October 2, 2016

"The Time I Found Donald Trump’s Tax Records in My Mailbox."

By Susanne Craig at the NYT.

I just watched her on George Stephanopoulos's Sunday morning show, and she could barely suppress her glee at her coup getting these documents. My favorite part was when Stephanopoulos asked her if it was acceptable to reveal these leaked documents, and she relied entirely on what the lawyers told her, which is exactly what Trump says about not releasing his tax returns: I'm going by what my lawyers are telling me.

I'd like to see Trump flip the question back to Hillary skillfully. The real issue is the tax code. Does it need to be reformed or not? If Trump took deductions, it was because the tax code provided for them. Once the deductions are there in the tax code, he pretty much has to take them and would be a fool not to take them. If it looks wrong, what's really wrong is the tax code. So, is Hillary proposing to take away this deduction? Is Trump? Presumably, the deduction is there because it's good policy. Will either candidate defend the policy and, if not, promise to change it? I don't see what else matters here. And I suspect the candidates don't even disagree about that.

152 comments:

Mark said...

Three things about this episode --

One -- Trump paid all the taxes that were legally due and owing.
Two -- The Times is guilty of a crime in disseminating these documents.
Two(a) -- By jumping on this story, Hillary once again shows how she does not care about the law.
Three -- apparently the Times itself paid no taxes in 2014.

Gabriel said...

Hands up everyone who refused deductions in order to maximize their tax payment.

Hands up everyone who votes for politicians that promise remove the child care tax credit or the mortgage interest deduction.

Hands up everyone who criticized not only Trump and Romney but also the Clintons and the Obamas for their legal use of the tax code to avoid taxes on some of their income.

The deduction I take is a worthy support for the struggling middle class, the deduction you take is an evil loophole intended to deprive the Treasury of money it could use to help the struggling middle class.

Paco Wové said...

Leaked from where – the IRS? Is this part of that "ongoing weaponization" of the Executive Branch I've been hearing so much about?

Gabriel said...

Further, the Times does not mind that it may have helped commit a crime in order to interfere in favor of their preferred candidate.

Further, the Times itself takes advantage of this same "loophole".

Once written, twice... said...

The big story is that Trump lost a billion dollars and screwed over thousands of little people but came out still rich himself.

Mark said...

He really should have released his taxes over the summer, when it was time to let the smell air out a bit before November.

After enough time people will blame the tax system, not the taxpayer (or avoider) .. but that's not a soundbyte argument and he doesn't have a long time to show that your average taxpayer isn't a chump for paying while Trump lived large and didn't.

After having documents leaked by foreign hackers all summer, it's a little late to take a moral stand on leaked documents.

Didn't hear a lot of moaning here when Eric O'Keefe leaked Doe materials to the Wall Street Journal either.

Sorry your ox got gored. Get over it.

SukieTawdry said...

That's what made Hillary's accusations so stupid. She apparently would have us believe the "good" wealthy pay taxes beyond what's required by the tax code. Voluntary contributions, if you will. That, of course, is quite absurd.

James Pawlak said...

If you believe that reporter, I have a bridge in NY for sale.

Original Mike said...

"Hands up everyone who votes for politicians that promise remove the child care tax credit or the mortgage interest deduction."

My hand would go up for this one, if there were such a politician.

J Melcher said...

As a principle, will either candidate defend changing the status quo LAW to reflect status quo PRACTICE?

The law says no restriction on speech, but the practice says "hate speech" and "fighting words", and cultural appropriation and obscene violations of community standards and expressions of racism etc etc can and MUST be restricted. So, who will argue that the law be amended?

The law says no restriction on citizens keeping arms; the practice is that urban jurisdictions and particular forms of armament and persons with various sorts of history in the legal system and now those with names matching those on restricted TRAVEL lists all face restrictions on keeping a weapon. Who argues for amendment?

The law says a resident should enjoy privacy in his dwelling, but the practice is that cell phones may be "spoofed" and thermal emissions through the walls may be imaged and correspondence via the internet may be archived on the cloud and the makers of phone equipment can be compelled to develop "keys" to open the "locks" they've sold to the phone users; who will advocate that the law be amended?

Are all our most basic laws to be re-interpreted, re-defined, and ignored into oblivion? If we actually have the debate, will we hear from those actually willing to say "Every other nation on the planet demands government oversight of what can be published; they do fine!"





coupe said...

I'm not a detective, but this one is easy. His ex-wife sent the returns, as she was the only other person on Earth who had a copy. She also has a few other years in which she signed.

But I agree, the income tax enabled the country to become an imperialist war power, and has bankrupted our society.

The only way forward is to replace it with a consumption tax (VAT). That way food, water, and energy can be easily non-taxed.

SukieTawdry said...

The big story is that Trump lost a billion dollars and screwed over thousands of little people but came out still rich himself.

That may be true. But, if so, did he do any of it illegally? The problem is not people who take advantage of the system, but the rigged system itself. And it's the lawmakers and regulators who rig the system to whom you should take your complaints.

rehajm said...

The nature of our tax system is we're only required to pay tax on income we're realized- add up the revenue, subtract the losses and what's left is taxable income. A tax loss carryforward is neither a deduction nor a 'loophole', but a means of bringing forward (or back) a loss to a future (past) reporting period. It exists only a means of reconciling different reporting periods, not as a scheme to avoid taxation.

cubanbob said...

As per Drudge the NYT didn't pay income taxes in 2014. And it's patron saint Carlos Slim needs exposing.

Original Mike said...

I don't see this as an example of a "rigged system". Income tax is a tax on income. Income is the sum of gains and losses.

Martha said...

Hillary! and Bill use donations to the Clinton Foundation to legally shelter speaking income.
Hillary! donated Bill's old used ( ewwwwww ) underwear to Goodwill and took a tax deduction back wen they were Arkansas poor.

and Susanne Craig intrepid New York Times reporter breathlessly reports that Trump legally used the tax code to minimize his tax bill!

Humperdink said...

The media leaps from fat shaming to tax shaming. And Hillary rests.

Achilles said...

Blogger Once written, twice... said...
"The big story is that Trump lost a billion dollars and screwed over thousands of little people but came out still rich himself."

This is so blitheringly stupid. Your posts in general are really dumb though.

AJ Lynch said...

The tradition of candidate's releasing their tax returns only benefits long-servig pols like the Clintons and Joe Biden. They=ir primary source of income is the salaries paid by we taxpayers. The tradition allows the media to demonize private sector candidates as plutocrats when their tax returns show they have made a lot of money.

madAsHell said...

The big story is that Trump lost a billion dollars and screwed over thousands of little people but came out still rich himself.


The big story is that Clinton sold the state secrets, and screwed over thousands of little people, but found a way to enrich the Clinton foundation.

Birkel 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."
--Learned Hand

Gregory v. Helvering 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934), aff'd, 293 U.S. 465, 55 S.Ct. 266, 79 L.Ed. 596 (1935)

readering said...

