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Trump calls tax avoidance smart; most Americans call it selfish and unpatriotic, poll shows

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And.......That's a wrap.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Fer chrissake, Trump is trying to get across that he has used the laws of the nation to his advantage in business, and he has said the tax laws need to be revamped but apparently Hillary and the rest of the politicians haven't been able to do it.

Uh oh, more bad news for the Hillary supporters -

"NEW CLINTON EMAIL SCANDAL: FBI Destroys Laptops of Clinton Aides Granted Immunity"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9MApc041IY

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Why should we vote for someone who refuses to pay his fair share for the support and maintenance of the country and then brags about it?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Uh oh, even more bad news for Hillary supporters:

"October Surprise! Clinton Foundation Involved in TARP Fund Embezzlement by Congressional Democrats"

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

-21 ( +0 / -21 )

Weren't the right claiming in the other thread that most Americans thought it was smart? Turns out that most Americans don't think that. Turns out most Americans think it's pretty dirty.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I'm not surprised, most people wouldn't understand anything about the tax code especially when you run a corporation or a business owner. The average American doesn't have to bother with the details of running a business or their knowledge goes beyond a W-2 form. Sure, Trump handled this wrong, he should have released his taxes a long time ago, this would never have been an issue, Hillary, George Soros they all do the same thing, but because Trump was so stubborn and defiant, it made him look bad, sadly. So at this point, he needs to get this out of the way and just explain to the people, but the average person wouldn't understand how this all works anyway.

-22 ( +1 / -23 )

Well any of us could lose a bundle and take a tax write off. Not sure how that makes someone smart. The smart ones are the people who didn't lose their shirt (and ended up paying taxes as a result.) Even the undereducated portion of Trump supporters should be able to understand that on a very basic level.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

David Cay Johnston, a tax expert writing for the Daily Beast, has an explanation of how Trump managed to acquire almost a billion dollars in deductions more concrete than the one I put out the other day. In a nutshell, it required converting loan forgiveness (which would have resulted in the forgiveness booked as an asset) into future real estate deductions (In 1995, Congress passed a law that allowed real estate professionals to trade the taxes on forgiven debt for future real-estate tax deductions - a loophole Trump still supports, BTW); the problem is this would have diminished the value of his properties as they would not be applicable for depreciation tax breaks, so he next took the properties public, left the public company (and its foolish shareholders - talk about fiduciary duty!) with the tax requirements, and pocketed the deductions himself!

Okay, I agree it is genius. Immoral? - sure! Illegal? - no, not really, at least according to the letter of the laws, though his actions go quite against the spirit. Again, let me emphasize that Trump loves these provisions, and his economic proposals maintain all of them.

The details are even more sordid and can be found here.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/03/art-of-the-steal-this-is-how-trump-lost-916m-and-avoided-tax.html

7 ( +8 / -1 )

at this point, he needs to get this out of the way and just explain to the people

But he won't, because if he released his tax returns, people would see all the other bad things he's hiding. Right now, many think the only thing he is hiding is that he hasn't paid taxes.

the average person wouldn't understand how this all works anyway.

They don't need to. If released for analysis, the people who do understand will pull apart his returns and analyze the hell out of them. That scares Trump, because for once he'd have to back up his words with facts, and the facts won't support is 'braggadocio'.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

just explain to the people, but the average person wouldn't understand how this all works anyway.

That sounds pretty elitist to me, bass. Like your smarter then everybody else. I thought Trump was a man of the people.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It must be really tiring to have to jump to the defence of the indefensible day after day. Trump is the most unsuitable candidate in US history. He makes Berlusconi look good! Whether he releases his tax record or not, he is finished now either way. Praise be.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The beauty of the above scheme is that Trump ended up with almost a billion dollars in tax credits for losses sustained entirely on OPM (other people's money)! The banks lost big, shareholders were wiped out, vendors were stiffed - but Trump walked away a winner.

Genius. Evil, sure, but still genius.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

most people wouldn't understand anything about the tax code especially when you run a corporation or a business owner.

Are you honestly trying to make us believe that Trump does his own taxes? Maybe his tax lawyers and accountants should be running for president since they are the real 'geniuses' behind his tax dodging.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Question for the Republicans - if Trump is smart for making the system work for him, then does that not make some welfare recipients smart as well?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@ Bass

You say "... Trump is so stubborn and defiant ...".

