New York Times Reports on Trump Taxes

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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134 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq
    Ignored
    says:

    This is going to make Tuesday fun. Let the games begin. I can’t wait for the Lincoln Project ad.Report

  2. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    This is hilarious.Report

  3. Avatar Swami
    Ignored
    says:

    The man’s picture should be in Wikipedia under “Rent Seeker”.Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    “paid no income tax”

    Now that is a smart businessman!

    (seriously, in my business I routinely write off a lot, in fact, I write off as much as I can. I don’t think that the NYT understands what this means to people outside of The Bubble. And after the last year, I have zero trust in the NYT to understand what is and what is not a conflict of interest for him.)Report

    • Avatar James K
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m inclined to agree. No one has a moral obligation to pay more tax then they are legally required to. If Trump committed tax evasion (i.e. broke the tax code to underpay taxes), then by all means condemn him. But if this was legal, then the issue is the Tax Code, not Trump’s behaviour.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Smart insofar as taxes are concerned, maybe. But if he has so many losses to claim, maybe he isn’t the successful businessman he claims to be.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
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        says:

        Yeah, he bankrupted a casino. I’m not going to call that good business sense.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        This. If you are claiming enough losses to effectively wipe out your tax burden for multiple years running, then taxes aren’t actually the thing folks should focus on.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s more complex than that.

          If you have hundreds of businesses in your empire, many of which are overseas, then you can easily have massive gains and losses in a “normal” year. MUCH worse, even the definition of “gain” and “loss” become crazy difficult to evaluate with illiquid assets like real estate.

          The end result is you have a LOT of control over what you want to put in your tax report, and could in theory have absurd levels of unrealized (and thus untaxed) gains.

          For example Apple is sitting on $128 Billion of untaxed overseas gains socked away in shell companies. The idea is they’ll wait, decades if need be, for Congress to pass a “one off” “forgiveness” law and bring that money in at an extra low rate.

          And that’s a public company dealing with cash. Trump is many private companies dealing with real estate.

          Given that he hasn’t been selling “prime jewel” real estate items from his empire to raise cash, odds are very good he’s fine and his tax returns mean extremely little. Like Bezos, if he wants money for something he’ll sell something and have it.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            “The end result is you have a LOT of control over what you want to put in your tax report, and could in theory have absurd levels of unrealized (and thus untaxed) gains.”

            Well, you and me don’t. Corporations do. Which, as others have pointed out, is part of the problem.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              Well, you and me don’t. Corporations do. Which, as others have pointed out, is part of the problem.

              There is no solution for this.

              Different countries, markets, products, and even people have vastly different sets of rules that would “make sense” for them.

              We have conflicts between wealth and income, different countries, different markets, different products, and how to measure things that can’t be measured. Software tends to be an especially ugly complication but whatever.

              Basically as soon as “you tell me the rules and I’ll tell you my actions”, the system is going to have problems and exceptions.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe.

                I saw a Tweet (I think it was a Tweet… I’m bad at the internet) that pointed out that teachers are capped at deducting $250 of out-of-pocket expenses on classroom supplies from their taxes, even though on average we spend twice that much. However, Trump was able to deduct $70K in hair styling expenses.

                Now, it was a Tweet (or whatever) so it was oversimplified. But I’m hard pressed to accept “Well, you have to understand, it’s complicated…” to justify rules that say teachers are limited in how much they can deduct for out-of-pocket classroom expenses while whatever-Trump’s-job-was seemingly has no cap on how much he can deduct for hair styling expenses. I mean, if you can tell me why those rules are good rules — that those rules aren’t a problem — I’m all ears.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump can reasonably claim to be a professional actor (he probably claims to be a professional acting company… and with $400 million in earnings he’s far past the point where that makes sense). High level professional actors and models (and especially their associated companies) pay a lot for that sort of thing, just as a cost to do business.

                The proper comparison isn’t “Trump to one teacher”, it’s “Trump to one school system”.

                And that’s just the very tip of the iceberg of insanity in terms of how hard it is to evaluate taxes.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy: if you can tell me why those rules are good rules — that those rules aren’t a problem — I’m all ears

                I did everything but answer the question. 😉

                It is expected, and a good thing, that the law treats many-multi-million dollar businesses differently than it treats individuals.

                The NYT is deliberately confusing “Trump paying close to no income taxes” with “Trump paying no taxes”.

