.

traditionalguy said...

IMO Dickerson is playing to the Socialist/Democrat presumption that all existing money should be donated to poor Dems or turned in to DC for redistribution by the President to his community friends or for Global Warming Hoax funds, etc. Selling that idea is the media's job this election cycle.

So the 2016 General Election campaign has started this week. Can Biden be far behind.

Beldar said...

It is axiomatic: Tax avoidance is a patriotic duty. Tax evasion is a crime.

And therein lies full employment for most of the nation's CPAs and tax lawyers.

BUT: There's a huge difference between (a) declining to contribute to the federal fisc money which you don't owe, on the one hand, and (b) using the bankruptcy laws in four enormous waves of multi-company bankruptcies to rip off creditors, including hard-working trade vendors and contractors, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, on the other.

Or (c) on the third hand, to use illegal aliens to build Trump Tower.

Or (d) on the fourth hand, to accept an illegal undisclosed $3.5M loan from your daddy, in the form of casino chips never intended to be gambled, to prop up your failing casino empire.

Or ... well, we could go on and on. Trump manipulates the system, including purchasing influence that gets him discretionary (or worse) preferences from public officials.

That he may not overpay his taxes -- which we can't know, since Donald Trump inexcusably refuses to produce any of his tax returns! -- doesn't excuse him of anything.

Chuck said...

More polling on Trump's historically terrible favorability numbers with general election voters:

http://www.redstate.com/california_yankee/2016/01/30/trumps-unfavorable-rating-higher-dem-gop-nominee-ever/

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-03-10/poll-shows-voters-view-most-of-presidential-field-negatively

http://thefederalist.com/2016/02/22/why-donald-trump-cant-win-the-white-house/

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If Trump were a natural politician he would usage said "I respect the law and I follow the law, always. BY the way that is most of what my immigration plan is about--everyone is expected to follow the law. I have to follow the tax laws,and people who want to come to this great county should follow our immigration laws. It is a little ironic to have you and the Democrats question me about my taxes when I always follow the law while at their same time you praise illegal immigrants who openly break our laws-- you call them brave. I don't think they are brave, I think they are breaking American laws and when I am President I will put a stop to it. We will make America great again by making sure all of our laws, I cluding tax law and immigration laws,are enforced."

Fabi said...

@Chuck: If it comes down to Hillary versus Trump would you be interested in a wager? I'm sure we could find a neutral legal representative here to escrow the money. I'll pay any applicable contract fees. I think it's obvious that you'd take Hillary and I'd love to take Trump in that wager. Game?

Kay H. said...

On this topic, you might take a look at the relationship between Jor Kennedy Sr. And FDR prior to the appt. to England Ambassador. Look at the appt of Joe by FDR to form the new SEC. I think we are in a time where someone like Trump maybe the only solution to the vast array of problems with our seriously divided two party government. If Trump has large numbers of people from both parties at his back, he can become very effective and certainly knows the problems. If he gets in and demonstrates some early success that benefits growth of the middle class, this will become a reality givng him the power to fix the harder problems. Can anyone name anyone else that has any hope of sccess

Beldar said...

"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

-- Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934) (per Learned Hand, J.), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465 (1935).

This part is axiomatic.

It's also entirely irrelevant to any discussion of Donald Trump unless and until he releases his tax returns, which he has absolutely zero legal or political justification for withholding.

Fabi said...

Why does he have to release his taxes, Beldar? Is there a constitutiinal or legal requirement to do so?

Fabi said...

@Beldar: Can you provide me a link to Romney's tax returns, please? Every single page -- not a summary from his CPAs.

Terry said...

Your only relationship with the entity called "The United States of America" is legal, just like your relationship with Netflix or Starbucks. Patriotism is love of homeland, not love of its government.

Chuck said...

Fabi - No, I don't think I'd take that bet.