The two issues are that Trump is extremely aggressive in trying to minimize taxes and in claiming to be rich and successful in the face of catastrophic failure. We don't know from these one page summaries if thee deductions were challenged and upheld in subsequent years.

Romney took a political hit because the tax code let him pay a lot less than his huge income seemed to warrant. Of course Trump will take the same hit.

What would have been fun is if the pages had gone to wikileaks first.

rhhardin said...

It's not a mysterious policy. If you have gains you get to subtract losses.

The deduction is there because the tax year is an artificial way to measure gains and losses.

Today's losses spread over many years if there aren't gains in the same year to cancel them.

Birkel said...

Shall I trust anonymous readering or Learned Hand?

Close call, that. But I must trust Learned Hand.

Achilles said...

At this point taxpayers should just write their checks out to Boeing, General Electric, Insurance companies, other wealthy democrat donors, and their parents. The 1% receives the lions share of federal money.

Paying taxes is for chumps. The federal government could literally flush the money down a toilet and it would help us more than what is done with it now. They are printing and borrowing whatever they want anyway.

Hagar said...

If you want to run a successful business, i.e., make money at it, it is essential that you pay very close attention to the tax codes - State and local as well as the Federal - and take advantage of every break you can find. Every little thing adds up to a tidy sum at year's end and often is the difference between profit and loss.

A long time ago, when I worked for a building contractor, there was a month-long running battle every year between the boss and the auditors - our auditors - about what the firm could deduct as expenses. That way we had our story ready and documented with references and footnotes, etc. to a fare-the-well if it should be questioned by the IRS or the State or local municipality, which I do not think it ever was, since they knew we ran a tight ship, and there would not be much if anything to find.

On this story, The NYT seems to have gone The Donald one better; the story on their 2014 taxes says they actually wound up with $3.5 million more after they paid their taxes, so they must somehow have managed to get money from the government.
I have no head for financial matters and do not understand money, so I decided long ago that I would be better off to just be a worker and let someone else worry about these things, but that is what the story says.

rehajm said...

Breaking NEWS:

Documents received by our office from anonymous employees of The New York Times and analyzed by independent experts reveal disturbing tactics of the New York Times Corp to game their employees. After reviewing the pay stubs of several current and former employees our independent experts revealed NYT engages in a disturbing compensation scheme that allows the company to pay their employees only two days out of every month!!! Documents reveal in nearly every month of 2016 several staff members only received compensation on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. No compensation was distributed during any Wednesdays, Thursdays, Mondays or Tuesdays. Saturdays and Sundays were also pay free.

NYT refused comment on the advantages of this pay loophole...

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

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon it adds up to real money. An Obama vacation here and an Obama vacation there and pretty soon it adds up to a hundred million of real money, plus golf balls.

All this really proves is the a rate cut would NOT benefit billionaire Trump in the operation of his Real Estate Development business timed to defer tax with Depreciation deductions and investment tax credits.

EDH said...

And this was for the tax year 1995. Clinton with Democrat majorities in Congress had been in office since 1993.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember a Republican majority taking office in January 1995 passing a change in the tax code that granted this loss carry forward retroactively.

The Democrats had every opportunity to change it before then.

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

So, if a business experiences a loss in a given year, they should still pay taxes as if the loss did not occur? A gross revenue tax. That would really stimulate investment in the USA.

Michael K said...

One time, many years ago when I was still in practice, I had a big loss from a landslide in front of my home. I took an appropriate deduction, advised by my accountant. I was audited and ended up with a letter telling me I owed $100,000 in income tax.

My accountant then went through the audit with the IRS and I got another letter saying my tax liability was $0.

I had the two letters framed and hung on the wall. I don't know where they are anymore.

I suspect Trump doesn't want to get into a political argument while he is in the middle of an audit and I doubt he will pay any price for it with voters who will vote for him.

Michael K said...

"we can't just be borrowing it, or printing it. Can we?"

Yes.

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

robother said...
So, if a business experiences a loss in a given year, they should still pay taxes as if the loss did not occur? A gross revenue tax. That would really stimulate investment in the USA."

Why not? But only if it were extended to non-profits and tax exempts on their gross revenues. And since Democrats love taxes, broadcasters should be required to pay an annual severance tax for use of the airways. And all civil servants should pay 15.9% payroll tax.

AReasonableMan said...

readering said...
What would have been fun is if the pages had gone to wikileaks first.


Not sure the Russians would have allowed them to release the forms.

Paco Wové said...

"...aggressive in trying to minimize taxes..."

The horror! The horror!

DougWeber said...

This is proof of how foolish the NYTimes can be. The interesting piece from this is that the loss is on line 15 Other Income. This is ot wages, interest, divident, business income, or capital gains. Looking this up, other income is among others:
Caneled debts. All others do not seem to be meaningful. So someone(probably his own companies) owed Trump 900,000,000 dollars and he wrote it off. Possibly in bankruptcy or such. If this is the case it is certainly not a loop hole. Trump may have actually lost money of this magnitude, though it may have been in kind not cash. It is also interesting that the largest source of income for that year was Interest Income.

CatherineM said...

So Trump said at 10:18am 12/715 that Jeff Bezos WaPo loses money and takes a deduction and "screws public on low taxation" and calls Amazon a big tax shelter....and chastises "HALF of Americas don't pay income tax despite crippling govt debt" still has you all twisting to defend Trump. Trump chumps.

gspencer said...

What’s also mentioned in the NYT piece, but in decidedly muted tones, is that if Trump wound up not owing any federal tax, it was completely legal.

"Completely legal" according to the tax laws enacted by DEMOCRATS who controlled the House from 1931 to 1994 (60 years)*, including chairmanships of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee.

*DEMOCRAT stranglehold control on how the tax laws were written is stark. DEMOCRATS controlled the House for those 60 years, excepting the 80th Congress (1947-1949) and the 83d Congress (1953-1955).

Howard said...

These "behind the scenes" articles where the reporters make themselves the white knight heros make me want to puke.

That said, this smells like a false flag limited hangout from the Trump camp.

Yancey Ward said...

If you read deep enough into the story, you find the likely source of Trump's operating loss for that year- he appears to have personally guaranteed loans to some of the enterprises he owned stakes in- nearly 900 million dollars according the article. Even though those eventually declared bankruptcy, he would have still been on the hook for the guarantees to the extent he could pay them off. From what it is reported, he never declared personal bankruptcy, so he appears to have been able to fulfill the guarantees.

I think it is likely he could have avoided the loss altogether if he had never issued those guarantees, but then it is certain those enterprises would have gone bankrupt even sooner, screwing over those little people even more, according to the logic of some people in this thread. He wouldn't be the first businessman to lose money by trying to salvage a failing enterprise.