                Businesses pay a ton of taxes left, right, and centre. Start putting property, sales, and various other taxes in there and Trump’s tax bill would look very different.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Start putting property, sales, and various other taxes in there and Trump’s tax bill would look very different.

                This is a very good point. Given all the taxes any of us pays, why is personal income tax the one that is ‘paying our fair share’?

                In that same vein, if we don’t want people like Trump to be able to offend us by leveraging business tax law against personal earnings, we are going to need to rewrite the laws around non-public business, and a whole lot of small businesses are going to take issue with that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling
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                says:

                If taxes other than income tax counted, Mitt wouldn’t be able to complain about the 47% who pay nothing.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          Dark is right. Without detailed levels of analysis (much of which would be quite boring/confusing unless you are a tax attorney), we really have no idea if he is losing money, hiding money overseas, or what the real story is. Sadly, the NYT can no longer do that it seems.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            I guess that is what I mean. The amount he pays isn’t nearly as interesting as the why he is paying that little. It’s the wrong thing to focus on.

            Is he a really bad business man, or do we have a crap tax system?Report

            • Avatar Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              Exactly. And while we are at it, we should be looking at Warren Buffett, as he has basically said the same thing.

              In the end, in order to gain the greatest amount of revenue across the population, we may always have a few people at the top who can manipulate the system. If so, we should acknowledge this and move on.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Not sure if it will load right now, but this is funny.

                Trump has those resources. I bet he’s got a room full of accountants, and their leader is probably a grizzled old CPA with an eye patch and a raven who sits on his shoulder. The raven also has an eye patch and an accounting degree. This man has wrestled bears, and he’s going to take advantage of every tax break in the US Code for his client, and do so gleefully, knowing that many of those laws were signed by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

                On the other side, you know damned good and well that the IRS has sent their most fearsome auditor against him. This man sold his soul to the devil, and then fined the devil for failing to list that soul as a depreciable asset. When he shows up to audit your company, he appears a flash of fire and brimstone, as a Finnish death metal band plays his theme song. He is an auditor bereft of mercy, compassion, or pity, and beneath his leathery wings serve a legion of IRS goblins, who will crawl into every nook and cranny of the Trump Corporation’s P&L looking for errors, and if a mouse so much as shits a turd large enough to unbalance that ledger, there will be hell to pay.

                Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh.

                I was going to note something similar. Pretty much all big companies have something like that, and if they don’t it’s because they farm the work out to KPMG. Any bigger and the IRS has an on-site office.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                +1 for the book list to the right on that link.Report

            • Avatar greginak
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              says:

              Well he was the guy who was able to auger a casino empire straight into massive bankruptcy, so really bad is a serious option.

              It’s not like the dude didn’t have to pay back 2 million bucks for defrauding charities and is being currently investigated and there are various hinky things in the current disclosures. Illegal is still an obvious possibility along with an overly complex system used by rich people to stay rich.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, but him personally only paying $750 in taxes doesn’t tell us anything about those issues.

                It’s information that offers up no new insights beyond the fact that he can afford to pay some competent accountants and tax attorneys.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            we really have no idea if he is losing money, hiding money overseas, or what the real story is. Sadly, the NYT can no longer do that it seems.

            More likely they can but don’t like the answer.

            If Trump were cheating on his tax returns, they’d be shouting that.
            If Trump were massively losing money, they’d be shouting that.

            Instead what they’re shouting is that he’s not paying enough taxes.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Maybe there’s more to come… I don’t know… and maybe the NYT thinks that this is the most easy salient for ordinary readers to grasp in their tax reporting/analysis. But my reaction is similar to Aaron’s… Trump hasn’t been a taxpayer like the rest of us since, maybe, ever. He’s Trump, Inc. and his money (whatever he has) isn’t simple salary with withholdings.

      So when I’m expecting a Manafort-like unraveling of financial money laundering schemes and all I get is… he only paid $750 in taxes? That’s a reveal on our Tax system, not really Trump.

      Maybe there’s more to come… but as I say… we saw what FBI forensics does to finances that are illegal in the Manafort case… and it’s impressive. This isn’t impressive… or if it is, it’s about exactly the stuff Bernie talks about, not the stuff Biden talks about.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        They said this is the first of several reports they intend to publish.