1. I don't want Hillary to win; that is a nightmare to me.
2. I don't want to be seen as someone with a rooting interest in her winning, even if I proclaimed it was purely predictive, and not ideological.
3. I'm not big on being a predictor. I'm not an oddsmaker or a pundit in that sense.
4. I do think that Trump is going to be a terrible general election candidate,
if he gets the nomination. I'll keep saying that, and I will give you plenty of ammunition to use against me, in the event that Donald Trump scores a big November win and becomes the 45th President of the United States. You'll have no shortage of material with which to humiliate me in November. But nota bene; I have already declared that I'd likely cast a vote for Trump in that instance. As a loyal Republican; as someone who believes sincerely that a third Obama term would be ruinous, and that two new young Democrats on the Supreme Court would be poisonous to American law.

Birkel said...

I worry that Hillary will have her best chance against Trump. I worry that Trump, if elected, will expand the size and scope of government while aided and abetted by Republicans.

My extraordinarily low expectations may indeed be unmet.

Fabi said...

No problem, Chuck. I'm well aware that you haven't waivered in your desire to keep her out of the White House. I still don't want DT and I wouldn't have any reason to want bragging rights or to hold any future victory of his against you. I'm just an occasional wagering Jesse.

Michael K said...

" he releases his tax returns, which he has absolutely zero legal or political justification for withholding."

Just like Romney.

Chuck said...

Fabi I am not against a friendly wager, and I am not at all offended by the challenge. I don't ever go to casinos, but I've never turned down a bet on a golf course.

...Which is another Trump topic, eh?

I don't know if Trump gave up his membership at Winged Foot (I don't think he has; he is current in the Metropolitan Golf Assn GHIN listing at Winged Foot) but that club is filled with very competitive gentlemen golfers, and what I hear is that basically no one will play with Trump, such is his reputation for distasteful cheating. At the same time, I don't know of anybody who really believes his handicap and who wouldn't love to play him off whatever GHIN Index number he claimed. I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd bet the title to my car on the match. But it'll be based on his claimed handicap (3.0 index), and I'll play with a caddie and we will both watch Trump at all times. All the other clubs he's a member at are Trump-owned clubs. Winged Foot is the only place where he doesn't effectively own the staff.

cubanbob said...

Chuck I really don't understand your belief in Hillary's invincibility. The woman is a terrible candidate, she makes Bob Dole look like Mr. Personality. Then her negatives are phenomenal, she is well know to be a liar, she has no credible achievements, she has a record of corruption and she is extremely unlikable, she is shrill and reminds every man about what a horror show of a woman they didn't marry. And then there is the FBI criminal investigation. I hope Trump isn't the nominee but if he is for all of his negatives they aren't as bad as Clinton's and you can bet your ranch he will spare no opportunity to remind the public how horrible she is. Its not even a given that she is going to win the Democrat nomination and that's with the deck stack in her favor with the Super Delegates ( a trick developed by Democrats after 72 precisely to avoid a Sanders nomination). Its rather amazing that one of the two major party's in this country has found itself in the position of having its currently presumed front runner a subject of a criminal investigation. Rather impressive in a bizarre way.

Chuck said...

I don't think I ever mentioned any "invincibility" for Mrs. Clinton. I know that I commented several times that I thought this could be an eminently winnable year for Republicans. I really regard her as a flawed candidate.

But again you've mentioned her net negative favorability numbers. Which are bad. But not as horrendous as Trump's unfavorability. Trump's numbers are the worst in the history of modern polling.

eric said...

I find I'm in agreement with you here, Althouse.

There are many areas in life where I don't agree with the rules of a thing, like speed limits or football. And I find I'll use the rules to my advantage, even if I don't agree with the rules. But if I had the power, I'd change them.

A perfect example for me, is taxes.

I believe we should have a flat tax. Everyone should pay 10% of their gross without any deductions. Right now, in my life, thanks to owning homes and having many children, I don't pay any taxes. Zero. As a matter of fact, I get money redistributed to me and get more back than I pay during the year.

But if it were in my power to change the law, even though that law would hurt me financially, I'd do it. But until I have that power (like the chance to vote) I'll take advantage of the law the way it is.