I agree and these are some of his better qualities, if we look at all of what he's shown relatively. BUT, these are also the qualities that make him unfit to be president! It's not about his paying taxes or not, it's about the lying and hiding! And who knows what else must be buried in his returns if he considers all of this commotion better than showing everyone what is really hidden!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@bass but the average person wouldn't understand how this all works anyway.

Is this a suggestion the US needs to fully convert to a plutocracy?

It has never made sense to me that a ruling class nabob like Trump could manipulate those who have for decades been hurt most by him and his fellow elites, but that's clearly the case with Trump's sheeple.

Is your point that only the upper class can understand how 'this all works' and so the 'people' (a group referred to by rightists frequently but never defined) should just cede all powers to those born into wealth?

As a born-in-the-wooI, smarter-than-sliced-bread binarylander, I'm sure you'll understand this zero-one based reasoning.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Let's make a distinction here: As a businessman, he is expected to minimise the corporate tax exposure of his companies, but as a very wealthy individual, most would agree that Trump's duty bound to pay income tax.

He is insulting the intelligence of the electorate by his response. He should of course release his tax returns, but he knows he'd be truly sunk if he did, because everyone would be rightfully infuriated that a man who claims to be a Billionaire (but probably isn't) pays less tax than almost anyone.

This has gone way beyond a joke. Whatever you think of her, only one candidate qualifies to be President.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Whatever you think of her, only one candidate qualifies to be President.

That's exactly it. Even if you think she's very flawed, the alternative is insanity. Both the candidate, and voting for him.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

As Stalin put it, One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is just a statistic. Bass is somewhat correct in that most Americans are probably misunderstanding this massive fraud as akin to feeling somewhat guilty over taking the $50 tax credit from Goodwill for your kids' old clothes that you were going to throw away anyway. The magnitude of Trump's abuse of the system is simply too large for many to wrap their mind around.

The banks won't lend to him anymore (at least, not the American ones), yet there will always be suckers.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Freeloader Trump is too dim to understand the tax laws himself. When he says he is "smart" for avoiding taxes he is really congratulating himself for employing unscrupulous accountants. He isn't that smart or he would have realised that his dodgy dealings have made it difficult for him to release his tax returns without exposing him for the fraud he is.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He has a point in that the US tax code may need overhauling and can be easily abused, but for a Presidential candidate to blatantly do that and then mock all other Americans for not having the lawyer capacity to pay no taxes either is an insult to the entire history of the US

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Trump's 'It's not stealing, we're reimbursing ourselves' ambitions on Iraqi oil show an entitlement rationale that I've often heard from shoplifters or burglars.

They, too, loved playing the victim card.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

“brilliantly used” U.S. tax rules to his advantage. Trump isn't brilliant, its his lawyers and accountants that he can afford who do it for him, the average American cant afford these fancy accountants to walk the minefield that is the IRS. Rich individuals like Trump and big corporations that pay substantially less tax in % terms to the average small business individual. They're the ones that make the tax burden higher on these groups because they dont pay their FAIR share of taxes. So yes they may be legally right, but they're morally bankrupt.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The details are even more sordid and can be found here.

It's a pretty good read, but complicated. The short of it was that he was able to gain tremendous tax credits while at the same time accruing costs, then pushed the costs onto his properties, then pushed the properties into a corporation that he ran into the ground, collected management fees tax free, then walked away.

The long version....

Trump had staggering loses close to $1 billion, and with that he created tax credits. Tax credits are good, but let's say you use $100,000 of your tax credits to avoid paying $100,000 in taxes. The government considers that income and taxes you on it, just as if you had earned the $100,000 yourself and used it to pay off your $100,000 tax bill. (Most people use student loan forgiveness as an example. If you are forgiven $25,000 in student loans then you pay taxes on that amount as if you earned it. In the end you pay the taxes on $25,000 worth of "income" instead of actually forking over all of the cash to pay off your loan.)

So Trump gets a big tax break, but it creates a much smaller tax liability that is immediately due when he uses it.

Along comes a law that allows real estate professions to release themselves of that burden by shifting it onto their real estate. In exchange for taking on the taxes Trump owes, the property loses some of it's tax benefit. Basically, the government is going to get their money no matter who it's from. Instead of Trump, it will come from the buildings.