        Keep your eye on that $300 Million in Loans he personally guaranteed that are coming due the next few years.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          Sure… but if the lede is HE ONLY PAID $750 in taxes, I’m not expecting them to say, oh, yeah… we thought you’d be more interested in that rather than the Money Laundering and illegal shell empire plus Russian Mafia underwriting.

          $300M personal guarantee isn’t all that interesting either… his lenders know all about the various LLC’s where Money moved… that is just them saying we don’t give a fish about where you get it… we’ll originate our lawsuits against you personally so we can cut through the corporate protections. And he agreed to that. Doesn’t mean he has to write a $300M balloon payment from his checking account.

          Look, I expect his finances are likely as illegal and fishy as any NYC developer… probably even worse than most (though I doubt worse than all)… but the lede is usually the story.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          Loans, particularly interest-only loans, are only a problem if you can’t roll them over. The more relevant question is whether he has the revenue streams to continue making interest payments. Assume 4%. So the question is not “Does he have $300M?” but rather “Does the Trump Organization have $12M per year in revenue to make the interest payments?” I once worked for a giant corporation where it was understood that there was no intent to ever pay off several billion dollars in loans, only roll them over. The interest payments were simply a recurring business expense that the company had more than adequate revenue to cover.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            This is the kind of thing that I was getting at in my comment to Oscar. Without gone, solid analysis of the financial moves in relation to our tax code, it, or anything else for that matter can be made to look shady. But there has been little to no attempt to do this from the major media. And as Duck says below, it is simply a move to keep Dem enthusiasm up before the election.

            The NYT should really be hit with a tax bill for an in-kind donation to the DNC.Report

          • Avatar greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            Whoever holds the loans has leverage. It’s as simple as that. If foreign countries or actors can call in a loan or ask for favors to let a loan roll over then they have deeply inappropriate power over the prez. That’s why a prez should not have the exact kind of business arrangements he has.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Right… a problem if you can roll them over, liquidate other assets, or simply pay the notes with the revenues from the mortgaged assets. And, since Trump isn’t just a single business or single asset… some combination of all of the above covers the leverage.

            Quite possibly there’s a story there… but it’s not a story if it’s just large numbers.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Given that the President, according to his own supporters, is an unprincipled shameless self-promoter who will do anything for his own advantage, and has demonstrated a pattern of quid pro quo favor trading, I think there is already a story here.

              The old story was that none of his corruption mattered because he had his own fortune and didn’t need any outside help, but this revelation shows that to be a lie and that he is weak, broke, and desperate for any sort of help from anyone.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                “this revelation shows that to be a lie and that he is weak, broke, and desperate for any sort of help from anyone.”

                Does it? I actually read the article and it doesn’t show that. Frankly I was rather shocked to see how much revenue Trump Inc. generates… heck I was gobsmacked to learn that the Apprentice ran for 15(!) years [seriously people] and that his take was over $400M.

                In fact, the article also points out that in one year (2007) he had to pay $70.1M in Federal Taxes… what a rube… he’s so incompetent he couldn’t structure his $120M in profits from personal endorsements to reduce his tax burden. I mean, only an idiot with no business sense pays $70.1M in taxes in one year.

                He’s definitely running quite a few businesses at an operational loss (seems sketchy to me, like he’s offsetting profits elsewhere) and the article can’t help but mention the various enterprises he’s part of that generate 10s and even 100s of $M in profit (though the really good ones are in partnership with *other* people) … Finally it SAYS EXPLICITLY that you can’t evaluate the overall financial health of an enterprise from Tax Returns…

                But the tone? Yes, the tone implies dire financial straits. I read it with the proper frown of disapproval.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Running some businesses at a loss specifically to offset gains elsewhere is an extremely common rich-people move, and on the one hand “ermagerhd terx derdge”, yes, but on the other that’s two whole businesses’ worth of people who are getting paid to have jobs and do things, versus some old fat dude just sitting on his investments and living off the interest because what’s-the-use-they’ll-just-tax-me.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I was being approxiamtely 85% sarcastic in that comment.

                The 15% is for a CPA to well ackshually us that Businesses generally have to be run for a profit, else they trigger other tax code provisions… not to mention plain fraud laws.

                But that’s my original point… call me when the FBI demonstrates fraud, not when it shows compliance.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t this the “two button meme” problem?

                “He isn’t broke.”
                “He loses so much money that he pays no taxes.”