Birkel said...

eric:

Can we agree to change the "tuck rule" and the rule that cheated Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant out of what were clearly catches?

SOJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

@ Fabi (3/13/16, 9:34 PM), who asked: "Why does he have to release his taxes, Beldar? Is there a constitutional or legal requirement to do so?"

No, there certainly is no constitutional requirement that he do so, nor any legal requirement of which I'm aware.

But he wisely promised, long ago, on Hugh Hewitt's radio show as well as in other venues that he would release his taxes. He didn't qualify that promise with anything about "unless there's an audit." I personally think Trump's promises are all worthless, but presumably some number of supporters will actually notice and take offense that he's broken this promise.

More significantly, he's compelled by political reality to do so -- the very same political reality that has compelled all other modern presidential candidates from both parties to do so. That is to say, rational voters should and will assume that the only reason he, alone among all the major candidates, has not released his tax returns is because he has something to hide. That's the natural, indeed inescapable conclusion. Today, because the mainstream media is tickled pink to see Trump prosper, they've almost completely shut up about his refusal to release his taxes. But when Clinton is the nominee, that will be on the front pages every single day. And for good reason!

I'm not going to go do your internet research for you regarding Romney's taxes, but I frankly doubt they're online in full. I know there are ample press accounts, though, from press sources to whom Romney's tax returns were released during the 2012 election cycle, so that they could be sifted through and examined. And if you were alive and politically aware in 2012, you'll recall how the Obama campaign consistently pilloried Romney over his effective tax rate.

Trump has released nothing. Every excuse he's given is a transparent lie: There is no excuse. The fact that some unspecified tax years may be under audit is a ridiculous straw-man argument that could only be accepted by someone with no concept of what the IRS does or what an audit is: The IRS already has his tax returns, and the only people who are being kept in the dark are ... the American voting public, all of us.

Gabriel said...

The people who exploit the driving-at-the-legal-minimum loophole in the traffic laws are avoiding paying their fair share of the traffic tickets, which fall disproportionately on the poor and minorities.

Beldar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beldar said...

Let's say that Trump manages to get the GOP nomination despite having stonewalled on his taxes.

Do you doubt that there's some Edward Snowden-type in the IRS who would flee to Venezuela or Russia or wherever, immediately after leaking Trump's taxes to the world?

Likewise: Trump's FEC filings are all done in ranges, without very much specificity. But do you know who has exhaustive financial information about Trump and his businesses, in the form of audited financial statements that have never been made public and that, indeed, are treated as among the Trump Organization's crown jewels?

The hedge funds and junk bond dealers and senior secured lenders who've loaned millions of dollars to various Trump entities -- many of them since bankrupted. This is all gathered as part of what they call "due diligence," and it will include tax returns, P&Ls, balance sheets, general ledgers, income & loss statements, payables & receivables, assets & liabilities -- everything a clever lender's lawyer can think to ask for. Information like this used to be kept in big bound volumes -- but now it's all digital, of course. You don't think there are any Clintonistas with thumb drives anywhere among that crowd?

This is the information you'd get to see if you looked behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz. It's everything a con-man like Trump has to keep confidential, but it's impossible to do that in a modern presidential campaign.

Hillary can't wait to run against Trump. They probably already have tons and tons of leaked stuff, purloined stuff, oppo-researched stuff -- plus affidavits and videos from people whom Trump has screwed over throughout his long, sharp-elbowed, nasty business career.

David said...

Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway is one of the most effective tax shelters ever devised. I am sure that there are many arcane techniques that he uses, but fundamentally he shelters against taxes through the dividends received deduction, the deferral of unrealized capital gains and the deductibility of interest expense. A core element of his business is insurance, one of the most tax advantaged industries in the nation. All perfectly legal. He keeps liberals at bay through star power (liberals love stars) and by the occasional call for higher taxes on "the rich," which will affect him hardly at all because his wealth generating machine is so effectively tax sheltered.

Beldar said...

