September 27, 2016

"That’s called business, by the way."/"That makes me smart."

Remarks inserted by Trump, as Hillary Clinton criticized him in last night's debate. Her emphasis is on Trump as another one of those rich people who amass too much wealth. He stresses the skill to take advantage of whatever the laws happen to be. The real question — I hope people know — is what should the laws be. Change the laws if they if they create the wrong opportunities for advantage, but don't flail people for making their private decisions in a way that serves their own interests.

Here's the context, from the transcript:
CLINTON: We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created a perfect storm. In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, “Gee, I hope it does collapse, because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.” Well, it did collapse.

TRUMP: That’s called business, by the way.

***

CLINTON: So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he's not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart. 
The way I see it is: Hillary Clinton has long been part of the government that is responsible for making the laws what they are. Donald Trump has been on the receiving end, trying to operate successfully within that system of rules. He is offering to transfer that that experience into decision-making about what the law should be. We are asked to trust one of them. There is no option to trust neither.

ADDED: In a debate characterized by interruptions, it's worth that the first interruption was Trump's "That's called business, by the way." Trump interrupted Clinton again in that same turn (to deny that he said "climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese" (which he did once tweet, perhaps as a joke)). Clinton never complained about that interruption. In fact, she took it as freeing her to interrupt, which she did the next time Trump got a turn. And it was quite something, with Trump also not complaining about interruption but reveling in the liberation to go back and forth:
TRUMP: And, Hillary, I’d just ask you this. You’ve been doing this for 30 years. Why are you just thinking about these solutions right now? For 30 years, you’ve been doing it, and now you’re just starting to think of solutions.

CLINTON: Well, actually...

TRUMP: I will bring — excuse me. I will bring back jobs. You can’t bring back jobs.

CLINTON: Well, actually, I have thought about this quite a bit.

TRUMP: Yeah, for 30 years.

CLINTON: And I have — well, not quite that long. I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s. I think a lot about what worked and how we can make it work again...

TRUMP: Well, he approved NAFTA...

(CROSSTALK)

CLINTON: ... million new jobs, a balanced budget...

TRUMP: He approved NAFTA, which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.

CLINTON: Incomes went up for everybody. Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s, if we’re actually going to look at the facts.

When I was in the Senate, I had a number of trade deals that came before me, and I held them all to the same test. Will they create jobs in America? Will they raise incomes in America? And are they good for our national security? Some of them I voted for. The biggest one, a multinational one known as CAFTA, I voted against. And because I hold the same standards as I look at all of these trade deals.

But let’s not assume that trade is the only challenge we have in the economy. I think it is a part of it, and I’ve said what I’m going to do. I’m going to have a special prosecutor. We’re going to enforce the trade deals we have, and we’re going to hold people accountable.

When I was secretary of state, we actually increased American exports globally 30 percent. We increased them to China 50 percent. So I know how to really work to get new jobs and to get exports that helped to create more new jobs.

HOLT: Very quickly...

TRUMP: But you haven’t done it in 30 years or 26 years or any number you want to...

CLINTON: Well, I’ve been a senator, Donald...

TRUMP: You haven’t done it. You haven’t done it.

CLINTON: And I have been a secretary of state...

TRUMP: Excuse me.

CLINTON: And I have done a lot...

TRUMP: Your husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.

CLINTON: Well, that’s your opinion. That is your opinion.

TRUMP: You go to New England, you go to Ohio, Pennsylvania, you go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacture is down 30, 40, sometimes 50 percent. NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.

And now you want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it. Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, I can’t win that debate. But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top NAFTA.

CLINTON: Well, that is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out. I wrote about that in...

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: You called it the gold standard of trade deals. You said it’s the finest deal you’ve ever seen.

CLINTON: No.

TRUMP: And then you heard what I said about it, and all of a sudden you were against it.

CLINTON: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts. The facts are — I did say I hoped it would be a good deal, but when it was negotiated...

TRUMP: Not.

CLINTON: ... which I was not responsible for, I concluded it wasn’t. I wrote about that in my book...

TRUMP: So is it President Obama’s fault?

CLINTON: ... before you even announced.

TRUMP: Is it President Obama’s fault?

CLINTON: Look, there are differences...

TRUMP: Secretary, is it President Obama’s fault?

CLINTON: There are...

TRUMP: Because he’s pushing it.

CLINTON: There are different views about what’s good for our country, our economy, and our leadership in the world. And I think it’s important to look at what we need to do to get the economy going again. That’s why I said new jobs with rising incomes, investments, not in more tax cuts that would add $5 trillion to the debt.