                *sweats profusely*Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                The two button meme is already in the article:

                * Payed $750 in taxes because… tax laws
                * Payed $70.1M in taxes because… tax lawsReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, and mysterious sources which inject hundreds of millions of dollars into his account, which he has no way to pay back.

                The takeaway here is that a man who is in charge of the entire US intelligence apparatus is incapable of getting even a medium level security clearance because of his financial weakness and susceptibility to leverage.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yes, and mysterious sources which inject hundreds of millions of dollars into his account, which he has no way to pay back.”

                Is that in the article? I missed it if it was. Serious question.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                421 million in loans.

                A few years ago Forbes estimated his wealth to be 4 Billion (Trump was claiming $10 Billion).

                Scale that down and it’s like owing $40k on a $400k house.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And the Times estimates that his actual net worth may be as little as 5 (Five!) million.

                That is, his net worth may not even be enough to buy a modest fixer-upper half a mile from the beach in Malibu.

                https://www.justsecurity.org/72604/ten-quick-takeaways-from-the-new-york-times-bombshell-article-on-trumps-tax-returns/Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Forbes has a deep dive on all this and still claims roughly $2.5 Billion.

                https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2020/09/28/yes-donald-trump-is-still-a-billionaire-that-makes-his-750-tax-payment-even-more-scandalous/#36c2e97b2885

                The thing to take away from this is his $750 tax bill says NOTHING about his fiscal health. He’d pay that if he were worth $10 billion, he’d pay that if he was worth $5 million.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                No it doesn’t… and it’s cribbed from the NYT article.

                Honestly, these articles are demonstrating a level of Business Accounting illiteracy that I have to believe is practiced, else I’ll be forced to doubt journalistic competence passim.

                I’m perfectly content to believe that Trump is a terrible businessman, has squandered hundreds of millions and is leveraged beyond prudence… but these articles aren’t doing what they claim to be doing.

                ~Marchmaine, clicker of links.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                A person who is leveraged beyond prudence is not qualified to hold a national security clearance, much less be Chief Executive.
                Trump is a national security threat.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                A person who is leveraged beyond prudence…

                Hundreds of millions of dollars in loans doesn’t seem unreasonable for a Billionaire.

                His loans are roughly equal to the amount of money he earned from his TV show. He has other income. He seems to have other assets to, Forbes thinks 2.5 Billion.

                To be fair I’m sure he’ll have some of his companies go bankrupt (again) and stiff his creditors (again) because he doesn’t care about the ethics of that, just the math.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Listen to what you’re saying though.

                You’re telling us that the person who occupies the highest most powerful position in government, who is given enormous amounts of discretionary power as the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, is a reckless, unprincipled unethical cheat. The sort of person who would betray virtually anyone for his own gain.

                And…this is acceptable to you? This is, in your view, how a republican democracy should conduct its affairs by entrusting our least trustworthy person to have power over us?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it acceptable? No. But an election is a funny thing. You can’t have a president who can’t have a security clearance, so by dint of winning the election, all dis-qualifiers are swept away.

                Alternatively, we have to change the rules such that if you would be unable to get a top level security clearance as an unelected person, you are not qualified to run for president. But I am thinking that requires an amendment, does it not?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Our real world alternative last time was HRC, her international “charity”, and all the ethical backflips you and others have done to ignore those shortcomings. As far as I can tell, you can’t point to anything Trump has done in office and say it even equals selling pardons.

                If Team Blue cared about ethics then Romney would be President. Ditto if things like management or a bunch of other fiscally important skills were important.

                HRC got a pass for the same reason that Biden is going to get a pass on having his son have do-nothing jobs for foreign companies with strong connections to shady governments. Team Blue cares about skin color and genitals.

                Ethics is a club to beat the other team and we’re supposed to ignore that it’s pot vs kettle.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t get to vote against Hillary anymore.

                Your choice is Biden or Trump.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                He would never be able to get a security clearance with that much debt. Also we dont’ know all the debtors so that implicates his decision making regarding foreign policy. Even if his debt it manageable that doesn’t in any way remove the conflict. He owes to people we don’t know and his interest in conflict with the national interest.

                We know from public info he has significant dealings with important/controversial countries like turkey and china. How does that not create conflicts? There is no way it doesn’t without physically risky gymnastics.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Nevertheless, we don’t get to impose additional conditions on qualifications to be President beyond those in the Constitution. Same for Congress critters, who are never subjected to the background screening. The White House, by executive order done years ago, says it will only share classified information with members of Congress on a need to know basis, excepting the Gang of Eight.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We, the citizens, can impose any test we want in order to gain our vote.

