Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Voice Of The Downtrodden

Someone recently sent the New York Times a brown envelope which contained photocopies of three pages from Donald Trump's 1995 tax returns. Not much, given Trump's voluminous tax records. But 1995 was a disastrous year for Trump. He declared a $916 million loss for that year. The Times reports:

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

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Mind you, it was all legal. The IRS allows wealthy taxpayers to declare a "Net Operating Loss:"

The provision, known as net operating loss, or N.O.L., allows a dizzying array of deductions, business expenses, real estate depreciation, losses from the sale of business assets and even operating losses to flow from the balance sheets of those partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations onto the personal tax returns of men like Mr. Trump. In turn, those losses can be used to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income from, say, book royalties or branding deals.

The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of “The Apprentice,” or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump’s casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.

Mr. Trump's lawyer has threatened the Times with "prompt initiation of appropriate legal action."

Trump has pledged to the downtrodden that he "will be your voice."




the salamander said...

.. what a farce - dark comedy - tragedy - bad medicine roadshow the American Election has become .. what a cast of 'characters' .. perps phonies charlatans snake oil salesmen plus the requisits bagmen/women, apologists, boughtnsold media mavens, spokeswanks, cranks.. misc n sundry ratlings, vermin, shouters, whiners, criers.. and prophets or profits..

The Donald of course is getting his insatiable need for attention satisfied via his bizzaro twisted campaign to Depreciate & write off America .. His studly sons taking time off from bagging the last big game trophies on the entire planet, his wives flummoxed but paid off monthly no doubt they are wisely written off or depreciated as well..

But this is the fountain of political wisdom all Canadian 'conservative' political animals must bathe in or make pilgrimage too.. You know, sort of get blessed or initiated, given the secret nudge nudge wink wink of nstruction.. absorb the doctrine dogma & roll in the dogshite or get spanked with bibles.. or whatever they do to attain exalted rapture status standing or hallucination ..

Whew ! Its a time where American and Canadian voters need to march with pitchforks, pots, pans & rotten fruit.. to their local political party offices.. and demand the inhabitants depart.. and hit the road.. ! ! We th downtrodden ! !

Owen Gray said...

It should be easy enough to spot the phonies, salamander.

Toby said...

This election is a clash between the establishment and celebrity. The Donald's problem is that his shine is wearing thin. People are catching on. I suspect that the coming election will have a low voter turnout as a disappointed electorate stays home.

Political nonsense of the sort we have been watching will continue until the public at large stops fawning over celebrities and demands responsible behaviour from those who seek office. More than anything we need an educated public that pays attention.

Owen Gray said...

Unless the public is educated, Toby, democracy will fail.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it appears legal for Trump to legally write off this huge loss in later years, thus effectively paying little or no tax.

Just as it appears legal for the Clintons to use their Clinton Foundation to apparently enrich themselves - e.g., Bill Clinton receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for paid speeches from countries with huge concerns of abuses of human and women's rights such as Saudi Arabia; then there were the hundreds of thousands of dollars Hillary had received for paid speeches to Goldman Sachs/Wall St.).

All legal. And BOTH Trump and Hillary had pledged to work for the downtrodden.

And yet some people are convinced that one is the lesser evil and will work for the "deplorables" or the "radical left wing" who apparently are basement dwellers and working as baristas and who deserve our empathy. Lol.

Owen Gray said...

No one ever claimed that, in a democracy, the choices were easy, Anon.

Toby said...

Did you hear the Ralph Nader interview on CBC? You can listen to it here.

Anonymous said...

Iceland goes to the polls on October 29.
There could be some major change coming to the little island.

Iceland's Pirates head for power on wave of public anger
- by Stine Jacobsen, Reuters

"A party that hangs a skull-and-crossbones flag at its HQ, and promises to clean up corruption, grant asylum to Edward Snowden and accept the bitcoin virtual currency, could be on course to form the next Icelandic government.

The Pirate Party has found a formula that has eluded many anti-establishment groups across Europe. It has tempered polarising policies like looser copyright enforcement rules and drug decriminalisation with pledges of economic stability that have won confidence among voters.

This has allowed it to ride a wave of public anger at perceived corruption among the political elite - the biggest election issue in a country where a 2008 banking collapse hit thousands of savers and government figures have been mired in an offshore tax furore following the Panama Papers leaks."

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Anon. It reminds us that voter anger at established politicians is not confined to the United States.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Toby. I respect Nader. But I've written that we should remember the lessons history teaches us about the Weimar Republic.

The Mound of Sound said...

The idea that losses can be recouped for 18-years is monstrous. Carrying losses is intended to help taxpayers get back on their feet. It is akin to allowing a new company to write off losses against revenues for a limited time to start up. If the company is not viable after a few years, it's over. Either turn some profit or stop claiming losses.

An 18-year loss carry forward is simply socializing Trump's bad year.

Owen Gray said...

That's what Neoliberalism is all about, Mound -- socializing losses and individualizing profits.