Trump then sets up a corporation and puts the buildings into it. He raises cash. He runs the company into the ground and collects $82 million in salary, all tax free while still having his tax credit. The end.

What Trump does is create a kind of financial black hole that slowly sucks money from people around him. He overpaid for his properties, then told banks to write off part of the loans or extend them with new loans at better terms. He can threaten litigation (successful or not), but the catch is that the banks can either give him new life or foreclose on properties that are worth a fraction of what they paid/loaned. In a way, his incompetence protects him.

He also failed to pay many professionals along the way, which seems to be a pattern of creating wealth by having others take losses. The banks took big losses, the corporation took big losses, the workers took losses, etc. My guess is that his taxes show a pretty complicated web of situations that Trump would rather not explain, like asking him if he intended to ever pay back the loans at full value or had always planned on creating a discount. Fraud is really, really, really hard to prove but pretty easy for people to see.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Laguna The banks won't lend to him anymore (at least, not the American ones),

Would Trump's tax info show which FOREIGN banks he owes hundreds of millions of US dollars to?

Release your tax info Don!

Re Stalin quote: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/21/death-statistic/

10 ( +10 / -0 )

PT, yes, they would, and hence his determination not to reveal them. He never, ever will - he'd rather quit the race, I'd say.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Trump is the most unsuitable candidate in US history.

I generally dislike this kind of hyperbole. But I think you may be right.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Well any of us could lose a bundle and take a tax write off. Not sure how that makes someone smart. The smart ones are the people who didn't lose their shirt (and ended up paying taxes as a result.) Even the undereducated portion of Trump supporters should be able to understand that on a very basic level.

Forget the smart comment, it's the hypocrisy of liberals that think the mega rich take advantage of something is completely legal as an entrepreneur or Big business owner.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Trump has been doing his best to lose.He's been saying anything to p.o. any and all groups.Actually he has gotten boring with it too.I think he went to the Daesh playbook with his shock and awe in the beginning.But he's degenerated into a bore and awful with it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Forget the smart comment, it's the hypocrisy of liberals that think the mega rich take advantage of something is completely legal as an entrepreneur or Big business owner.

So you'd agree that poor people taking advantage of food stamps and/or welfare that's completely legal is equally smart, correct?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Tax avoidance isn't illegal. Any smart business would do it. Might as well expand your business, hire more staff and increase your expenses than just pay a huge tax bill.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

That sounds pretty elitist to me, bass. Like your smarter then everybody else. I thought Trump was a man of the people.

I thought the same about Obama being for the people, guess I was right after all.

So you'd agree that poor people taking advantage of food stamps and/or welfare that's completely legal is equally smart, correct?

Without a doubt, the poor and the rich take advantage of the system, it's the middle class that always gets screwed.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

bass4funk: liberals that think the mega rich take advantage of something is completely legal as an entrepreneur or Big business owner.

Which brings us to the bigger issues. Did he properly disclose the tax hindrance on the property when soliciting investments? Did he get loans that he never intended to fully pay back? Did he even intend to pay workers that he ultimately didn't pay? If you have tax returns to string enough of these situations together it might start looking like more of a strategy.

it's the hypocrisy of liberals

We do it on purpose to make you angry.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Which brings us to the bigger issues. Did he properly disclose the tax hindrance on the property when soliciting investments?

Maybe he did, who knows. So let's just end this and put all the cards on the table. Trump all of his taxes release them ASAP and Hillary all of her speeches ASAP and get this behind us, otherwise the liberals will focus on the tax issue obsessively like with the race issue for 8 years. Sheeeesh!

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

By calling himself smart, Trump is by default calling tax payers idiots. And the irony is that it's true, at least when it comes to his supporters. Because even after being called stupid they're still going to vote for him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sorry, but all Americans take advantage of whatever deductions they can, be it for mortgage interest, dependents, and numerous other exceptions, not to mention taking advantage of duty free stores, or getting sales taxes refunded when traveling.

Tax "avoidance" is completely legal. Tax "evasion" is a different matter. but a great deal of Americans or others are not aware that there is a difference between these two terms.

Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant. Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F2d 848 (1947).

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

he has said the tax laws need to be revamped

Yes.

