Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Trump and Paying No Taxes

That Trump has carried forward $916 million over subsequent years to eliminate or greatly diminish his taxes does not really bother me that much. Evidently, we are told by his minions, Trump rightly took advantage of existing tax laws. The same acolytes are shoveling the notion that he is brilliant for doing so, that he knows the tax code better than anyone else, and that only he can fix the tax code. His minions are giving their puppet master too much credit, for Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that while he has the gifts of the golden tongue, confidence and showmanship, the gift of following and knowing the details is an ability that is highly lacking. It is his accountants and tax attorneys who are the real masters of the tax code. He signed off on their work. Trump is taking credit for their work, which shouldn't be surprising as it seems his ego may be in the same league as the beloved of North Korea who is beloved at least by his military. 

That said, I am deeply troubled by numerous points about this $916 million loss in a single year. My concerns are:

·       The size of the loss in a single year is huge, and this from a man who asks that I trust him with the finances of the nation.

·       That the concern over this loss is reinforced by his six business bankruptcies. Reports that his current debt is at least two times larger than he claims is again troubling from one who we are asked to trust with the public coffers. 

·       That even when one of his businesses is struggling, Trump has a habit of pulling significant fees and income from the business into his private funds, and thereby putting the business into greater stress and increasing the risk of its failure.

·       That he claims that the $916 million was a personal loss and using that claim to reduce personal taxes for nearly two decades is most troubling. Most, if not all, of the funds that he lost was not his personal money, but are bank loans made to his companies, companies that then filed for bankruptcy protection. It seems to me to be ethically questionable to take business loss as a personal loss for tax purposes. I’m not clear on the legality of this action, but the ethics and the morality are clear to me...and how can I then respect and trust him? And this is done by a man who seeks to be the nation’s leader, inspiring people and setting the example for our youth?

·       That while his acolytes speak of Trump fixing the tax code, their claim seem to be as solid as the morning mist on a sunny summer day, little content that soon disappears. If Trump is for make an overhaul of such codes, then why has the candidate be absolutely silent about addressing these tax code issues that are overly generous to developers? He speaks of closing and addressing various issues regarding hedge funds and hedge fund managers while remaining absolutely silent about the tax laws he has used to take a free ride, or at least a highly discounted ride. The silence contradicts what his mouth pieces are reporting.    

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