TRUMP: But you have no plan.

CLINTON: But in — oh, but I do.

TRUMP: Secretary, you have no plan.

CLINTON: In fact, I have written a book about it. It’s called “Stronger Together.” You can pick it up tomorrow at a bookstore...

TRUMP: That’s about all you’ve...

(CROSSTALK)

HOLT: Folks, we’re going to...

CLINTON: ... or at an airport near you.

HOLT: We’re going to move to...
And they didn't cede the ground to Holt. Hillary kept talking, and then Trump talked again — each of them for a fairly long time. Holt finally broke through with:
Let me get you to pause right there, because we’re going to move into — we’re going to move into the next segment. We’re going to talk taxes... 
And Clinton interrupted with "That can’t — that can’t be left to stand." Holt ceded the floor to her, and she and Trump went back and forth again, with Holt periodically trying to jump in and getting ignored by both of the candidates. Holt adapted and let the candidates go wild.

89 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Clinton's "you've got to ask yourself" calls to mind Dirty Harry.

Mac McConnell said...

Laws are for Trump, not Hillary.

David Begley said...

AA, "The way I see it is: Hillary Clinton has long been part of the government that is responsible for making the laws what they are."

The way I see it, Hillary is completely lawless. She accepts bribes. She will completely open the borders. She will rule by Executive Order. And, of course, she is immune from impeachment due to her gender and last name.

Bob Boyd said...

The housing crisis wasn't caused by rooting.

Clark said...

Ann Althouse said...
Clinton's "you've got to ask yourself" calls to mind Dirty Harry.


I sure don't feel lucky this election cycle...

who-knew said...

"We are asked to trust one of them. There is no option to trust neither." No, there is an option to trust neither; I can vote third-party or not vote at all. Unfortunately, I will still get stuck with one of those two since most other Americans will feel like Althouse and choose to trust one or the other. Either way, we are doomed. I'm glad I was born into a constitutional republic and regret that I won't die in one.

JWH said...

Dumb and Dumber.

rehajm said...

We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s.

Even if you concede the point they aren't equivalents. There's 500 feet of crap between the recession we had and the Great Depression. Imagine the consequences of 30% of the S&P 500 companies going out of business and you begin to approximate the Great Depression. We had nothing close to that.

That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street

She neglected to mention Barney Frank and the Democrats failing to reign in Fannie and Freddie because they were valuable vehicles for lefties to buy votes.

That’s called business, by the way.

Stepping up and investing in declining markets is an admirable trait.

So you've got to ask yourself, why won't he release his tax returns?

For one thing it isn't prudent to invite a billion auditors to your IRS audit. Also, Democrats struggle with basic principles of taxation. Whining that '...and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.' implies you don't really understand the nature of reporting periods and taxes.

Michael K said...

I watched only a part but did see that exchange. I thought his comment was appropriate and most watching probably understood. I hear he wandered too much later in the debate but I did not have high expectations of his debating skills. Hillary looked pretty good. I suspect she would not pass a drug test but she held up well.

CStanley said...

Agree with who-knew.

Neither is trustworthy, and neither will get my vote. I guess the only valid argument might be to support Trump, not because of trust, but because he would be kept more in check by the media and the other branches of government. I still can't bring myself to vote for him, but I can see that as a valid argument.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump seems to confirm that he hasn't been paying income tax. Was that smart?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I got rewarded for avoiding the debate last night, Penny having served up a whopper of a dirty joke on The Big Bang Theory.

David said...

Glenn Reynolds called it a tie. "He didn't throw anything, and she didn't cough up blood."

I thought Clinton performed better by all conventional standards. So did the media. The CNN post debate panel was a Trump roast.

The question is whether conventional standards for who won a debate apply in this election.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh good, we get another round of "the Repub nominee paid no income taxes." It was a huge lie when Reid spread it about Romney, but since the Media doesn't care about Dem lies...

Shows what a bad debater Trump is, though. This was a perfect opening for a canned line about his wealth (the had to expect a fat-cat attack); something like "she trues to smear my business history but I earned every dime I have in honest business. Hillary and her husband say they were broke just a few years ago and now have over $100M...money they got trading on government access, the promise of influence, and so on. I am not ashamed of the money I have made, but Hillary ought to be ashamed of the massive sums she got from her corrupt behavior. She is ashamed as you can tell by the fact that she is still hiding the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street. If the issue is corruption, Hillary knows her money is tainted, so she wants you to think mine must be, too. I never traded on government influence to enrich myself. Hillary and her husband can't say the same."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Eric you tease! What was the joke?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"That's called business" calls to mind The Godfather. We're living a 1970s retro movie, Dirty Hillary v. The Don.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Hilarious because it comes out of nowhere. Completely unexpected.

