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Leaked Tax Return suggests Trump among Romney's 47%

Four years ago, Mitt Romney warned a group of his fundraisers about the “47%”. According to Romney, this group constitutes Americans dependent upon government who see themselves as victims. Not only was Romney wrong, but the statement reeked of classism and many hard-working Americans were rightly insulted.

Now, documents leaked to the New York Times indicate that Trump reported a nearly $1 billion loss in 1995 in the midst of the strongest economic boom since WWII. Experts say that a loss of that magnitude could easily cancel Trump's tax liabilities for 18 years. While this is perfectly legal, it certainly troubles many American voters that a man can live such a luxurious lifestyle while the rest of us are stuck pulling the cart.

Most ironic, it appears Trump is one of the 47% of Americans that Romney deemed, "dependent upon government and believe they are victims". Given Trump's reliance on the government for safeguarding his businesses and his continuous claims of victimization, it seems the characterization is quite apt.

Posted by Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 12:06 PM
Comments
Comment #408002
Experts say that a loss of that magnitude could easily cancel Trump’s tax liabilities for 20 years. Posted by Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 12:06 PM

I read 18 years, but I’m not quibbling. Drumpf admitted that he thinks he’s smart to do what the law allows. The problem is pretty basic, and will never be solved, even if Congress changes hands. Real Estate speculators have a grip on our governments at all levels. Drumpf is a great example of this, and what’s wrong with our country. A smaller homeowner with an income property gets a comparatively large tax hit if he sells, but Drumpf gets a huge depreciation without selling.

Posted by: oraoghaile at October 2, 2016 4:00 PM
Comment #408004

Good catch, I have changed the original article to say 18 years rather than 20.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 4:02 PM
Comment #408009

I have been a taxpayer for nearly fifty-five years. During half or more of those years I owned a business and for two years I was in the military.

There was never a single year in which I didn’t take advantage of every single legal deduction, adjustment and “loophole” I could find to reduce my tax payment.

Just place me in the “deplorable” American category.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 2, 2016 4:15 PM
Comment #408015

Exactly R.F. and I’ll bet every one of the liberals on W.B do the same thing as Trump and you have done. I know I have taken advantage of every way possible to reduce my tax burden.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 2, 2016 4:30 PM
Comment #408016

Marla Maples co-signed the tax return, and the envelope said it came from Trump Tower. They checked with his accountant for 1995 and he verified. The Susanne Craig interview is on YT at UpNdTJIkucg This is just the beginning of this story. There will be much more later

Posted by: oraoghaile at October 2, 2016 4:34 PM
Comment #408017
I have been a taxpayer for nearly fifty-five years. During half or more of those years I owned a business and for two years I was in the military.

There was never a single year in which I didn’t take advantage of every single legal deduction, adjustment and “loophole” I could find to reduce my tax payment.

RF,

I think it is a bit too much to criticize an American for taking legal steps to reduce his tax burden. This is partly why I split this topic away from yesterday’s discussion of the Trump Foundation’s lawbreaking.

That said, the revelation does call into question the particular deduction/adjustment/loophole exploited by Trump’s accountants and lawyers. I may be wrong, but I am going to guess that Trump’s “loss” of nearly a billion dollars was merely a paper affair while the subsequent income that was deducted was quite real. It’s not like Trump spent those 18 years living a diminished lifestyle because he was forced to spend all his income to various creditors.

Just place me in the “deplorable” American category.

Why do you say that?

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 4:36 PM
Comment #408018

This is a prime example of how the left spins things to look bad. It’s perfectly within the law, yet Trump is constantly being referred to as a criminal.

Shining a light. That’s all Trump is doing. How many of the politicians who wrote these laws take advantage of them? It seems they’re written specifically for the well off. Not many people can claim a One Billion Dollar loss in one year and stay in business long enough to avoid 18 years of free room and board? It sounds scandalous, yet the businessman who claims a One Thousand Dollar loss claims the same exact advantage. Is he a criminal also?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 4:40 PM
Comment #408021
Trump is constantly being referred to as a criminal.

Who has called Trump a criminal with regards to his taxes?

It sounds scandalous, yet the businessman who claims a One Thousand Dollar loss claims the same exact advantage.