The system of accounting for gains and losses is logical and ethical- indeed it still leans the wrong way since carry-over losses depreciate at the inflation rate. It basically works like this- let's say I started a business made a taxable profit of 100 million dollars in 1994- I paid the government 30 million in taxes that year. Then I lose 100 million the next year. Accounting over the two year period, my business had a taxable profit of minus 100 million dollars- as such, my total tax bill for those two years should be zero. If you don't allow carryovers and look-backs, then the taxable year is purely arbitrary in nature. Even as it is, the carryovers lose value to inflation.

AReasonableMan said...

There cannot be a rational debate on top marginal tax rates when we don't have information on actual tax rates paid by top income earners. Thanks to the Republican candidates for president we now have two data points - 0% and 13%. Doesn't seem too bad to me.

cubanbob said...

Hillary wants to give everyone a free college education-that's an imputed income and should be taxed accordingly.

Sloanasaurus said...

The only obvious source of the documents is the government, which illegally turned over the documents to the NY Times.

Apparently, no one gives a shit about that. The end justifies the means.

But the documents were not turned over to blow the whistle on the government, they were turned over to harm a specific individual citizen - Donald Trump.

Is there a difference?

Didn't Clinton personally fight against this kind of Government abuse when she worked on the Watergate Hearings. Now she is complicit in the same behavior for her self.

If Obama/Clinton are willing to do it to Trump, they can do it to any of us -- any time, for any reason. Sad.

traditionalguy said...

The NYT is preaching a much better system. All money belongs to the State. The State selects a small group of friends who are favored to be handed mass free money. The rest of it goes 1/2 to a Secret Police Gestapo that collects the State's money and kills off any suspected opposition, and 1/2 going to a Military force that conquers surrounding countries that have some loot to take.

This system can either be called Social Justice, or Marxism.

Dan said...

Clinton’s been in public service most of her life... what does a public service bankruptcy look like? Instead of the little people losing money, they get the IRS at their door, they get their FBI files stolen and released, they get their reputations destroyed... what does a public service bankruptcy look like if it isn’t destruction of evidence and a hundred million dollars in the bank for nothing. What is a public service bankruptcy if it isn’t selling hi-tech secrets to China, flooding the nation with immigrants our economy can’t support and a dead Ambassador in the streets... what is a public service bankruptcy if it isn’t American special servicemen waiting for backup that never comes... at least in a private sector bankruptcy, the courts do their best to help everyone walk away, as Trump did, to try again.

AReasonableMan said...

Sloanasaurus said...
The only obvious source of the documents is the government


I am not sure that this is completely obvious. Trump clearly burned a lot business partners during his path through life, possibly including his accountant, who seemed very anxious to help.

Greg Hlatky said...

"The legal right of a taxpayer to decrease the amount of what otherwise would be his taxes, or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted."

Gregory v. Helvering, 293 US 465 (1935)

Darrell said...

The NYT paid no taxes last year. Neither does most of Hollywood. But it is your duty to pay the least amount of tax that you can legally , as the many noted jurists have told us in income tax cases before the courts. Heck, the Clintons took deductions for used underwear given to charities. And that may frankly stink.

jacksonjay said...

Surely the Master Persuader and Media Manipulator can easily convince voters of his genius on this matter. If tax avoidance makes him smart, and I think it does, why not own it, release the returns and prove that Dilbert is also a genius. Shouldn't be a thing. Ok, Ok!

Will the media spend any time on the recent legal moves made by Billary to avoid death taxes. Wouldn't that be interesting in light of her proposal for a 65% estate tax? Huh?

Yancey Ward said...

These documents likely didn't come from the IRS, though it is possible that a leaker in that organization only released the state forms (which the IRS can request at any time, and for a person of Trump's wealth, likely would have acquired in the normal auditing process as a check against the federal forms) to cover his or her tracks. However, the easiest explanation is that someone in his organization knew where the forms would be kept and probably copied on the front forms because of haste.

Hagar said...

The source could indeed be Trump - and he can release it to whomever he wants.
Numbers like those would not have passed unnoticed at the IRS back in 1995. That return would have been vetted.
And if there was anything wrong with it, and the source was an enemy, a copy might still have gone to The NYT, but it would not have been to Susanne Craig in the gossip section.

n.n said...

Mailbox Gate

As for the tax code, deductions exist to coordinate penalties of both profit and loss, and favor the government through depreciation. Whereas Mailbox Gate favors the targets of the Fourth Estate.

Mac McConnell said...

Want to know why Trump's tax audit is taking so long, check out photo of Trump signing his tax return at WAPO.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/02/the-new-york-times-risked-legal-trouble-to-publish-donald-trumps-tax-return/


Note, the Net Operating Loss (NOL) has been a feature of US tax code for damn near ever.

The basic rules for using an NOL are:

Carry the amount back to the preceding two tax years and apply it against any taxable income, which can generate an immediate tax rebate. You can waive this action and instead proceed directly to the next step; if so, attached a statement to your tax return in the year in which the NOL was generated, documenting the waiver.
Carry the amount forward for the next 20 years and apply it against any taxable income, which reduces the amount of taxable income in those years.
After 20 years, any remaining NOL is cancelled.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

The source of the documents does not have to be his wife or a government worker. It could be one of the workers at his accountant or lawyers offices who have copies of the documents.

No matter the source it was illegal for the NYTimes to publish, they broke Federal Law. I hope Trump pushes for the appropriate parties to be held responsible. Guessing that would not be politically feasible until after the election.

n.n said...

I wonder if Planned Parenthood is eligible to deduct progressive (i.e. monotonic, unqualified) loss of human life or would that be considered a profit from normal business operations in their industry.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

It is all about the messaging. Buffet is a lefty hero for "complaining" that he pays less taxes than his secretary. Despite the fact that he could easily opt to pay more taxes, he structures his finances so he does not. Rewarding hypocrisy.

Jean said...

She gets the scoop, but a man gets top billing on the main story. Sad!

rehajm said...

The return could have originated from a financial institution where Trump had applied for financing. A tax return is often part of a required disclosure package.

Unrelated: As a result of Dodd-Frank government employees are embedded as board members and officers of major lending institutions.

walter said...

"Presumably, the deduction is there because it's good policy."
(cough)

Hagar said...

The idea would be to "play Benghazi" and next release returns for the following 20 years, but it is all "old news."

Annie said...

My father-in-law, who was a laborer all of his life, lost nearly half of his life savings in the downturn '09. He is still able to write it off on his taxes to this day. It would be foolish for him not to take advantage of such write-offs. And as we're getting older, our taxes/investments have gotten more complicated. So we give it to our tax guy to figure out...like Trump does.

Get back to me when it's found out Trump did something illegal.

Original Mike said...

"Blogger walter said..."Presumably, the deduction is there because it's good policy."
(cough)"


Just so we're clear, walter. You think the government should take a percentage of your gains but not take into account your losses?

Annie said...