So I ought not ruin the surprise.

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

rehajm said...

I got rewarded for avoiding the debate last night, Penny having served up a whopper of a dirty joke on The Big Bang Theory.

Hello? How 'bout a spoiler alert, Bat?

hombre said...

The moderator started out with lib BS about "strong recovery" and "job creation." Trump should have been in his face immediately and constantly thereafter.

"One of our problems is media people and politicians like Mrs. Clinton don't understand business well enough to assess the state of the economy."

"Is Mrs. Clinton saying I should pay taxes I don't owe so the government can waste more money?"

Republicans don't learn. They expect the moderators to be fair. Trump must take a page from Cruz's book next time.

TreeJoe said...

There were so many missed opportunities in this debate, like none I've ever seen before.

Hillary smears Donald for being secretive and corrupt and he couldn't turn that around on her?

Hillary smears Donald for wanting to invest in a downturn, yet she supports Keynesian economics of using downturns to invest? (By the way, I love how the democratic party basically says invest in the down times and invest in the good times - ALWAYS BE INVESTING. There's never a platform for, "time to reap the growth and pay down debt/save for the bad times")

Hillary smears Donald on birtherism.

I could go on and on and he struggled to actually turn this around on her. Hillary, the easiest candidate to paint in a bad light - ever. She's polished and well spoken, certainly, but she's got decades of corrupt actions behind her. He could barely get out a cogent sentence on her e-mail, let alone Sid Blumenthal.

Comanche Voter said...

Shocker here: I agree with Hoodlum Doodlum.

Hillary was full of canned responses; like good little schoolgirl, she was proud she had done her homework--and Donald missed some good opportunities to take a shot--say at her home brew e mail server after she talked about how important cyber security was. But I expect each side will be saying this morning that their candidate mopped the floor with the opponent last night.

Jason said...

Wow. I wonder if Trump did as well buying real estate during a recession as Hillary did buying cattle futures?

Matthew Sablan said...

Honestly, it is smart. Someone told me that not paying what you owe isn't smart. So, I wanted to ask, but was too polite to ask: Do you take your mortgage deduction? Charitable deductions? Personal deduction? Do you put money in a tax free retirement account?

All of those things are designed to legally lower your tax burden. If we want people to pay more taxes, then make those things not legal. People play games with the rules that the designers write; the same is true when it comes to laws.

Sebastian said...

"Hillary Clinton has long been part of the government that is responsible for making the laws what they are." Are you saying that progs are somehow inconsistent when bitching about the effects of laws they make to suit their crony capitalist buddies? You mean, they can't have it both ways?

Peter said...

Trump's business methods surely are a legitimate target (although the inevitable complexity makes such criticism a poor political choice). But, does anyone pay more taxes than one is required by law to pay?

Clinton isn't claiming Trump paid no taxes, she seems to be implying that he's morally defective for not paying more than he had to pay. Does that even make sense and, if so, what potential voters might such criticism appeal to, those who have never actually had to pay an income tax?

Bob Boyd said...

Decisions made in Washington led to the housing crisis, many of them made by "co-Presidents" Bill and Hillary Clinton. They convinced themselves their crony capitalism would lift all boats. It did, then it let them drop hard.

Clinton is always eager to take credit, but never accepts responsibility when things go wrong.
Changes to the CRA and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, eliminating Glass-Steagal and the Uptick Rule were all major contributing factors to the crash in 2008. All these were Clinton policies.

Here is Hillary blaming Bernie Sanders for the crash in a Primary debate:
“Sen. Sanders, you’re the only one on this stage that voted to deregulate the financial markets in 2000, ... to make the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission no longer able to regulate swaps and derivatives, which were one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.”
Bill Clinton pushed the measure and signed it as a lame duck. As a result Hillary "garnered' a lot of Wall Street money for her Senate run.
Sanders voted for it, but it was part of an omnibus bill needed to keep the government running. Only Ron Paul and three others voted against it.

Hagar said...

BTW, there are two sides to "Keynesian economics." The Democrats have only embraced the downturn part.
And human nature being what it is, the times will never be so good economically that it will be time to lay in reserves for the downturn to come.

AprilApple said...

Hillary is a huge part of the problem. Listening to her rail against the very institutions who donate to her, is pathetic and Trump should have pointed it out.

AprilApple said...

The housing crisis, in part - was due to Barney Frank and Fannie and Freddie unsustainable loans and the hedge fund operators who donate to people like Hillary and Barney.