What bothers me is not the magnitude involved. If Trump really had spent those 18 years paying off a billion dollars of debt, then I wouldn’t see this as an issue. What I suspect, but cannot prove, is that Trump probably managed to dump that debt when his companies declared bankruptcy. I do not think Trump’s $1 billion loss is “real” in the same sense that the small business owner’s $1000 loss may be.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 5:03 PM
Comment #408022
It’s not like Trump spent those 18 years living a diminished lifestyle because he was forced to spend all his income to various creditors.Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 4:36 PM

This was back when he was whining to Ivanka that a homeless guy living on the street was worth more than him, since he was 3 billion in debt. Yet it didn’t affect his expenditures at all. Nothing wrong with that picture at all!

Posted by: oraoghaile at October 2, 2016 5:06 PM
Comment #408023

I don’t think debt had anything to do with it. It may have. In any case he did it legally and it is an issue only because the left is using it as a bludgeon. There are a lot of ignorant people who will hear illegal/no taxes/billionaire. You are doing a lot of speculating, Warren Porter.

What I suspect, but cannot prove, is that Trump probably..
I may be wrong, but I am going to guess that Trump’s “loss”..

If you’re not framing this discussion to deflect from his success, then you’re qualifying yourself for the ignorant column.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 5:25 PM
Comment #408024

Since the word “leaked” is in the title, why aren’t we discussing the actual crime that was committed?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 5:27 PM
Comment #408025

Personally, I have no problem with Trump taking a large write-off. The tax code allows it. Trump undoubtedly hires a lot of people to do his taxes, and they are expected to take the deductions they find. There is nothing wrong with that. It is perfectly legal. If there is a problem, it is with the tax laws that allow such deductions in the first place. Of course, a write-off for a loss of that size certainly calls Trump’s business acumen into question.


I suspect he gives very little to charity. He claims to give hundreds of millions, but no one knows where the money went. One investigator looked at hundreds of major charities, and only one ever received a donation from Trump, and then for only $10,000. At least one ‘charitable donation’ was actually a contribution to a political campaign, the campaign of FL AG Pam Bondi. That happened as she declined to pursue the Trump University law suit. The IRS fined Trump for the false claim.

The really important question is this: how deeply is Trump tied to foreign entities? Supposedly his biggest single creditor is the Bank of China. Russian oligarchs have hundreds of millions invested from him. But once again, no one knows exactly what is happening.

He is obviously concealing something. Is not paying taxes the end of it, or just the beginning?

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2016 5:29 PM
Comment #408026
You are doing a lot of speculating

Absolutely. Going after Trump’s non-payment of taxes is a weak way to attack him because there really aren’t any hard facts to back up what many suspect. That said, the emotional value of this will resonate with some voters. But if you are interested in a factual discussion of Trump’s criminal activity, see my previous article.

Since the word “leaked” is in the title, why aren’t we discussing the actual crime that was committed?

Good point. It seems that things must be quite rough in Trump Tower if someone there was motivated to mail these documents anonymously to Susanne Craig. There’s anarticle in today’s Times describing how this story came together behind-the-scenes.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 5:41 PM
Comment #408027

How coincidental the document was delivered from Trump Tower. Either we’re working with incredibly incompetent people or smart people who know how to frame someone. Guess which one I’m going with.

It’s hard to believe Trump Tower doesn’t have a public mail pickup daily like most other Americans, or does it? Does Bruce Willis trot down to the corner mailbox to have his letter to Mom delivered?

Can you see how superficial the arguments are? Your posts are fraught with could and may and if, even outright statements of no wrongdoing, yet with vague associations bold thick lines are drawn to slander someone, anyone who disagrees with the status quo.

Reporters have no obligation to reveal their sources, but that is no reason not to find out who broke the law by providing this document to the reporter. Perhaps Comey can ask Hillbilly if she can remember anything.


Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 6:20 PM
Comment #408028

David Barstow, on YT at nMOaUPtnjh0 explains how Drumpf was able to keep his income from The Apprentice and the casenos while paying no income tax on it.

Posted by: oraoghaile at October 2, 2016 8:06 PM
Comment #408029

WW,
The partial return is undoubtedly real. The tax preparer confirmed his signature and the numbers. We know Donald Trump wrote off $916 billion in losses, and that is an enormous loss by any standards. He paid no taxes.