Once written, twice... said...
The big story is that Trump lost a billion dollars and screwed over thousands of little people but came out still rich himself.


No, the big story is that Trump's tax preparers took advantage of deductions put in the tax code by politicians and lawyers, who write the laws to benefit themselves. Are you telling me that you would not take advantage of said deductions, if it were you?

All sorts of democrat millionaires/billionaires take advantage and I don't hear you pissing and moaning over them. In fact, people like Al Sharpton are forgiven their millions of dollars of taxes. Warren Buffet has been fighting a billion dollar tax bill but not too much is made of that since he donates to democrat causes and kisses obama's behind.

And how on earth does Trump losing a billion screw the little guy? It's not like he was Sec. of State and lost $6 billion from his department alone, screwing the entire country.

Annie said...

Heck, the Clintons took deductions for used underwear given to charities. And that may frankly stink.

And most recently they gave a million dollars to....their own 'charitable' Foundation. Talk about tax avoidance.

walter said...

Original Mike,
As someone who has deducted costs of expenses: equipment, mileage etc. I think it's bullshit.
Plenty of things can happen to individuals to create "net losses" but because policy isn't specifically addressing them, they get no deduction.
In business..should be the same. If you lose money, not doing it right...guvment shouldn't be in there trying to manage it. Factor in costs into your rates/pricing.

Darrell said...

Hillary "lost" $6 Billion of taxpayer money from SOS accounts when she was in charge--and we are told not to worry our pretty little heads about it. Is this the source of the money that Obama gave to Iraq? Or her $1 billion campaign fund at the start? The funds to start BLM?

Diogenes of Sinope said...

During the debate Clinton said Trump didn't pay any taxes, did she know that? If so, how did Clinton know that? Did the IRS share information with the Clinton campaign?

Original Mike said...

@walter.... All right, your gains are the government's and your losses are your own.

Chuck said...

Very respectfully, Professor Althouse:

1. Do we really know that Trump is being audited? How do we know that?
2. Do we really know that Trump is under legal advice to not disclose his past-failed returns?
3. What is the basis for that advice? We know that there is no legal obligation or other duty to keep his previously-filed returns private. And if Trump viewed it in his political interest to disclose copies of the returns, he could and would do it.


cubanbob said...

walter said...
Original Mike,
As someone who has deducted costs of expenses: equipment, mileage etc. I think it's bullshit.
Plenty of things can happen to individuals to create "net losses" but because policy isn't specifically addressing them, they get no deduction.
In business..should be the same. If you lose money, not doing it right...guvment shouldn't be in there trying to manage it. Factor in costs into your rates/pricing.
10/2/16, 1:07 PM"

You make a great case for taxing non-profits and tax exempts.

walter said...

Mike, Losses are factored into pricing of product.
Like when you are an individual, if your expenses require X, you seek a job paying X. In that case, the individual's work the product...which is factored into the end product.
The problem with all the tax complexity is everyone wants to hang on to the deductions they like while hammering those they don't.
I gets more complex every year. Great for CPAs and tax attorneys.
But I can't see any way to improve things fairly unless we get the guvment/pols out of the business of dictating what behavior is worthy of subsidy.

Achilles said...

Is there anything more stupid than this subject? Shoulder shimmy anyone?

Trump produced things. He should make money. There is a reason for him to make money.

Hillary produced nothing of value. Absolutely nothing. And she amassed 250 million dollars in net worth and a "non-profit" that raked in billions. She clearly sold influence and the jackasses like Chuck do not care.

This subject is a joke.

Original Mike said...

"Mike, Losses are factored into pricing of product."

No. Expenses are factored into the pricing of the product, and I agree with you it would be cleaner if we did away with those deductions. Expenses are expected. Losses are unexpected.

gadfly said...

The Trumpsters can never find anything wrong with any incompetence displayed by the Donald.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump ... derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Trump's $916 million loss carryforward from 1995 added to substantial loss carryforward (amount not given) available to Trump according to records obtained via FOIA from the NJ Casino Control Commission for 1991 and 1993. This information confirms the suspicians that Donald really never was a good business man. It is apparant that the accumulation of losses played a big part in the way Trump thinks about business but when the government freebies are exhausted, all of the abstract asset values hung on the balance sheet will come to roost when current liabilities far exceed cash inflows. Then Trump walls will come tumbling down - but not before America as we know it tumbles first beginning in 2017.

walter said...

Well...predictable expenses like equipment are deductible. Businesses may buy equipment in a given year specifically because they will benefit tax-wise...to create predictable "losses".

Yancey Ward said...

Good grief, Walter, we aren't talking about normal business expenses here. A tax year is an arbitrary period of profit and loss. If you don't allow rebates or carryovers, it becomes fully a case of heads I win, tails you lose proposition from the point of view of the government. And note, you cannot recoup what are basically gross revenue taxes by raising prices. Think about it.

rehajm said...

In business..should be the same. If you lose money, not doing it right...guvment shouldn't be in there trying to manage it. Factor in costs into your rates/pricing.

Given an annual reporting period this creates an extreme perverse incentive for short term investment. No more projects that might last longer than 12 months. Everyone waits to begin projects until Jan 1. No projects started later in the year unless they can be completed and profitable by Dec 31.

Original Mike said...

Walter, now you're getting coy. I agree we should greatly simplify the tax code by doing away with deducting expenses. But that's not really what we're talking about, is it?

walter said...

There are plenty of perversions in the tax code currently. But I understand if you've structured things around them, uncomfortable to see another route.

Yancey Ward said...

Walter, this isn't a perversion, though. That is the point. What you are advocating for in this thread is for new perversion in the code, and an economically illiterate one at that.

Original Mike said...

Come on Walter, just say it! Income = gains - losses. (Not expenses, but real losses). Right?

Unknown said...

It speaks to Trumps hypocrisy, which speaks to his charachter. He took advantage of the tax code to pay no federal taxes, he then accepted federal money after 9/11. His hypocrisy ranges from using his fake foundations money to pay his own fines, from manufacturing all his own products overseas, from engaging in pay for play- Pam Bondi case, his own misogyny and poor fa,key values, everything he has thrown at Clinton come back to him in spades. He lives in a glass house and is too stupid to think it can't be broken. The man is a fraud. He has defrauded his contractors, the federal government, Trump University participants, Trump Foundation contributors, he is a common crook.

Unknown said...

"Family", but fakey works too.

Mac McConnell said...

What large business actually owns it's plant and equipment outright. Like your mortgage, the banks own it. Assets aren't written off when bought, they are depreciated over their useful life. There are exceptions, as sec 179 write offs, but there are limits.

Drive around your suburbs and note all the closed strip malls, all these folks took NOL or just went bankrupt. Every place you shop the inventor is owned by the bank, it's why they have sales, the bank wants their money.

So almost all businesses are leveraged, but when Trump does it it's bad.

FYI, Trump got out of Atlantic City when getting out was good. Question, was Trump's the only casino failure in Atlantic City?

rehajm said...