Before she went into academics, our hostess practiced for a time at Sullivan & Cromwell, then and now among the most amazing law firms in the world. She was in its litigation department. Full disclosure: I was a summer clerk in that department in the summer of 1980. I would wager that she's familiar, first-hand, with the kind of "due diligence" products I'm referencing here, because it's the kind of thing that young BigLaw associates, then and now, combed through looking for every possible edge, every arguable relevancy, in high-profile big-states civil litigation arising out of multi-million dollar financial transactions.

And I'll bet she also has classmates and former colleagues who are among the classes of "potential Trump leakers" I've mentioned above.

Beldar said...

And students, of course. Decades of students.

Largo said...

Fabi asked: "Why does [Trump] have to release his taxes, Beldar? Is there a constitutional or legal requirement to do so?"

Beldar replied: "No, there certainly is no constitutional requirement that he do so, nor any legal requirement of which I'm aware."

Just as there are no requirements whatsoever that Trump pay more than he is required to pay in taxes.

Beldar, I welcome you correcting my uneducated mind here, but it seems to me that you are trying to pull a Dickerson of your own right now! If you are, the irony is palpable.

Chris N said...

I wonder if those financially Bobo-high art Hobo culture-vultures David Brooks endured on his Euro-tour worried about tax deductions?

For Chrissakes its David fucking Brooks! You can't ask an intelligent-sounding question on a walk and gawk through the Sistine Chapel?

This is John fucking Dickerson!

You really think Trump White House Casino has room for you?

Were any of these penman wrong about that impeccably dressed community-activist, regaling us with his economic wisdom?

So handsome! So articulate!

Beaumont said...

"'It will be hard for [Trump] to change his me, myself, and I attitude and his being money hungry because he's too old to change."

Who do we attribute this quote to?

tim in vermont said...

Must be nice for the Democrats to have an operative who has advocated for the destruction of the Republican Party hosting a Sunday morning "news" show.

Obama is a lame duck all point to a single conclusion: The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. - John Dickerson.

But don't worry, the whole idea of liberal bias in the media is absurd.

HT said...

"I never went bankrupt. I never went bankrupt."

What in the world, then, is his daughter talking about in Born Rich when she recounts the time her dad pointed to a homeless man outside T. Tower and said, see that man? He is $8 billion richer than I am. ? Weird.

"such is his reputation for distasteful cheating." That's an impression I just can't shake, that he is a cheater.

"If Trump has large numbers of people from both parties at his back," then he better start referring to the Democratic Party correctly, and not misnaming it as many Republicans now do routinely.

tim in vermont said...

What in the world, then, is his daughter talking about in Born Rich when she recounts the time her dad pointed to a homeless man outside T. Tower and said, see that man? He is $8 billion richer than I am. ? Weird. - Seriously? And I am that question at HT.

then he better start referring to the Democratic Party correctly, and not misnaming it as many Republicans now do routinely.

Does it bother you to hear the Democrat Party called by it's rightful name? That's what we call it. They are not "democratic" as they so often resort to the use of non democratic means, such as judicial decisions crafted out of whole cloth, but they call themselves Democrats, so we call them the Democrat Party out of respect for that. Or do you think there is an Academy Anglaise that defines the proper use of language?

Besides, at least every time I do it, it's a wink at RR, who started it.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...


I tell you what, if the Democrats change their website to "Democratics.org" I will start calling the party that. It's a shibboleth, and it isn't going away because it works every time

Anglelyne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anglelyne said...

Char Char Binks: You're welcome to pay more if you'd like.

I was agreeing with you.

I hope you didn't take that "depends on who you are" line seriously, either.

Fen said...

he better start referring to the Democratic Party correctly

Are you so wedded to the false narrative that your party is "democratic" that you clutch you pearls when someone rightfully refers to it as the Democrat Party?

Are you even aware that the Democrat Party put in safeguards (Super Delegates) to prevent a truly democratic decision on who your party's nominee will be? You know that Bernie is winning the popular vote among Democrats, but losing the Delegate vote, right? Please explain how that is "democratic".