Not only that, the size of the carryover meant he paid no taxes for many years; in other words, Trump is part of that 47% that Romney so famously cited. Trump is another on of those takers of who sponge off the rest of us.

Posted by: phx8 at October 2, 2016 8:06 PM
Comment #408030

phx8, 916 billion????? I think it was million. He could carry it over for 18 years but I don’t think he paid no taxes for that long. Have you used the tax codes to your benefit? What he and many others including your golden girl have done, used the tax code to their advantage. What he and many, many others have done LEGALLY. Blame congress not Trump, they make the laws not Trump.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 2, 2016 8:31 PM
Comment #408031

I watched your YouTube video you linked? to, oraoghaile. We’ve already come to the conclusion that Trump does nothing illegal or unseemly or, dare I say it?, wrong. David Barstow said Trump did nothing different than any other real estate developer in NY. The only difference is Trump’s had a few more digits.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 9:15 PM
Comment #408032

That’s some really twisted logic, phx8. Trump looses a billion dollars. He gets a pass on 1 billion dollars worth of taxes legally, by “earning” more money, and you say he’s sponging off of the taxpayer?

Getting a tax break on money earned is not sponging off of anyone.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2016 9:20 PM
Comment #408035
How coincidental the document was delivered from Trump Tower. Either we’re working with incredibly incompetent people or smart people who know how to frame someone. Guess which one I’m going with.

My suspicion is that the documents were leaked from someone within the Trump organization. I don’t think this is a case whereby someone from outside is framing someone on the inside because I don’t think it is likely that anyone outside the Trump organization had access to the documents in the first place.

Can you see how superficial the arguments are? Your posts are fraught with could and may and if, even outright statements of no wrongdoing, yet with vague associations bold thick lines are drawn to slander someone, anyone who disagrees with the status quo.

Can you see you are arguing with a straw-man? Of course the arguments are superficial, you are the one who constructed them! Nobody is saying what Trump did with his taxes was unlawful. At worse, people are noting that it highlights the problems in our tax code and the irony that Trump is among the 47% cited by Romney as self-proclaimed “victims” dependent on government.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 2, 2016 10:14 PM
Comment #408038

Or it could have been someone who worked for the IRS. Oraoghaile’s link said it would take someone working for the IRS ten minutes to access Trumps tax information.

Either one of us could be correct and we’ll never know. I do know that whoever committed this crime knew they would get away with it because in this environment the end justifies the means.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2016 12:25 AM
Comment #408039

It couldn’t have been someone at the IRS because the IRS doesn’t have anything to do with the paperwork leaked to the NYT.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 12:41 AM
Comment #408040

From your link, Warren Porter:

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns,

Are you trying to tell us the IRS has nothing to do with tax returns?!

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2016 1:07 AM
Comment #408041

From the linked NYT article:

the documents sent to the times did not include any pages from Mr. trump’s 1995 federal tax return
Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 1:13 AM
Comment #408045

From the link NYT article:


The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures


The tax experts consulted by The Times said nothing in the 1995 documents suggested any wrongdoing by Mr. Trump, even if the extraordinary size of the loss he declared would have probably attracted extra scrutiny from I.R.S. examiners. “The I.R.S., when they see a negative $916 million, that has to pop out,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

The documents examined by The Times represent a small fraction of the voluminous tax returns Mr. Trump would have filed in 1995.
Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2016 9:48 AM
Comment #408046

Don’t split hairs, Warren Porter. The IRS could have leaked these documents just as easily as anyone else.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2016 9:49 AM
Comment #408047

WW,

People don’t send state returns to the IRS.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 9:51 AM
Comment #408048

The tax documents could have come from Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples. Her name is on the returns.

WW,
Correct, $916 million.

You write: “Have you used the tax codes to your benefit?”

I would not phrase it that way. Up until 2010, I probably overpaid every year. At that point, the taxes became too complicated, and I had to hire an accountant to do them. My situation involved a huge, six figure tax bill. It also included a credit about a quarter of the size of the overall bill that I carried over year to year, which could only be applied to certain kinds of gains. Basically, I was victimized by the AMT rules, which really stick it to someone like me. I’m not bitter. I don’t complain or even talk about it. I consider myself fortunate to ever be in that situation in the first place. But paying large sums, and watching the government keep a LOT of my money to offset future gains was not a pleasant thing.