At first I thought Walter was envisioning a world where IRS sent me check if I had an operating loss in a given year but I believe he's proposing allowing Treasury to keep any loss in a heads I win tails you lose situation. I can't imagine what that might look like. Albania? Narcos?

Leora said...

Pretty sure the Times lawyers are confident that the NY Attorney General will not prosecute for the release of state tax records. The NJ return is part of the NY return since a credit was claimed. If someone called me asking for information about a return I prepared and they weren't a tax agency official or someone with a warrant or discovery order, I would hang up on them. Shame on Mr. Mitnick.

Original Mike said...

"I believe he's proposing allowing Treasury to keep any loss in a heads I win tails you lose situation."

I believe you are correct.

walter said...

Expenses can be channeled into net loss to offset gains. And employing strategic predictable expenses can provide tax benefit.
But hey..just an economic illiterate here.
"It's all good"
Carry on..

MayBee said...

Hillary said something at the debate about seeing his taxes from when he applied for a casino license.
Is this what she saw?

Yancey Ward said...

Here is what a tax system without carry over losses is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XGAmPRxV48

jrapdx said...

At 1:16 PM Chuck boldly wrote:

"1. Do we really know that Trump is being audited? How do we know that?
2. Do we really know that Trump is under legal advice to not disclose his past-failed returns?
3. What is the basis for that advice? "


What we know is that Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, addressed those exact points in a TV interview (I don't remember the exact time, etc.). Mr. Cohen expressly forbid disclosure while the return was under IRS audit.

So, answers are 1) Yes. Attorney said so. 2) Yes, attorney said so. 3) Attorney said so.

IOW, Chuck's questions were point-for-point asked and answered. Though probably, even coming from the definitive source, it's still not good enough for folks like Chuck.

Original Mike said...

"Expenses can be channeled into net loss to offset gains. And employing strategic predictable expenses can provide tax benefit."

I, for one, have acknowleded that and said get rid of it. For your part, you are now hiding behind that fig leaf.

Haven't noticed a lot of your posts, but now that I'm noticing it looks like you're not a very forthright commenter.

Rusty said...

CatherineM said...
"So Trump said at 10:18am 12/715 that Jeff Bezos WaPo loses money and takes a deduction and "screws public on low taxation" and calls Amazon a big tax shelter....and chastises "HALF of Americas don't pay income tax despite crippling govt debt" still has you all twisting to defend Trump. Trump chumps."

And the Clinton Foundation? One big assed tax dodge.

"Blogger Michael K said...
One time, many years ago when I was still in practice, I had a big loss from a landslide in front of my home. I took an appropriate deduction, advised by my accountant. I was audited and ended up with a letter telling me I owed $100,000 in income tax.

My accountant then went through the audit with the IRS and I got another letter saying my tax liability was $0."

Been there, doc. Tax bill, 104,000.
After accountant visit I get a check for 3400.
My advice to anyone who has to pay taxes. Get an accountant. And here's the important part. Never, never,never go to an IRS meeting in person.You'll thank me.

Yancey Ward said...

Walter,

What fool spends more money to get less money back as a profitable strategy? I don't doubt for a second that business persons schedule their their investments and other purchases to maximize their nets, but that is how it should be. Only a fool would make unneeded expenditures to save less money than the cost of the items themselves. And only a fool would think most business persons are fools.

Mac McConnell said...

"My advice to anyone who has to pay taxes. Get an accountant. And here's the important part. Never, never,never go to an IRS meeting in person.You'll thank me."

Great advice, but if you must go take your tax preparer or accountant or tax lawyer with you. Don't say word, let your rep speak for you. I tell my clients I''ll beat the shit out of them if they open their pie hole during the audit. Don't volunteer anything.

Darrell said...

So who is going to go to jail for releasing Trump's taxes in violation of privacy laws? I'll be waiting for the NYT's story about it and I bet it's a good one!

Chuck said...

jrapdx:

No, I don't think Michael D. Cohen is Trump's tax attorney. Cohen is indeed an attorney (he went to Western Michigan Univerity's Cooley Law School) and afterward, he became a political player, working as a Congressional staffer and later running for New York City council and New York state senate, unsuccessfully.

Cohen is an attorney and he works for the Trump organization, but I don't think he's any kind of a tax specialist.

Cohen can now say that he has advised Trump not to release his tax returns, but he is a campaign staffer essentially.

I would not believe much of anything from Michael Cohen. I would want much better proof that Trump is actually being audited. Like an audit letter from the IRS. And I'd want to hear much more in detail from an actual tax lawyer. I don't think that Cohen is an active part of any Trump tax representation.

I don't frankly know what Cohen did when he was at the Philips Nizer firm. Did he work in their tax department?


jrapdx said...

In business for >30 years I came to think of it like a bathtub with an open drain and water pouring in from the spigot. Income flowed in irregularly, but went down the drain at a pretty constant rate. The trick was keeping a certain level of water in the tub, meaning enough cash flow to cover operating expenses and hopefully some profit. On the whole it was more or less a zero sum game.

So taxable profits were income - (expenses + losses). In a small (and probably even more so in a large) corporation, there were many options to manage expenses and gains to minimize tax burdens. If that was not possible, realistically there would be no way to keep the doors open.

Honestly, I can't say I completely understood the mutable, arcane accounting rules governing the tax transactions, I'm not sure even the CPAs had an unambiguous grasp of it. If Trump releases even a paltry 52 page summary of his tax accounting process, how many of us, even IRS "experts", would fully understand what it was about?

Good chance the answer is 0. I'll put it this way: ask 10 experts, you'll get at least 13 answers.

Hagar said...

Any business of any size is dependent on layers of accountants and auditors - internal or outside consultants. You are not going to find any evidence of skullduggery in their tax returns submitted to the IRS.
And if you think a firm's tax return indicates wrongdoing, why are you not attacking the IRS for failing to see it or not having done anything about it?
This fuss is just B.S. on the face of it.

jrapdx said...

Chuck-

Why would Cohen have to be a tax attorney to represent Trump's interests? Cohen would surely know that an audit was taking place and understood the concept of a "tax audit". He certainly wouldn't be responsible for the detailed IRS negotiations, but would be aware of the legal implications and obligations of Trump and Trump's campaign. As Cohen made clear, it was his legal advice to Trump that he was talking about.

Since IANAL, I can't argue with Cohen or anyone about what he said. But since he was speaking as a lawyer, I have to take him at his word this was his advice to Trump, and Trump would be a fool not to heed his lawyer's advice.

You seem to be saying the lawyer was lying about the audit or what he told Trump. I can't help you in that case, I can only assume you refuse to see it except in the light of your own reality.

rehajm said...

Don't say word, let your rep speak for you.

You need not be present at your own audit. Unless you are your own CPA/MST/Tax attorney you should not be present at your own audit.

rehajm said...