                But conversely, we can accept any character defect we want.

                “A republic, if you can keep it” carries both meanings.

                The American citizens can choose to accept a lawless tyrant or not. We can choose to surrender a republican democracy in favor of corrupt kleptocracy.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Greg, those all might be your ideas of conflicts of interest, but they are not everyone’s.

                As Micheal Cain relates, what we have are the limitations that are set by the constitution; 35yo, born in US, lived in US, and winning the electoral college. Anything else is a moral/political game and has no legal bearing on someones electibility.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t say it was unconstitutional. Didn’t say it was explicitly illegal though there has been a ton of talk about that emoluments section of the whatchamcallit. That actually seems like it directly applies.

                I’m pointing out a significant concern that relates to how our gov is run. I’m well aware you and many others dont’ seem to care. We’re here to discuss stuff like that. Dismissing it as a game is dismissing democracy and discussion as a game. Which is fine if that is what you want.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                If you could show, and not tell, a conflict of interest then I might agree. But we have not been shown that, indeed, we have been shown that it only matters when it is someone that the left dislikes, as we can SEE Biden’s conflicts re Burisima, Ukraine, and such with nary a peep.

                Usually, what we see with Trump is a major media story, full of strang and durm only to be dropped as soon as there are complications in the narrative, complications that make things difficult for the left. So as far as not caring about conflicts of interest, we do care. We just don’t care for BS.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Doh. Do you know what a conflict of interest is? The conflicts of interest are clear and obvious. He has financial dealings with countries that he is also dealing with as prez (china, turkey, several mid east countries, etc) Done. That is showing conflicting interests. Maybe what you mean is show he changed policy to benefit himself over the interests of the nation. Lets see all the docs and investigate it.

                All this is known with limited info. If we fully knew his tax/financial status it would be easier to specify. Of course he is the one hiding that.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                What we have been shown is that that these things have been in conflict. He has taken a hard line against China. He has supported sanctions against Russia, He has supported the strengthening of NATO, and on and on. He has supported energy independence.

                Again, show the actual conflict.

                D’oh.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Err… Haven’t.

                I loathe auto correct.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                emoluments

                No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.[3]

                Trump has bragged about his empire in basically every conversation for the last 50 years. Everyone on the planet knows about him and it.

                Congress has been informed and gave their permission by not insisting that he give it up.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem being that your point is that the prez can do whatever he wants if congress allows it. There is no law then.

                There were actual law suits about emoluments so it isn’t like people didn’t fight it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                There were actual law suits about emoluments so it isn’t like people didn’t fight it.

                This is where “standing” comes into play. Congress is the entity that can enforce this and whose power is at stake. Congress is cool with the Trump Empire. Other people don’t get to file lawsuits pretending to be Congress.

                the prez can do whatever he wants if congress allows it. There is no law then.

                There are laws on gifts and bribes. Renting hotel space and engaging in for-real economic activities isn’t covered.

                Presumably this is why HRC was allowed to have a “charity” that looked and acted like something else. On paper it was “for real”.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                The Tax returns don’t tell us the prudence level… that’s Marchmaine saying I’m perfectly willing to believe he is.

                My basic critique is that the NYT is attempting to do a Forensic Fiscal analysis on (mostly) private LLC’s based on incomplete information from Tax Returns which are bascially the Liturgical Dance of Financial Anaylsis.

                But I get it… you’re keen on the narrative and this is the narrative. The narrative *might* even be true… but if the goal is to service the narrative it matters not at all what we count as ‘evidence’ – which is why you’ll say “mysterious sources which inject hundreds of millions of dollars into his account” and point to articles that don’t say that.

                But as long as we talking about ‘Trump being over leveraged’ without the financial data to claim that, then the narrative is fed. So, shame on me for feeding the beast.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ll just repeat the comment I made to Dark.

                You are an American citizen tasked with the responsibility of selecting the next Chief Executive and person who oversees the entire justice and national security apparatus of the most powerful country in the world.

                And you are willing to accept someone who, in your own words, is unethical untrustworthy and without loyalty to anyone or any principle?Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Untrustworthy like accepting over a million dollars from the wife of Moscow’s mayor, or taking millions from corrupt Ukrainians, or managing billions in Chinese communist investments?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m already odd-number-anti-Trump.