You have to be an idiot to think Democrats are democratic. Hell, they just shut down a GOP rally in Chicago because they hate free speech.

Char Char Binks said...

@Anglelyne

Gotcha. Far be it from me to argue against someone who agrees with me.

tim in vermont said...

Hey a significant percentage of the unelected "superdelegates" are lobbyists in the party that calls itself democratic.

HT said...

What's idiotic is automatically assuming I object to the slur democrat party because I believe the Democratic Party is democratic.

Fabi said...

Beldar@12:32 AM -- Romney never released his full tax returns. You're quibbling.

Trump has no requirement to release his taxes, as you admitted -- case closed. I understand how disappointed you are not to have a new source of smears for Trump, but that's just too bad.

Don't you have a candidate who you could promote? Is your favorite so flawed and weak that you need to tear down your party's front runner? I think that's the root of your obsession and frustration.

p.s.: Jeff Sessions

William Chadwick said...

"What's Dickerson trying to say, that taxpayers should pay more than they owe? That businesspersons shouldn't understand the law, see what's to their advantage, and structure their transactions efficiently?"

Yeah, probably. I believe Dickserson's membership in The Hive is pretty much an open secret.

Beldar said...

@ Fabi (3/14/16, 11:24 AM), who wrote: "Trump has no requirement to release his taxes, as you admitted -- case closed."

That's not what I said at all. I said, first, that Trump had long ago promised that he would release his taxes, and keeping that promise is the first of many reasons why he should.

You ignore that, dishonestly.

Then I summarized the political reality, which is that every modern candidate is expected by the entire American voting public -- except for zombies like you -- to reveal all details of his or her background that might be relevant to the voters' decision.

You ignore that, dishonestly.

Then I explained how Romney did indeed release his taxes for review by hostile media experts, even though they aren't all in the public domain in full on the internet.

You ignore that, dishonestly.

You are a very dishonest person. Case closed.

grackle said...

But he wisely promised, long ago, on Hugh Hewitt's radio show as well as in other venues that he would release his taxes. He didn't qualify that promise with anything about "unless there's an audit."

Trump also didn’t specify when he would release his tax return. No lawyer worth his salt would ever advise his client to release returns before an audit is completed by the IRS. They’ll be released as soon as the IRS gets off its ass and finishes the audit.

But of course Trumps opponents would LOVE to have a battalion of Democrat tax lawyers cueing and prompting the biased IRS with manufactured tax irregularities. That way the MSM could then have a field day with their usual half-truths, unfounded assumptions, straw man arguments, outright fabrications and the rest of their biased bullshit. It will not happen; Trump will wait until the audit is over and waiting will not hurt him at all.

I know there are ample press accounts, though, from press sources to whom Romney's tax returns were released during the 2012 election cycle, so that they could be sifted through and examined.

Yes, exactly. Frustration can be quite maddening; that darn Trump will not cooperate in his own lynching. Shame on him! Trump’s smarter than the hapless, ineffective Romney.

Trump has released nothing. Every excuse he's given is a transparent lie …

On “every excuse:” Has Trump given some excuse other than the IRS audit? If so I missed them. I wonder, can the commentor provide a quote where Trump has lied about releasing the returns? And where Trump has given those other “excuses?”

The hedge funds and junk bond dealers and senior secured lenders who've loaned millions of dollars to various Trump … [blah, blah, blah and more blah] You don't think there are any Clintonistas with thumb drives anywhere among that crowd?

Attacks on Trump the businessman lack weight. Why? Because Trump has amassed billions and that fact speaks for itself. So some investors lose, some win, so what? Sounds like a mundane and routine business environment to me. Investing is legal gambling and no player should ever expect to win all their bets. Businesses go bankrupt all the time. It looks to me that the commentor is trying elevate the ordinary and commonplace to the status of something menacing and ominous.

Finally, I guess we all sometimes interject our personal life and anecdotes into the debates in these comments. But when we do it only weakens our comment.

tim in vermont said...