I would want much better proof that Trump is actually being audited.

With income above $1 million you are automatically subject to IRS review. If you believe Trump meets that threshold that's proof enough.

Chuck said...

Cohen doesn't have to be a tax advisor to say to Trump, "Don't release copies of your returns." A political advisor could do that. Indeed, I think it is widely accepted that the Trump campaign has known all along that they'd take a p.r. hit for not releasing the tax returns. But that they must also know what a p.r. hit they'd take if they did release them, and that the latter hit would be a lot worse.

But that's not tax advice.

If you know better, perhaps you can articulate how or what issues Trump is facing, that would make the public release of returns that were filed 15, 10 or five years ago would harm his taxable interests.

Michael Cohen can -- and would -- say anything to help the Trump Campaign and the Trump Organization. For him to say, "It is my legal advice to Mr. Trump to not release the returns" is fall-down easy. Of course he'd say it. My next question would be, "Are you his lead tax counsel?" Then, "Who is it?" And then, "Can we interview them?" And of course, "Will you allow counsel a limited ability outside of the attorney-client privilege to discuss some basic details of the filings?"

cubanbob said...

walter said...
Well...predictable expenses like equipment are deductible. Businesses may buy equipment in a given year specifically because they will benefit tax-wise...to create predictable "losses".
10/2/16, 1:31 PM"

That level of stupidity isn't natural. What brand of WMD grade stupidity pills do you take?

Chuck said...

Trump and the Trumpkins all wanted the most supremely exacting proof of Obama's birth. Some kind of certified-original-paper-signed-timestamped certificate.

I'm not that picky. A simple photocopy of whatever the IRS has sent to Trump notifying him and/or his counsel of the nature of any ongoing audit. Something that would detail the status of the audit, even if it needed to be redacted to remove personal tax information.

Hagar said...

Successful businessmen do not take advice from their lawyers about how to run their businesses. You do that and pretty soon you will find the lawyer running the business and you are out of it. They tell the lawyers what they want to do and for the lawyers to find a way for them to do it legally.

cubanbob said...

rehajm said...
I would want much better proof that Trump is actually being audited.

With income above $1 million you are automatically subject to IRS review. If you believe Trump meets that threshold that's proof enough.

10/2/16, 3:15 PM"

Chuck's head might explode, unknown's for sure...........
What these experts in income taxation don't understand that as you said everyone with a million dollars in ordinary income always gets their returns reviewed. Furthermore above the one million dollar amount almost all deductions are disallowed. An individual cannot escape paying income tax on ordinary income over a certain amount (I don't recall but it isn't that high) no matter how many deductions due to the AMT.

People way below Trump's level of wealth get automatically reviewed every year simply because of the amount of total revenues on their returns requires a review to make sure there isn't evasion on their returns.

Chuck said...

Hagar said...
Successful businessmen do not take advice from their lawyers about how to run their businesses.


That's another thing; a guy whose campaign is built in large part on the candidate's having been a brilliantly successful businessman would be best measured by his tax returns.

cubanbob said...

Chuck said...
Trump and the Trumpkins all wanted the most supremely exacting proof of Obama's birth. Some kind of certified-original-paper-signed-timestamped certificate."

I hate to break this to you but being a natural born citizen is a requirement to be president. Releasing tax returns isn't one of them. Apparently you have forgotten it was the Hillary campaign that started the whole birther thing and it was Obama that kept it dragging out when he could have released the original at anytime he wanted. By the way have you seen J Kerry's DD-214 forms? Has Obama shown he has renounced his foreign citizenships?

cubanbob said...

Chuck said...
Hagar said...
Successful businessmen do not take advice from their lawyers about how to run their businesses.


That's another thing; a guy whose campaign is built in large part on the candidate's having been a brilliantly successful businessman would be best measured by his tax returns."

For almost all of it's existence Amazon hasn't made any money. Are you saying Jeff Bezos is a failure?

jrapdx said...

A few years after it was opened my business was audited. The IRS guy was a young hotshot, determined to find something. He sat in the waiting room for days over a 3 week period. I wasn't quite sure what he hoped to accomplish with that strategy, but there he was.

Everything was gone over with a fine-tooth comb. However I refused to let him see my appointment book because it would breach confidentiality requirements of state law. That was about the only demand he relented on.

Upshot was, after all the stress and trauma, the only thing he found was a minor error calculating depreciation on some furniture, resulting in a tax of $335 that I owed. The accountant covered the cost given it was his error.

Funny thing is in all the decades since, no questions asked, no more audits, as though the government is convinced no point going after a low yield target.

I always imagine the IRS keeps a list, much like Santa Claus, of taxpayers naughty and nice. I figure Trump definitely must be on the "not nice" side of the ledger.

Chuck said...

cubanbob, if the trump audit(s) in question are so routine, and so thoroughly non-indicative of any wrongdoing, isn't that all the more reason to make them public?

For my own part, I presume that Trump's income tax returns don't show any illegality. If they showed that Trump owed more in past due taxes, it wouldn't bother me. If the returns showed that Trump paid a very low percentage of his income in federal income taxes, it wouldn't bother me. (Although I'm sure that much of the media would freak out about it, as would a lot of voters, I suspect.)

But I have to agree with Trump's critics that we should know whether Trump has any major debts, and what sort of businessman he is, and whether tax policies that he might pursue as Chief Executive would have any particular impact on his personal wealth and interests.

I think that the taxes of presidential candidates are one of the few occasions that personal returns draw attention to the tax code in practice. I think that the exposure of the Clinton's taxes and the Clinton foundation records work as a public service to draw attention to the tax code and how it can be bent and used. I like more information, not less.

Meeeea said...

"Planned Parenthood outlined in its annual report released at the end of December that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The organization received $553 million in taxpayer funding/grants in 2014, up from $528 million the year prior, which equated to 43 percent of its total income. $48 million of Planned Parenthood’s income was used for sex education, and $39 million was used for public policy, or to influence state and federal law, up from $33 million in 2013.

Despite its expenditures, it still garnered a $61 million dollar profit."

http://christiannews.net/2016/10/01/democrats-propose-resolution-celebrating-planned-parenthood-as-essential-thread-in-fabric-of-society/

Well they made a killing! I wonder if they paid any fed tax.

Drago said...

Nice to see that Chuck has abandoned his "lifelong republican" shtick.

Not that anyone was ever fooled.

Darrell said...

Now that it's out there that Trump had a $zero tax bill, why on Earth would he ever release all his taxes? The people that are offended by that have already been offended. Just as I was offended by Bill's used underwear deduction. Why doesn't Hillary and Obama release the CRITIC logs for 9/11 and 9/12 2012? Someone had to issue the stand-down order since assistance is automatically sent.

Chuck said...

Drago said...
Nice to see that Chuck has abandoned his "lifelong republican" shtick.

Not that anyone was ever fooled.