Trump is playing a much different game. He is calling everything a business expense, so for taxable purposes, he has almost no income. That is… aggressive… His losses came from rules that apply to wealthy people in real estate. Those rules do not apply to most people, including me.

So the problem is with the rules, and not necessarily Trump, although he was obviously extremely liberal in what he claimed as business expenses. That virtually guarantees annual audits.

Posted by: phx8 at October 3, 2016 10:44 AM
Comment #408049
The tax documents could have come from Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples. Her name is on the returns.

Good idea. Sounds much more plausible than WW’s idea that someone from the IRS traveled to three different state departments of revenue, stealing Trump’s tax return at each stop.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 10:48 AM
Comment #408050

However, I’m still banking that this leak was committed intentionally by the Trump organization. Notice how it has distracted attention away from the criminal syndicate known as the Trump Foundation? Earlier, we were discussing how Trump broke the law and was a hypocrite. Now, we are talking about how he is such a law-abiding citizen for exploiting loopholes to reduce his tax burden.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 10:57 AM
Comment #408053

The fundamental idea of the Trump Campaign is revenge on a system that people believe has been rigged for the upper class against them.

We can talk about Trump in particular, but if we’re nattering on about how it’s perfectly legal and alright for rich people to take advantage of tax writeoffs and whatever, we’re kind of walking past gold bullion to pick up nuggets in the river.

We should ask ourselves the relevant question: what is the bulk of the Tax Code from? If I had to guess? Think about all the times you heard Republicans talking about tax incentives or tax breaks. Think about all the times people talked about tax cuts or tax credits.

Then consider for a moment the subject of many of those changes in the laws and the regulations. Not us, typically.

Also consider the sort of defensive regulations and laws, the stuff written into the system to close up loophole created by people like Trump with creative lawyers and accountants.

Then step back into the picture with Trump, and his 916 million dollar write-off. Trump is the guy who helps create the complexity in that tax code. We have clear evidence here that he is avoiding paying his fair share, even beyond what you and I would typically pay in taxes.

Moving beyond that, let’s consider for a moment our fiscal situation. We can pretend that the Tax Cuts have nothing to do with the budget shortfalls and the national debt, but we shouldn’t kid ourselves. We said, “these rates will go down, so we’ll gather less revenue on every dollar of income these people make.”

The hope was that this would drive bonanza growth. Neither time was that true. Each time, huge recessions followed. I have no doubt that Trump’s version would end up differently. We would instead call his recessions Yuuuuge. Seriously, though, the argument from the Right about where the economy and the budget landed is that things would have been much worse had the economic benefits of the tax cuts not been in play.

The invisible tiger trap logic of the Right insists on that, but there’s little evidence for it.

The Truth about Trump is that he and his cohorts are big on benefiting greatly for themselves, gathering money and power to themselves, but not big on the responsibility and expectations that such accumulation has typically brought.

They’re fooling themselves, and anybody who follows them is doing the same. The truth is, without such responsibilities and obligations, we have a system that is primarily focused on the good of a few, and America doesn’t have to be all that great or exceptional for them to benefit.

The good of the great majority of the people ought to be the object of our government, subject to the constraints and limitations of the Constitution. If we’re talking in social contract terms, this is why the framers formed their government, the one we inherited the way Trump inherited much of his fortune. Their system is a more stable one, I would say. When people are bought into a system, whether that be democracy or capitalism, they behave more responsibly within it, are more willing to protect it.

Trump represents people getting so alienated from serious participation that they don’t even bother to look at Trump with the cold eyes of self interest. They don’t even bother to realize that he is not the one the system’s being rigged against, he’s the one the system is rigged for.

It’s time to stop being naive about what Trump represents. He is what we get when we automatically give the benefit of the doubt to some spoiled brat whose father or mother left them a million dollars.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 3, 2016 1:17 PM
Comment #408066

http://brontecapital.blogspot.com/2016/10/some-comments-on-new-york-times-story.html

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 3:20 PM
Comment #408067

No Clinton bashing here by me as I also donate some used clothing to Salvation Army and use the deduction.

However, I drew the line at used underwear and socks.