PB said...

Trump proved himself to be an egotistic, thin-skinned buffoon.

Clinton proved herself to be a talking point repeating, meat robot with a shit-eating grin.

David Begley said...

Lester Holt gets an F for that performance last night. His complete misrepresentation stop and frisk was reprehensible. A single liberal federal judge was of the opinion that the NYC practice was unconstitutional as applied. NYC didn't appeal. SCOTUS hasn't ruled.

AReasonableMan said...

Clinton is going to keep coming back to the tax form because a majority of the public agree with her. She may be stiff and charmless but she is not stupid.

Gusty Winds said...

It's amazing that some consider sending money into Washington's meat grinder is some form of altruistic charity. Trump is right, and people know it. Massive amounts of money collected in taxes is wasted. It is also redistributed to those with their hands in the cookie jar.

This of the taxes generated by building Trump Tower on Michigan Ave in Chicago.

I don't think the electorate gives a shit about his taxes or birtherism.

Trump did what he set out to do last night. She's been at this for 30 years. Hasn't fixed anything. And helped make a mess out of a whole lot. That's his push.

Mac McConnell said...

Clinton channeled Rubio with her robotic performance

Gusty Winds said...

It was funny watching the CNN panel. They were just so eager to say anything, and the two Trump surrogates were holding their own, while Van Jones kept his head from exploding.

But then as soon as Trump would get a mic in his face at the post debate interviews (of which Hillary did none), they would instantly break away, let Trump say how great he was, and then return to the panel as if he just cut in a steal their thunder.

"Usually candidates don't come into the spin room and do their own spin. We've never seen this before". So what? He's making himself accessible you pricks, and you love it. If he goes away nobody is watching you anymore.

Gusty Winds said...

I love how Drudge instantly linked to the Time Magazine and CNBC on-line polls so Trump could win those too.

Gusty Winds said...

Hillary needed a kill shot to knock Trump out of the race last night. It didn't happen.

traditionalguy said...

CNN is spinning that Trump admitted that he did not pay his taxes.

They have no concept in their simple minded hit piece script for the fact that a Taxpayer cannot pay a tax they do not owe.

And depreciation deductions thrown off by developed Real Property are a large reason that commercial property gets developed at all.

The depreciation deduction is recaptured when the investment is sold for a profit because the Tax Basis has been reduced by the deduction. In other words, the tax is paid , but its payment date is delayed. Sooner or later there will not be another new development in the chain to throw off the Deduction.

Bottom line: Trump is smart enough to not owe the tax yet.

bagoh20 said...

Her so called "investing" in the middle class is what caused the housing crisis. Promoting and even demanding that middle class people be given loans so they could invest well beyond their means is exactly what caused it, and that policy was pushed and protected by the Democrats. It wasn't rich people or Wall Street defaulting on millions of loans. Lower and middle class people were used like cannon fodder by politicians for votes and contributions from rich investors and banks who also got screwed by the stupid bets. Politicians are the only ones who ended up winning in that mess. The only ones who got what they wanted at everyone else's expense.

dreams said...

The debate didn't help Hillary with independents in a focus group, a pollster said on TV.

Bob Boyd said...

This is interesting and to me, surprising.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3809204/Most-snap-polls-Trump-winning-debate-landslide.html

Mac McConnell said...

AprilApple said...
"Listening to her rail against the very institutions who donate to her, is pathetic."

Hillary's flip on private prisons was laughable, the donated a quarter million dollars to her campaign.

At my debate gathering the guest were rolling on the floor when Hillary addressed cyber security. They also laughed hysterically when Hillary said her billionaire supporters said they think they should pay more in taxes, their fairer share. BS, there is no law that prohibits the rich from overpaying their taxes, the IRS welcomes such "donations". Of course Hillary supporters like Soros would prefer to get write offs by donating to corrupt pols and the likes of BLM.

Most at my gathering were tax accountants and tax lawyers, to a person they agreed Trump releasing his tax returns during an IRS audit was unwise and stupid for obvious reasons.

dreams said...

Trump isn't a good debater but he is good on the campaign trail and by 7:30 am he had already left for a 5 city campaign trip today. I expect Hillary is knocked out somewhere because of being so drugged up for the debate.

While Hillary took time off to prepare for the debate, Trump was out campaigning and gaining in the polls. Trump is going to win. Looks like 1980 to me.

gerry said...

Heh.

Peter said...

"Hillary is a huge part of the problem. Listening to her rail against the very institutions who donate to her, is pathetic and Trump should have pointed it out."