                The problem for me is that my trust issues with the Left are not ameliorated by Lying in the name of Justice. In fact, that’s kinda the confirmation of the reason I don’t trust the Left. It isn’t the hypocrisy of corruption, its the advocacy of nominalism in the pursuit of power.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Marchmaine (or anyone else!), check out the thread beginning with the linky below and tell me what you think. I don’t know what to make of it but the guy who wrote it at least presents as knowing what he’s talking about.

                https://twitter.com/adamdavidson/status/1310929478030426112Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                I had a quick peek at just the thread (didn’t dig around)… and my first impression was that he’s attributing annual losses to a Balance Sheet not Income Statements or Cash Flow reports. Which strikes me as odd.

                It’s definitely an odd Balance Sheet in that it shows Debt in excess of the Asset Value… but absent the Income Statement, we couldn’t say whether it makes sense. That is, does the Asset generate revenues sufficient to pay off the debt in, say, 10-yrs. Probably not would be my guess.

                … and again, my point is that the IRS/FBI are perfectly capable of seeing an anomaly like this and requesting the full financial records to account for it. Plus… the wider context of whether this Asset is part of an Entity that has other Assets and a positive cash flow such that this Asset is leveraged to the Max but is a reasonable percent of some larger entities portfolio.

                Still falls squarely into the not enough information category. At best, an IRS flag. My initial superficial take absent any other corroborating documentation.Report

              • Avatar Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Still falls squarely into the not enough information category. At best, an IRS flag. My initial superficial take absent any other corroborating documentation.

                I’m sure this is in no way related to the IRS audit of the $72 Million refund he received . . . .Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And the fact that the person in charge of the investigation is himself the target of the investigation is in no way a threat to the rule of law.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                In fact, it wouldn’t be.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump has made it clear that the entire executive branch of government is to operate as his personal force, answerable to him alone and dedicated to his benefit, not the public benefit.

                See, its that whole thing you and Dark so carefully explained, about how he is utterly unprincipled and shameless and self serving.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                “In fact, it wouldn’t be.” is a response to Philip H.’s comment about the $72M.

                I haven’t defended Trump in any way and I agree he’s unfit for office and hope he loses the election.

                I’m still anti-lying, even if you think your cause is just.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Trump hasn’t been a taxpayer like the rest of us since, maybe, ever.

        Trump’s empire was started by his Father, and it was already big when he took it over. That was officially when he was in his early 20’s, but he first started working for it while he was going to college.

        Trump has never been a normal taxpayer.Report

  5. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Hilariously, the New York Times probably wasn’t paying attention to their own prior fake news stories when they said

    “Nor do [tax records] reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.”

    They also found nothing connected to Michael Cohen, and confirmed that he has indeed been under audit forever, just as he says. And of course they uncovered absolutely nothing that was illegal, except their own reporting on people’s tax information without consent, which is, I believe, illegal under federal law.Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      And the money he gives to his daughter Ivanka by paying her “consulting fees?” Smells funny to me.

      Plus, who writes off $70K in hair dos when the are clearly not worth $70?Report

  6. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    Meanwhile Project Veritas uncovered massive voter fraud in Minnesota. That pretty much invalidates the election. It’s all just Democrat fraud.

    The New York Times would never report a story like that.Report

  7. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    There’s a good two-button meme for the discussion of this story that I’ve seen. One button is “Donald Trump is a terrible businessman who’s squandering his father’s money on bad investments,” and the other is “This proves that rich people don’t pay taxes.”

    If you’re not making money, you don’t pay income taxes. That’s why it’s called an income tax.Report

  8. Avatar Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    How does the NYT have Trump’s tax returns?

    “Investigation” doesn’t seem to be the right word.Report

    • Avatar greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Please go on i really want to hear the highly principled view on information being released about a prez candidate in the months before an election. I mean i know what it’s going to be but i want to see the act. I’m of course shocked….shocked do you hear me…..that someone obtained such information. It might have been illegal. Oh my oh dear.

      Of course he should have released in voluntarily years ago buy whatevs.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Of course he should have released in voluntarily years ago buy whatevs.

        You mean like Romney did? I pointed out at the time that we were losing that expectation because of how he was treated.

        the highly principled view on information being released about a prez candidate in the months before an election

        What’s the bar here? Trump can take care of himself, but can any other politically interested individual expect the same thing?Report

  9. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The real story here is that the President is deeply in debt with no apparent way to work his way out, and is in vulnerable to using his position and power over the levers of government to rescue himself.