I am like most Republicans, who think that Donald Trump should have released his tax returns.

https://www.qu.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/

wild chicken said...

Walter, anyone can take net operating losses, not just business owners.

Hagar said...

Chuck said:
Hagar said...
Successful businessmen do not take advice from their lawyers about how to run their businesses.

That's another thing; a guy whose campaign is built in large part on the candidate's having been a brilliantly successful businessman would be best measured by his tax returns.


Huh? "Hello man!" "Ax handle!"

But to Chuck's reply: No, I don't necessarily think so. 1040 is an income tax return form, and a "brilliantly succesfull businessman" would presumably try to avoid having unnecessary income. There are other ways of garnering wealth.

holdfast said...

Anyone who's followed the history of business knows that most successful businessmen have had some losses, even disasters along the way. Apple LISA anyone?

There's a reason why equity, and junk bonds, have a high return (well, they would if the Fed didn't wasn't keeping money artificially cheap) - they have a corresponding hight amount of risk. Anyone who invested in Trump stock, JVs, debt, whatever had to know that he's always been a high-flyer who's gotten burned more than once.

According to Dem/MFM morality, the only good people are those who collect governement W-2s for a couple of years, and yet somehow emerge multi-millionaires on the other end. And of course for them "investing" consists of can't-lose cattle or real estate deals that are either just thinly-veiled bribes, or are purely trading on insider info. So the idea of taking real losses from speculation is alien to them.

I personally don't think that Trump is a great business man - I wouldn't invest with him - and yet he's hung on the real estate game longer than a lot of other titans of real estate - the Reichmans (i.e. Olympia and York) come to mind - very smart investors who somehow flamed out in London and NY real estate (they weren't wrong, they were just too early and couldn't stay liquid long enough).

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course you can write off losses. Government can't claim a portion of the gains and ignore the losses.

I figured this would be something really big. Instead it's 20 year old partial tax returns that show no wrongdoing. And for this so many congratulations for investigative reporting. Nevermind that it fell right into the reporter's lap.

Chuck said...

Hagar;

On the Althouse blog I win, just because you used "garner," right?

But really, if you don't think that Trump's tax returns are "the best" way to measure his personal business success, that's okay. It is one way. Not only is it one way (if not the best way) to measure Trump as a personal business success, it has been a basic informal requirement of every presidential candidate of the last several decades. And it should be more so in Trump's case, where he is unique among modern presidential candidates in having never been in public service before, with no great public scrutiny of his affairs.

Fabi said...

Being an American citizen is a Constitutional requirement, Chuck -- releasing tax returns is not. You really are a jackass.

Chuck said...

Who said it was a requirement, Fabi? Not me! Trump can do whatever he wants. Including, making the personal-benefit calculation that it is much better for Donald J. Trump to keep those returns undisclosed, rather than release them to the public.

Trump doesn't need to do a goddamned thing for me. But then again, he wants my vote. Or maybe he doesn't. If Trump and all of the Trumpkins can say clearly that they don't want my vote, it makes life much easier for me.

Hagar said...

The normal thing would be for the successful businessman to own a controlling interest in a company that owns controlling interests in various companies, and so on, and the actual money - good or bad - would never show up in his personal income tax return. So I am surprised to see that.

And Chuck, the Clintons have certainly shown that it is possible to be in public service for decades with no great public scrutiny of their affairs. Business affairs, that is.

Chuck said...

You know something, Fabi; about our little bet on Trump's "garnering" 15% of the black vote...

I have been wondering if Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, and his claiming that he was "smart" to avoid taxes, might just win him a few more black votes. The "outlaw" factor, that won black votes for so many black politicians like Kwame Kilpatrick, Marion Barry, Alcee Hastings, Chaka Fatah, etc.

jrapdx said...

Chuck, et. al.:

It occurs to me, all of you hell-bent on seeing Trump's returns should with equal vigor be insisting on an independent tax audit of the Clinton Foundation. As an 501(c)(3) organization, the legitimacy of its tax exempt status is called into question by the reported measly 5% fraction of its vast income actually going to charity.

After spending >20 years on boards of 501(c)(3) non-profits, I know organizations must file reports with the IRS documenting activities that justify the exemption. It's worth reviewing the IRS criteria: Exemption Requirements - 501(c)(3) Organizations

If indeed the CF is found to have abrogated its charitable duties, just imagine the huuuuge payload of back taxes and penalties due on $100's of millions in "donations" taken in over the years, and massive "salaries" paid out to the Clinton clan. The FBI supposedly was investigating CF criminal conduct, though we know where that will go. The IRS could perform an audit like they've done with Trump, well, it's a good theory but won't happen either.

Therein lies the real tax scandal of this election season. Of course we are not surprised nary a word of it appears on the usual news outlets.

Fabi said...

You were the one commingling tax returns and birth certificates, Chuck -- not me. Weak attempt at deflection.

Michael K said...

"Never, never,never go to an IRS meeting in person.You'll thank me."

Rule # 1, 2 and 3. At one point, I was audited for five or six years in a row. I don't think there was any significant tax liability but my accounting bills were significant. My accountant finally accused them of harassing me. I didn't get audited for ten years.

I think the next time was the landslide. It almost took my house with it.

MPH said...

The real scandal has nothing to do with our ability to write off losses. It's that he lost A BILLION dollars in one year. Those that have been accusing him of being a fake billionaire and a charlatan were right all along.

SDN said...

"screwed over thousands of little people"

You mean like all the creditors and pensioners of Government Motors when Obama bailed out his cronies and donors by overriding the bankruptcy code? How much was involved there?

Fabi said...

MPH freely displays his ignorance of business -- especially real estate developers / speculators -- and taxes.

Ralph Volpi said...

Has anyone noted that every dime that Hillary Clinton has gotten her fat, greedy little hands on is a dime that some company, bank, or billionaire sycophant pal of Hillary's and Bill did not pay to the federal government because it was either given to "charity" or "business expenses?"

The only difference between Donald Trump not paying any taxes and Hillary Clinton, is that Hillary Clinton's uses other people's taxes to feather her own sinfully luxurious nest.

If anybody willing to take an over and under as to whether the news media will pursue this line of thought?

chuck said...

Wasn't this a popular movie? "The Big Shrug" or some such.

Michael said...

MPH

Er, he seems to have lost 900 million in one year almost two decades ago and in the intervening years has made it back times ten.

You appear to have a weird view of success. You are not in business I see.

Steve said...

Remember Obama joked about using the IRS to punish his enemies?

I do.

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

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Wait, the vast administrative state we have plays favorites? You mean to tell me that government agencies take sides in political disputes and are happy to break laws and violate the rights of citizens through abuse of their power in order to help "their guy" win? And...and you're saying that for some unknown reason they always seem to help the Left and attack the non-Left?

Wow, gee, who could have seen that one coming? Unrelated: how's ol' Lois Lerner doing these days? Happily retired, I bet.