Trump should "point out" lots of things, but mostly he should make the debate more about Clinton's deficiencies and less about his own).

But, can he resist a challenge to go defensive and instead respond with offensives of his own?





Michael The Magnificent said...

Several experts were consulted about Clinton's tax-deductible donations, especially of underwear. Paul Offenbacher, a longtime Washington-area tax accountant, said it is highly unusual to take an itemized deduction on donated underwear; indeed, he had never heard of such a thing.

Can you imagine? My skin crawls just thinking about it.

damikesc said...

The way I see it is: Hillary Clinton has long been part of the government that is responsible for making the laws what they are.

The bigger problem, though, is that the ones who made the laws what they are seem able to also IGNORE the laws they made.

That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street

The Dems have had SEVEN YEARS to correct this. And they haven't. The rich still get richer --- far richer than under Bush. And the poor keep getting poorer --- far poorer than under Bush.


Stepping up and investing in declining markets is an admirable trait.


It's why the Dems complaints about short-sellers so laughable. Their plan is to ban short-selling, which means that a stock in free fall has no possible floor to hit before going to zero. Short sellers do provide a floor for the stock.

Trump seems to confirm that he hasn't been paying income tax. Was that smart?

He is ignoring the claim, as he should.

He should mention that the Clintons only apparent charity is to their own group, who provides them and their friends lavish benefits while giving less than 6% to actual charity.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: Clinton's "you've got to ask yourself" calls to mind Dirty Harry.

Or not.

walter said...

He did a good job pushing her on Obama pushing TPP. Some of the more polite pols would have dropped it as she avoided it....never really answered it.
But she had big league balls to put a question mark over anyone else's degree of charity.

Paul Snively said...

Left Bank of the Charles: Trump seems to confirm that he hasn't been paying income tax. Was that smart?

Depends.

If you know anything at all about how a business is structured and notice the word "income" in "Federal income tax," you would fully expect that Donald Trump derives no income from his businesses. Capital gains, dividends, interest, yes; "income" as defined by the IRS for the purposes of calculating "federal income tax," no. And if he, or any other major developer/industrialist does, they need to fire their financial staff immediately and hire a competent one.

Valentine Smith said...

Canny Trump played the debate strategically. Hold back the the offal until needed. Wait for the weatherman to determine which way the wind blows then fling as needed. Trump voters are so bloodthirsty (as I am) that there is great disappointment that Hillary didn't leave the stage on a stretcher.

eric said...

I only got to watch about the first 10 minutes, maybe as much as 20 minutes.

There is only one line that stood out to me. Hillary said something like, "I call that Trumped up trickle down" I don't recall exactly the words she used, but it was something like that.

It was so bad, it was Sharknado bad. It had me laughing. Not with her, but at her.

Judging by the day after pundit commentary, they thought it was a better line than I did. Oh well, I still predict she will rise in the polls after this. Gotta create the narrative along with all the pundits.

khesanh0802 said...

I have read coverage in the WSJ, NYT, the Mpls Strib and the Boston Globe. I did not watch the debate - couldn't force myself to. The WaPo is off the rails so I ignore them. The other papers provide reasonably balanced coverage with no clear winner. The impression I get from the coverage is that it was pretty much a draw for those watching, each candidate displaying some of their best and worst. Although, for those of us who understand basic economics, Trump wins on tax cuts alone. Trump did not explode and make a silly statement that can be used against him today. Clinton, as many have mentioned, was a good little student and did not collapse.

In the exchange above Trump is the clear winner. Clinton tries to give long explanations/justifications, Trump gets to the meat of the matter - your husband signed NAFTA and I think it was a bad deal; you want to continue Obama's policies that must include supporting TPP no matter what you say - easy points to remember.

Many of us would like to have seen a kill shot on the e-mails and pay for play, but those are hard targets to hit and, in truth, have little impact on people in general - nothing near the bad deals of NAFTA and TPP. I don't think that Trump could have successfully executed a kill shot and would have been called out for more misogyny etc. Remember he has a very effective series of ads going on Clinton's lack of truthfulness.

Trump once again underscores his concern for the many African-Americans getting a bad deal. He made clear that he is the agent of change vs. Clinton's more of the same. He clearly underscored that he is a tough business man who demands results, doesn't accept shoddy work, takes advantage of opportunities and doesn't pay anymore taxes than the law requires.

Clinton may have been a bit better on atmospherics - apparently with obvious aid from Holt, but there are going to be many of the undecideds who, like me, get the gist of the debate from newspapers or blogs. Trumps words and phrases have staying power.