    He is fighting the IRS, and now controls both that agency and the federal judiciary. We’ve seen how at every opportunity he uses his power to enrich himself, through forcing the government to pay him rent on his insane number of golfing trips and vacations.

    We know that he insists that all the organs of government operate as his personal servants and that they show loyalty to him personally, not to the Constitution.
    We have also seen how he trades access for cash, with both domestic businesses and foreign governments.

    The big story then is that because he is a humbug, a fraud and failed businessman, Trump is a national security threat.Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I knew it was dependable for OT’s cade of “hate the libs/when and where can I sign up to be a concentration camp guard” to knee-jerk contrarian this away! Thanks for being clockwork you guys!!

    More seriously, I don’t see how this helps Trump. Maybe it does not hurt him as much as I want it to but it is not good. This does not make him look like a genius business titan. This makes him look like an incompetent who keeps blowing through fortunes with an inability to manage finance and avoid bad decisions. Plus we know that he has hundreds of millions of loans coming due in a year or so and potentially no way of paying them. Unless he raided his campaign funds to do so and this was the source of Brad Pasquale’s breakdown yesterday. Considering Trump’s razor, I am possibly right.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, it does put the kibosh on that whole “Russia, Russia, Russia” thing.

      Report

      • Avatar Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Russia was never about Russia. Look, Russia has evaporated and nobody cares.

        For the same reason that the people who will defend Trump don’t care that he paid no taxes. Taxes aren’t’ about taxes.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          In this case, the “nobody” in “nobody cares” is the same as “nobody is dying of Covid”.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            “Nobody cares” as a dismissive stance is also a great tell of “Oh shit, people care and I have no real rejoinder.”Report

          • Avatar Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Oh, you’re still interested in the Russian financial ties between Trump and Russia, as revealed by his taxes?

            What insights have his taxes given you? What opinions on Trump and Russia have been strengthened by the new information you have now that you didn’t have last week?Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              The point of stories like this is not to convince anyone that Trump is a bad guy, the point is to keep liberal voters from getting wobbly about showing up this November. This is campaign advertising for Biden/Harris.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              That he is, and has been for decades, financially precarious, leapong from one failed business to the next, always just barely ahead of financial ruin.

              Luxury real estate is a worldwide front for money laundering. Russian oligarchs have moved billions of dollars out of the country this way.

              We don’t know where all Trump’s money comes from, and the tax records show strange and unexplained transfers of money such as vastly inflated expenses which are usually a flag for fraud.

              So the new records strengthen the theory which has long been suspected, that Trumps craven obeisance to Putin is because of his using his real estate as a money laundering operation for Russian oligarchs.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                In 1984, a Russian gangster who came to America with 3 dollars in his pocket a few years previously, bought a bunch of apartments in Trump Tower for 6 million dollars, This is about 15 million in 2020 money.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          If Russia has evaporated and no one cares, how come our intelligence agencies keep saying they have solid evidence that Russia is meddling in our elections to favor the President?

          Really Jay, I expect better from you the George level trolling attempts. You must not have had enough coffee this morning.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Tax Lawyers, I need some clarification. This seems to be going around the twitters. Is it accurate?

    Report

  12. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    We should also point out that for someone who fancies himself a real estate developer, Trump has horrible instincts and he lets his prejudices get in the way. He sold off his dad’s properties in Brooklyn and invested in a bunch of money hole golf courses and country clubs. Golf as a sport is declining in popularity (around 200 golf courses close each year in the United States) and Brooklyn is still one of the hottest real estate markets around.*

    But Trump feels inferior for being born in Queens (even though it was a tony part of Queens) and views Brooklyn as a place to escape from, not live in) so here we are.

    *I will add the caveat that Brooklyn real estate is confusing is a combination of some neighborhoods surging in popularity and costs, others staying the same, and others declining in expense. So it could be that some or all of Trump’s Brooklyn properties were in unpopular neighborhoods but as places like Fort Greene, Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Carroll Gardens get more expensive, people do move to neighborhoods like Lefferts Gardens, Clinton Hill, BedStuy, Bushwick (now East Williamsburg), etc.Report

  13. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/trump-200-discount-drug-card/2020/09/24/0c064050-feb8-11ea-8d05-9beaaa91c71f_story.html

    Do you people realize that this is the sign of a sinking ship? Polling shows that seniors are largely abandoning Trump for Biden. Trump does not have authority or funding to do this just like everything else he “promises.”