Why would anyone take the "burn it all down" position, I wonder? Just inexplicable.

ellamentary said...

jrapdx, I think you got your hands on some faulty internet "truth" about the Clinton Foundation, when you claim that the foundation only puts 5% of its funds to charitable work and should have its 501C3 status investigated. I have some familiarity with 501C3 charities and how they work, from personal experience.

The Clinton Foundation is an operating charity--- that is, it does most of its charitable work ITSELF, rather thank mainly giving contributions to other groups who do the good works. This is different from (and by that I do not mean to imply "better than," simply different) the Trump Foundation, which is what is referred to as a non-operating charity. NOCs distribute funds to other organizations. Yes, the Clinton Foundation only gave a relatively small amount of the funds it received to OTHER charities, that is, charities not under its direct control--- I've seen figures ranging from 8 to 16 percent and haven't checked it out for myself. But the foundation spent the vast majority of its funds on charitable activities---fighting diseases and conditions like preventable blindness worldwide, supporting education for girls worldwide, assisting small farmers in third-world countries, etc. etc. Yes, to be sure, one of those programs is the maintenance of the Clinton Library. According to CharityWatch, 88% of their money goes to programs, and only 12 percent to overhead, which is an excellent balance.

Sorry, but that particular attempt to divert attention from discussion of Mr. Trump's tax situation strikes out.

Bruce Hayden said...

@ellamentary - Good try. Nice talking point. But pure BS. Or, maybe you can explain why it was paying Sid Blumenthal's and Huma Abadin's salaries, or why it pays for first class airfare and 5 star hotels for the Clintons. Or, actually what the Clinton slush fund/foundation has actually accomplished with the billion plus it has brought in.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Freeman Hunt said..."Of course you can write off losses. Government can't claim a portion of the gains and ignore the losses."

Walter would disagree. Apparently.

ellamentary said...

Bruce, are you saying that the Clinton FOundation does not engage in charitable activities across the globe? Or just complaining about the fact that it also has some less-than-stellar 'overhead'? I am not a Clinton defender, just an observer. Yes, the Clintons have enjoyed some high-level travel perks at Foundation expense, just like many other charities give lavish treatment to celebrity backers. Many nonprofits pay exorbitant salaries to senior staff, just like corporations, and I am not a fan of that practice for either. But paying for Bill Clinton stay in a 5 star hotel when he travels for the foundation, from which he could easily also draw a high salary but chooses not to, does not negate the fact that the foundation also pays for life-saving medications, education, clean water, etc etc as well. So, no, my statement was not BS. It was presenting a corrective to an incorrect statement by another commenters, and providing some neutral explanation of how the charity operates, based on my knowledge of nonprofits and the published explanations of neutral organizations that monitor charitable entities. What have them accomplished with the money? They have saved lives, educated young women, improved the farming practices of small farmers, reduced the poaching of endangered species, etc. Yes, the Global Initiative sector works in a rather cumbersome fashion, but it still does good works. And 'talking point" sounds like I'm parroting lines from some organized effort. Nope. I just do my homework, rather than simply assume that whatever I read on the internet that resonates with what I want to believe must be the whole truth.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Not sure why Chuck is pretending, at this point, to be in any way representative of a normal Republican.

John said...

What is funny is the Clinton cartel made major "charitable contributions" to the Clinton foundation. This means they wrote off money they gave themselves! Talk about a win-win!

Moneyrunner said...

Did Obama order the release of Trump's tax returns?


Barack Obama has weaponized the IRS. Beginning with the IRS's vendetta against the Tea Party for which no one paid any price, we now find that your tax records are not safe if you are a threat to Obama and the Democrats.

They leaked Trump's tax records to the NY Times. In an America of laws this is a crime. In Obama's America it's business as usual.

Mac McConnell said...

ellamentary
The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than an end run around election finance laws, it provided full employment for Clinton Political Machine till Hillary could run for President again. The Foundation is a money laundering operation for illegal foreign political donations, a personal slush fund and a trust for Chelsea. What charities won't release the names of their donors?

geokstr said...

walter said...
"Expenses can be channeled into net loss to offset gains. And employing strategic predictable expenses can provide tax benefit. But hey..just an economic illiterate here. "It's all good" Carry on.."


For the record, I'm a conservative who will require heavy duty, industrial grade hydraulic nose clamps when I vote for the blowhard over the criminal traitor. That said, I'm also a CPA with 30+ years experience in corporate accounting and finance with a decent understanding of taxation and its underlying principles.

Walter, you obviously are truth-telling when you say you're an "economic illiterate", actually, more like a "Marxist economic lunatic." Your comments display an appalling ignorance of economics and business and tax policy. But not to worry, it's probably just average among leftlings, where abysmal, total lack of knowledge of facts and real life (and also honor, integrity and honesty) are considered assets by the Collective.

I haven't been here in a while, so I have to ask - are you just another avatar of garage mahal, who used to say equally boneheaded, nonsensical things on every post?

Mac McConnell said...

geokstr
People that work for a W-2 paycheck don't have a clue how business works and mostly don't understand the benefits of private capital formation.

Chuck said...

Jonathan Graehl said...
Not sure why Chuck is pretending, at this point, to be in any way representative of a normal Republican.


I claimed to be a "lifelong Republican." Do you propose to dispute that? How do you plan to do that?

Some commenters have derisively called me "Real Republican," as if I had claimed that status or used that term, which is false. I never claimed any such status.

Now you attack me as not being any sort of a "normal Republican." That, after I cited the Quinnipiac poll showing that a solid majority of likely Republican voters favored Trump's releasing his tax returns. Are you saying that 61% of likely Republican voters, favoring a disclosure that every presidential nominee has made for decades, are somehow "not normal"?

I agree to the greatest extent with the electoral and ideological leadership of the Party. Almost all of whom favored on of the non-Trump Republicans as long as possible, and turned to support of Trump only after all other options were exhausted. Almost all of whom having expressed at one time or another some misgiving or criticism of Trump.

There are two kinds of "abnormal Republican" in this election season. One sort is that group of Republicans who have found Trump to be so offensive that they are actually endorsing Clinton. Which I have not done, and will not do.

The other sort is that very small group of Republican leaders who have endorsed Trump enthusiastically. Jeff Sessions is virtually alone among Republican Senators in having done that. There are a small handful of House members along with Sessions. And a small group of columnists and commentators.

I am in the "normal" group. Unenthused and even horrified by Trump; furious that he got the nomination. But resigned to the fact that he is the least worst of two terrible options.

Jason said...

Libtards who keep yapping about Trump's tax returns who don't understand what an NOL carry forward is and why these provisions exist are like my cat trying to play "chess" by batting pieces off the table.

Except they're worse.

My cat doesn't actually think she's playing chess.

Jason said...



Walter: "Well...predictable expenses like equipment are deductible."

Well, you just run with that idea, cupcake, bless your heart.