Discuss!

alan markus said...

Didn't Obama tank on his first debate with Romney?

khesanh0802 said...

@ Paul Snively It's nice to see comments from someone who understand the economics of real estate. It seems to me that in many cases the avoidance of current tax is the critical factor in many real estate deals.

alan markus said...

Trump no pay taxes? Sounds like he might be stepping on the Dem"s "47%er" base.

damikesc said...

I'm stunned that the private prisons thing stuck at all. I have people who don't seem to believe me that a private prison has zero impact on over-incarceration since they cannot sentence anybody. They are just housing.

Richard Dolan said...

If you didn't like Trump or Hillary! going in (because he or she is terrible, or for the usual partisan reasons or for something else), you didn't like him or her coming out of the debate. So much of the commentary just follows that script.

It was certainly a weird 90 minutes, with Trump and Hillary! each on full display, doing their thing and confirming everything we already knew about both of them.

Mac McConnell said...

damikesc
I believe the real opposition to private prisons is from the public unions.

Mac McConnell said...

*Hillary is already being coached for the Sept. 26 Presidential Debate. But the Democratic strategy is bizarre. Her handlers do not think she will respond well to stressful questions or rhetoric so Hillary is memorizing canned answers that may not even directly address the subject or question. Why is this a viable strategy? We’re told this will work because the moderators will not redirect Clinton or cross examine her original answer to a question, regardless of her answer. This has been negotiated. So Hillary is free to pontificate without being called on her verbal nonsense, regardless of topic or content. Must be nice. You can bet no such agreement is in place for Trump.

“The debate is already stacked against the guy,” the former operative said. “Hillary’s lawyers already hammered out her ground rules before the debate questions were even formulated. It’s a stacked deck. She knows the game and all the referees.”

-Excerpt From True Pundit, August 30, 2016"

CStanley said...

Trump should combine a defense of his low tax payments with his attack on her record and her tax proposals.

"Secretary Clinton, if you believe that wealthy businessmen like myself have been using the tax code to avoid paying large amounts, then why have you not called for an overhaul of the IRS regulations and what makes you think that a simple increase in tax rates on the wealthy will lead to more tax revenue? Politicians, especially Democrats like yourself, are always saying that they are going to tax the rich but you clearly don't know how to accomplish that."

Chuck said...

Or like FDR said when he made Joseph Kennedy (who made a fortune in the market) his head of the newly-created Securities and Exchange commission; "You need a crook, to catch crooks."

Luke Lea said...

Ann: "Change the laws if they if they create the wrong opportunities for advantage, but don't flail people for making their private decisions in a way that serves their own interests."

The same argument applies to our "bad trade deals" as Trump likes to call them. Don't blame corporations (or Trump himself for that matter) for making things (ties) overseas if those are the places where they can be made most profitably. The laws were changed under Bill Clinton with Nafta and Gatt and when China was given "most favored nation" trading status. Companies that were too "patriotic" to take advantage of these changes would not be able to compete with those that did, and would therefore be driven out of business. That's the way capitalism works and is supposed to work.

Likewise, if stiff tariffs were imposed on imports manufactured in low wage countries like China and Mexico -- call them a "wage-price equalization tax" -- it would be more profitable to make these things in America again. That's why Trump's promise to bring "our jobs back"with tariffs is credible. He would change the rules of the game. Hillary has nothing comparable in her quiver and I think the average Joe may grasp that.

mezzrow said...

Let me take a moment to say that Eric's karma is in a none too friendly place right now.

Deliver, you damned bat. That, or suffer the consequences.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
"Clinton is going to keep coming back to the tax form because a majority of the public agree with her. She may be stiff and charmless but she is not stupid."

Maybe this will help correct your erroneous assertion.


Gusty Winds said...
"I love how Drudge instantly linked to the Time Magazine and CNBC on-line polls so Trump could win those too."

The polls suggest that the majority of the public doesn't give a shit about his tax returns. Would you like to know why?

walter said...

I thought the way Trump talked about being audited becoming "a way of life" was pretty funny.

jimbino said...

When it comes to Trump's right and duty to minimize his taxes to zero, Justice Leaned Hand had what should be the final word:

"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."

CatherineM said...

This has really turned into the "Defend the Donald" page. Sad!

He's is a fool and he was played. I know the rooting for the housing crisis won't play to the hear no evil Trump supporters like Althouse, but for those on the fence, that and the billionaire bragging how smart is for not paying taxes will not go over well. Especially in ads.