    Do you guy really want to fall all over yourselves to defend this as smart politic or a good look just because it is the opposite of what liberals would say?Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Clearly they do . . . .Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq
      Ignored
      says:

      The anti-immigrant forces with the administration realize they are in a sinking ship. This is why they are working hard to make the system as horrible as possible for immigrants before Biden gets elected. They want reversing all of the damage to require a complete Congressional over hall, which will require a trifecta.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Saul, the problem is, as it always has been, that Trump is a symptom. He is a symptom of a disease.

      And many people want the symptom to go away. As if there won’t be a problem anymore if the symptom goes away.

      But the symptom isn’t the problem. The symptom is a signal that there is a deeper problem. Getting rid of the symptom without getting rid of the problem is going to create a worse problem.

      I imagine that Trump won’t get re-elected in November (though we’re a loooooooooooooooooooong way from Election Day Itself) but him not getting re-elected in November will get rid of the symptom… and that will just open us up to a discussion of how we need to address the deeper disease.

      And I fear that wanting to discuss the deeper disease will be misinterpreted as attacking the Democrats or defending the Republicans when, really, the problem is the deeper disease.

      That I’m not sure will be addressed when America has its first Black Female President a couple of days after Biden passes or resigns for health-related reasons. Indeed, people will point to Harris as proof that the disease is cured.

      And it won’t be. Not by a damn sight.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq
        Ignored
        says:

        Re-education or extermination camps depending on who wins the conflict it is then. This is basically the implication of what you wrote. Either we find away to rid White America of their racism, homophobia, and misogyny or we give into all of their demands.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          The new and improved definition of “racism” might imply a blight that is more difficult to get rid of than the old version of it. (As for homophobia and misogyny, I am under the impression that those are a bit more ubiquitous than you seem to.)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        The divorce or war scenario that you cling too is potentially too optimistic. What is more likely to happen is that state red or blue announce they will not follow a Supreme Court precedent. This will lead to massive protests/unrest, etc.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Saul, the problem is, as it always has been, that Trump is a symptom. He is a symptom of a disease.

        The trap for liberals/Democrats is thinking, as most of them do :), that the underlying disease will go away if Biden wins. That’s not only a mistake, but my guess is that if the Democrats in DC act on that expectation and continue with their Clinton-through-Obama governing style the next elections will go very badly for them.Report

        • Avatar Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          NO, the problem for democratic politicians is thinking that Republican politicians give a fig about solving the disease in any way that doesn’t preserve or enhance the growing minority status of white conservative men. Republican politicians have made it very clear they don’t favor a diverse nation with liberal views on much of anything. They want cut throat capitalisms for the masses and corporate bail outs socialism for the rich. Democrats – when they win – have to govern with the mentality that winning Republicans is no longer a necessity.

          Otherwise you will be correct that the next election may go badly for them.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Most of the left is happy to discuss the disease. Always have been. Problem is you have a bunch of centerist neoliberal politicians playing at being liberals who get in the way, and an ultra conservative right wing party who likes the disease just fine because it keeps them in power. That has to get settled before we do much else.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          because it keeps them in power.

          The definition for racist has been, and will continue to be, lowered to keep the activists employed and the base fired up.

          The liberals need to be able to run against Nazis and Death Camps. That says more about them than what they’re running against.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        ” I fear that wanting to discuss the deeper disease will be misinterpreted as attacking the Democrats or defending the Republicans…”

        Of course.
        We simply aren’t capable of seeing the deeper truth.Report

    • Avatar North
      Ignored
      says:

      Saul, this is OT, not twitter. What’s with all the emoting? You’re only entertaining the people you’re trying to scold.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Because this is not a game North and I don’t think OT is a better place for allowing miscreant, knee-jerk contrarian hot takes of full on nihilism.Report

        • Avatar North
          Ignored
          says:

          This isn’t a game, sure, so why play it like an angry teenager on twitter? That’s my point. You’re letting people you disagree with live in your head so much they probably owe you rent. It can’t be good for your blood pressure and it certainly doesn’t help your cause.Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Gosh, remember this story?

    Good times.Report

  1. October 18, 2020

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 95539 more Infos: ordinary-times.com/2020/09/27/new-york-times-reports-on-trump-taxes/ […]Report

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