What's idiotic is automatically assuming I object to the slur democrat party because I believe the Democratic Party is democratic.

If that's a slur, you should toughen up.

Beldar said...

@ grackle, who wrote, "No lawyer worth his salt would ever advise his client to release returns before an audit is completed by the IRS."

Sucker. You've been suckered.

I'm a lawyer. I fight over the production of tax returns in litigation on a regular basis. I've probably had 100+ oral hearings over that exact issue in my career, and I assure you that I'm "worth my salt."

Any lawyer who's worth his salt would tell you that this is a manufactured, bogus excuse -- because, as I pointed out above, the IRS already has the tax returns. They don't need "Democrat tax lawyers" to cue them, it's their every-day job to process audits. This is a complete red herring that only a gullible fool could believe to be an excuse. You've just so self-identified.

grackle said...

I'm a lawyer. I fight over the production of tax returns in litigation on a regular basis. I've probably had 100+ oral hearings over that exact issue in my career, and I assure you that I'm "worth my salt."

Yes, the commentor constantly regales all of us with his resume, experience and personal anecdotes. I’m sure he believes they help his arguments or he wouldn’t use them. They’re counter productive but I guess he cannot see that. Apparently he is a big shot legal beagle. We’ve heard it all many, many times from this commentor. And I’ll bet we’ll hear it many, many times again and again. Ad infinitum.

But if he’s the type of lawyer that would advise his client to expose his client’s tax returns to what amounts to crowd-sourcing opposition research on his client’s taxes – while an IRS audit is going on, no less - then I for one would never consult with such a lawyer. I would want a lawyer with my interests in mind, not someone who would expose me so casually to my political enemies.

The commentor has made some questionable statements about Trump. I’ve asked him for some quotes and links to back them up. Readers, I have a feeling that we’ll be waiting a long time before we see any of that. But we’ll be able to recite his resume by heart.

Largo said...

@Fabi:

I think you are an honest man.

JamesB.BKK said...

Recall these questions of Mr. Obama when he nominated a person to the position of Treasury Secretary that not only did not pay some of his taxes, but pocketed the gross-up for such taxes received from the - tax-funded and tax-exempt - multilateral agency that person was working for. You can't?

JamesB.BKK said...

Is Trump somehow also saying that there is something wrong with bankruptcy? He is sending a poor message that somehow tycoons like him are getting away with something. (He did not refer to the crooked GM and Chrysler workouts so I presume these are excluded). It is not "him" or "10 other guys" either. These are parent companies that provide capital to build things, with limited risk exposure, and the entities which became bankrupt were established to contain the project, the returns, and the risk. Everyone goes in with eyes open (excepting here some creditors or possibly equity of GM and Chrysler who got ripped off).

Providing a means to fairly quickly move assets from unproductive management or simply due to poor results vs. expectations is essential. Equity takes a risk. Debt takes a risk. Both are limited. Bankruptcy provides a key tool to allow these risks to be limited. If they were not so limited, the risks would more often not be taken and we would have fewer productive assets than we have. Trump is blowing these discussions.

Jason said...

Ok, Beldar is making a fecking idiot of himself, full stop.

Releasing tax returns currently under audit is stupid, stupid stupid. Stupid with a capital 'S.'

Grackle already pointed out the certainty of enabling crowdfunding oppo research. And that is true. But it's even stupider than that.

Once the attacks start coming, you can't field questions on them, and you can't discuss them in public, without possibly saying something that would incriminate you with the IRS. Either you have to remain silent, or you expose yourself to the IRS which we already know is corrupt.

The Dems, knowing this, would pull their ship alongside the tax return and fire broadsides, knowing that the owner of the Tax return (Trump or anybody else) could not effectively respond. They would lie shamelessly about the tax returns, and the tax code, knowing that the person under audit could not effectively respond. The more they lie, the more effective their tactics.

This is elementary. You'd have to be a gullible fool to take Beldar's advice as a public figure running for political office.