Go ahead, continue talking about context and how everyone should be wondering why Hillary hasn't closed tax loopholes. Just dumb of you. Also, if Trump plans on raising taxes on "the rich," as he says, what difference does it make with all of those loop holes? Also, Trump says it will be "squandered anyway," so what's the point?

So dumb.

Larry J said...

Change the laws if they if they create the wrong opportunities for advantage, but don't flail people for making their private decisions in a way that serves their own interests.

This is similar to what happened in the late 1960s. It was announced that 155 wealthy households used the complexity of the tax code to avoid having to pay any income tax. How dare they actually obey the law! Congress passed the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) to ensure that wouldn't happen again. Being the idiots they are, Congress failed to index the AMT to inflation. Today, millions of families are subject to the AMT. Yet again, a "tax the rich" scheme ends up biting the middle class.

Rusty said...

CatherineM@12.08

See my post above.

Sigivald said...

When one realizes that the alternative to a bubble collapsing is ... it keeping on inflating, it becomes rather harder to follow Clinton's point.

Economically, "hoping a bubble collapses" both makes personal financial sense, and is better for the whole economy; it's called a bubble because assets are being greatly mis-priced.

That's "bad".

(And even if CatherineM is right and it's political gold for Clinton, that doesn't change a damned thing about the economics.

I don't think she's right, though, since after all, Trump and his fans can point out that the bubble collapse hurt those big mean nasty bankers far more than mere finger-shaking would, and all those people who got Free Houses From Mortgage Adjustments, etc.)

rehajm said...

Can you imagine? My skin crawls just thinking about it.

RE: the underpants deduction- In 1993 it was entirely appropriate to itemize all clothing donations and take a deduction for the fair market value. I recall recoiling at more than a few returns with such a line item. (shudder)

I've always wondered what value Monica placed on that blue dress?

Exception. You can take a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or a household item that isn't in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return.

(SHUDDER)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hillary talking about taking advantage of tax loopholes and tax strategies while she and her husband are taking advantage of one of the biggest tax loophole strategies of all...>The Clinton Foundation....is really really ironic.

People of wealth. People who have businesses. People like Trump who have multiple corporations. They all are going to take advantage of whatever strategies are available to them. If they do not, then they are utter fools. Whatever else Trump may be he is not an economic fool.

So yes. Not paying taxes makes Trump a smart man.

gadfly said...

Note that the Trump responses were interruptions into Hill's time, which means he deliberately violated the debate rules and second both were the reaction from an over-the-top narcissist. Neither of his responses were germane so we could have done without the ugliness.

Michelle said...

Actually, there is an option to trust neither. Vote for Johnson / Weld, two successful two-term governors with excellent records.

jimbino said...

If you run a corporation, it is your legal duty to maximize returns to your stockholders and minimize the corporate taxes that might cut into their gains. To the extent that a narcissist's interests align with those of the stockholders, he's a great CEO and, possibly, the best candidate for President.

William Chadwick said...

Trump just can't match Hillary and Obama when it comes to their experience in the private sector.

320Busdriver said...

DBQ....you have it exactly right. I was just tbinking of that very thing. Of the hypocrisy of HC talking taxes as the family uses the CF as their personal slush fund.

Where are the fact checkers on that?

320Busdriver said...

*thinking*

kurt bermuda said...

Let me explain it to the distinguished professor.

In battle there is no law.

In the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Danno said...

Blogger Mac McConnell said..."Clinton channeled Rubio with her robotic performance"

Except for the part where Donald was drinking a lot of water similar to Rubio.

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YoungHegelian said...

@wat,

Great new routine, Laslo!

Wait, what's that ya say.......

Rhythm and Balls said...

So Trump's going to cheat the public purse, while using that same government as his vehicle for standing up against everyone that's bringing us down.

That makes no sense.

It's one thing to cheat his mechanic and claim he's the smarter of the two for doing it. It's another thing when he claims he's doing so to position that mechanic into the most competitive business in town.

Rhythm and Balls said...

People of wealth. People who have businesses. People like Trump who have multiple corporations. They all are going to take advantage of whatever strategies are available to them. If they do not, then they are utter fools. Whatever else Trump may be he is not an economic fool.

So yes. Not paying taxes makes Trump a smart man.


With no integrity. And no credibility to lead the same government he likes squeezing.

YoungHegelian said...

@R&B,

And no credibility to lead the same government he likes squeezing.

Governments are not charities. Even if taxes are in theory used for the common good, taxes are extracted from the populace under force of law. The IRS can screw with you in ways that would get any law enforcement agency thrown in jail.