“Several experts were consulted about Clinton’s tax-deductible donations, especially of underwear. Paul Offenbacher, a longtime Washington-area tax accountant, said it is highly unusual to take an itemized deduction on donated underwear; indeed, he had never heard of such a thing. Adelphi University psychology professor George D. Goldman, a New York-based psychoanalyst who studies the unconscious symbolic meanings in human behavior, said the donations are, at the very least, fodder for intriguing speculation.

Clinton has valued his underwear as high as $2 a pair. And a pair of long underwear, per Clinton on his 1988 return, is worth $15.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1993/12/28/bill-clintons-great-skivvies-give-away/0dac853d-cf3d-4faf-8104-bcf124bd93b4/

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 3, 2016 4:27 PM
Comment #408068

My Leftie Pal Daugherty wrote; “We have clear evidence here that he is avoiding paying his fair share…”

Perhaps I am the only reader who finds this comment nonsensical. Tax “avoidance” is legal; why is it not fair?

He writes; “Each time (taxes were reduced), huge recessions followed.”

Prove it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 3, 2016 4:36 PM
Comment #408070

I wonder if Stephen takes the usual standard deductions on his tax forms? Most SMART people do so the question is are they avoiding paying their fair share?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 3, 2016 5:08 PM
Comment #408071

Royal Flush,

Thank you for citing the original WP story instead of the American Thinker essay that you read. It was definitely fun to read and laugh at WJC’s “generosity”. For me, I wonder why no one considers the possibility that the Clintons donated new unused underwear?

Tax “avoidance” is legal; why is it not fair?

Four years ago, Romney and other Republicans told us that it wasn’t fair that 47% of Americans didn’t pay income taxes. Why is there a sudden change in tune?

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 5:58 PM
Comment #408073

Why is there a sudden change in tune?
Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 5:58 PM

I don’t know Warren, ask Romney and “other Republicans”.

I wonder if Hillary subscribes to Obama’s theory that…”If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Use the Obama “business” theory Warren and apply it to Trump and his large business loss.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 3, 2016 6:38 PM
Comment #408074

Hillary is flapping her jaws making fun of Trump for losing a billion dollars. OK…that’s fair.

What kind of genius president in-debts his citizens $10+ Trillion with very little to show for it.

What kind of genius Secretary of State loses over $6 billion and can’t locate it?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 3, 2016 6:49 PM
Comment #408075

Perhaps my Leftie Pals will share how they would feel if a portion of their income tax return was printed in a national newspaper. Why no public outrage at the violation of Trump’s privacy? He is not now, and never has been, a public official and is still a private citizen.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 3, 2016 7:10 PM
Comment #408078
Why no public outrage at the violation of Trump’s privacy

Probably for the same reason that no one is outraged by the publications of articles describing Bill Clinton’s underwear donations. A Republican nominee for President of the United States is no mere private citizen.

At this point, I propose we stop talking about this. It is clear that everyone agrees that there is no proof that Trump did anything unlawful in this instance. Later revelations may demonstrate otherwise, but that is neither here nor there. Let us return to the discussion of Trump’s criminal foundation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 8:25 PM
Comment #408094
It is clear that everyone agrees that there is no proof that Trump did anything unlawful in this instance. Later revelations may demonstrate otherwise, but that is neither here nor there. Let us return to the discussion of Trump’s criminal foundation. Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 8:25 PMI

No, not everyone, Mark Cuban, YT, oLlTWoTD0Kkm says Drumpf nay still owe money if there were debts that were forgiven, that is considered income, which is taxable.

Posted by: oraoghaile at October 3, 2016 10:05 PM
Comment #408097

Let me repeat, “everyone agrees that there is no proof that Trump did anything unlawful in this instance.” Sure, we have a lot of idle speculation, but without more information, it’s all smoke without any fire.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 3, 2016 11:43 PM
Comment #408098

The cease and desist order issued to the Trump Foundation from the NY AG is worse than it initially appears. Because the foundation failed to register, the state was unable to conduct oversight or do audits. To rectify this, the foundation will have to open its books. They have 15 days to provide audits for the missing years.

There are already stories out there of self-dealing. In addition, the foundation gave a $25,000 ‘gift’ donation to the Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi which was actually a campaign donation. This is a prohibited activity for a non-profit.

Posted by: phx8 at October 3, 2016 11:55 PM
Comment #408123
the foundation will have to open its books

drip, drip, drip …

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 4, 2016 2:06 PM
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