This is one of those points that constitutes a cosmic divide between conservatives & liberals: liberals see taxation as not just a necessary evil, but as a positive good for citizens to submit to; conservatives see taxation as too often just feeding an unresponsive beast, & since, extracted under duress, not an act of virtue.

If I quote Proudhon's maxim "What is property? Property is theft", every liberal in the world will nod approvingly. Is it really so difficult to understand a conservative/libertarian re-wording: "What is taxation? Taxation is theft."?

SukieTawdry said...

Mrs. Clinton, I don't give a rat's patoot about Trump's tax returns. I don't care about yours either. Or any other presidential candidate's. I do, however, think voters have a right to know if a candidate for president has serious health concerns. So, I'll trade you: Trump's tax returns for your full and complete medical records.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are two different things - tax evasion and tax avoidance. Tax evasion is a crime. Tax avoidance is not. The government does not own the fruits of our labors, and has no legal or moral claim on such, above and beyond what they can legally tax. Cheating the public purse would require tax evasion, a crime. There is no evidence whatsoever that Trump has ever done that. Rather, he likely has engaged in fairly aggressive tax avoidance. Which is morally and legally just fine.

What I found esp. rich was Crooked Hillary claiming that the cause of the Obama Recession was the Republican tax cuts. That was one of the most brain dead statements economically that I have ever heard. Tax cuts have repeatedly been shown to be one of the best ways to get out of a recession and encourage growth. As was noted above, I think, the immediate trigger of the recession was the collapse of the housing bubble, which was made much worse by the Dems (including Crooked when she was a Senator, and her husband as President) using the CRA, along with Fannie and Freedie, to put large numbers of those who couldn't afford houses into them. And, the Dems in Congress, led by the infamous pair of Chris Dodd and Barnie Frank (those names sound familiar?), prevented President Bush (43) from cleaning up the mess before it got as bad as it ultimately got.

There are several reasons though that the current recession has been so long, and they all tie to Dem economic mismanagement. First, and foremost, they implemented most of a trillion dollars in fiscal stimulus a year, starting with the infamous Porkulous. This was the biggest, by far, attempt at Keynesian economic stimulus since it was so disastrously attempted by FDR, helping to turn the recession of 1929 into the Great Depression. Keynes postulated that there were certain times in the economic cycle where the govt. could speed us out of a recession (or depression) through very short term fiscal stimulus. But, the Dems have long used it as justification for just spending money on their constituencies to buy campaign contributions and votes. This was pretty much made explicit by Pelosi who essentially said that since spending money was what mattered, they might as well spend it on their pet projects, on their cronies, families, and friends. But, we have known since the 1970s at least that Keynesian economics doesn't work, and probably at least from the end of that decade that the vaunted Dem "fiscal multiplier" that they were arguing about in the 111th Congress was actually negative (or, more accurately, less than 1). Every dollar spent by the govt. is effectively taken out of the economy and spent less efficiently than if it had stayed there, and that loss of efficiency is why the empirical fiscal multiplier is less than one, instead of the 2, 3, or 4 that the Dems so desperately hoped for. We saw that with those "green energy" loans that went to bad business models and plans that couldn't get funding because they were inferior to those that could. And, not surprisingly, since the reason that they were funded is who they knew in the Dem party, and not in how realistic they were, they mostly cratered pretty badly, costing us, the tax payers, many billions.

Another huge problem has been the massive increase in regulations that have been imposed on the economy by the Obama Administration. Again, like fiscal stimulus, they act as a drag on the economy. Every dollar spent on conforming to the new regulations could more efficiently been spent on new plant and equipment. But that alternative was foregone by the Dems imposing all those new regulations.

I don't know if Clinton is as stupid economically as she came across there, or is just trying to justify increasing taxes in order to spend more money on Dem priorities, cronies, families, and friends. She has no real educational basis to know differently, and someone who can fail the DC bar may not have the intellectual horsepower to understand. But, then, we call her Crooked Hillary for a reason...

Rusty said...

CatherineM said...
"This has really turned into the "Defend the Donald" page. Sad!

He's is a fool and he was played. I know the rooting for the housing crisis won't play to the hear no evil Trump supporters like Althouse, but for those on the fence, that and the billionaire bragging how smart is for not paying taxes will not go over well. Especially in ads.

Go ahead, continue talking about context and how everyone should be wondering why Hillary hasn't closed tax loopholes. Just dumb of you. Also, if Trump plans on raising taxes on "the rich," as he says, what difference does it make with all of those loop holes? Also, Trump says it will be "squandered anyway," so what's the point?

So dumb."

Congress writes the tax code CatherineM. Not Hillary, not the President and not Trump.