To lower taxes for the wealthy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

bass4funk: "Trump all of his taxes release them ASAP and Hillary all of her speeches ASAP and get this behind us, otherwise the liberals will focus on the tax issue obsessively like with the race issue for 8 years. Sheeeesh!"

Don't you mean they might focus on it like Benghazi? In any case, they'll focus on it, and rightfully so, until Trump loses in the election, and that's all. Don't you dare talk about 'sticking to an issue' given the 5 times professional panels have found Clinton innocent but form more panels to try her for the same thing. How long has that been the only issue you guys have (well, now the 'health' myth and the made up lies about her cheating, etc.). Wow you guys are desperate!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

otherwise the liberals will focus on the tax issue obsessively... for 8 years

Have to admire the Walter Mitty imagination.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No proof that he didn`t pay any taxes. Nice spin on the question.

What do Americans think about a high level public servant doing favours for foreign countries that stone gays, cut peoples heads off and abuse women?

Hmm...I wonder.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Without a doubt, the poor and the rich take advantage of the system

Ok, so is it a good thing that they are taking advantage of the system, or a bad thing?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's funny, in the first debate, Trump carried on about how poor a lot of the airports and infrastructure are in the US, 'third world' is the way he described it, and yet as a man who is making an absolute fortune from his life in the US, he doesn't have the sense of community or goodwill towards the nation to pay his share.

And a Republican thinks that is smart.

I find all of it quite extraordinary.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What do Americans think about a high level public servant doing favours for foreign countries that stone gays, cut peoples heads off and abuse women?

Ask the Military Industrial Complex.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No proof that he didn`t pay any taxes.

C'mon - if there were proof, he'd provide it. I don't want to talk about this, but there's also no proof that he's not a Manchurian candidate. I'm not saying that he IS a Manchurian candidate, but some people say. Can you provide prove otherwise? Until that time, it would be best to assume that he is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Please note he lost almost a billion dollars... running casinos! A business impossible to lose money on. But Trump found a way. Oh what a forensic accountant would do with all his papers...

If he's done the same with all his bankruptcies, he's stiffed thousands of people of their pay while walking away without care.

The is a narcissist of the worst kind. Sociopath? Someone who would sue anyone around him and get tossed out of court. As he has as well.

The deplorbles will defend him though, as they apparently have nothing else to live for

4 ( +5 / -1 )

sf2kOCT. 05, 2016 - 03:50PM JST Please note he lost almost a billion dollars...

As Laguna pointed out it was mostly OTHER PEOPLE's money he lost. Legal or not it is a disgrace that one can offset such losses against personal taxation. It beggars belief.

Trump has screwed the American taxpayer all his coddled elitist life. And he still managed to spunk the mountain of money he inherited to be indebted to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign banks since no US bank will understandably lend him a cent....

It's insanity that anyone would think he is a man of the people. It's insanity that he's a presidential candidate. Yet he heads the Insane Republican Party.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

pointofview: "What do Americans think about a high level public servant doing favours for foreign countries that stone gays..."

Better yet, ask Mike Pence -- I'm pretty sure he doesn't object to it, given that he's all for taking away their rights and replacing them with extreme prejudice. I just love how you guys keep falling into traps with every single defence you make of Trump and Co. It's really become quite funny.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump hasn't done anything legally wrong with regard to taxes. If he had he would face prosecution. It's obvious most of the readers on this forum just don't like him and will find any excuse to put him down.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@tiger_tanaka

Trump isn't your friend. Trump isn't anyone's friend. All evidence to the contrary shows that he's a parasite on the USA. You don't find excuses to accept a parasite

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@sf2k Neither is Clinton nor any other politician.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think it would be "patriotic" for everyone to decline all exemptions, credits for housing, education, etc.. Everything. It would be a good way to flush out unpatriotic cur. People seem to be sore because Trump has money and they don't. Well, why don't we just take it then?The Clintons are rich, too, by the way. Let's take their money, too. Help Trump and the Clintons be truly patriotic. Anyone got a problem with this?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This author points out two salient facts:

First, and perhaps not surprisingly, even as his casinos languished, Trump certainly did well for himself. He has bragged that “Atlantic City fueled a lot of growth for me” and that “[t]he money I took out of there was incredible.” ... Trump earned about six times the average base pay of U.S. casino executives.

Second, Trump did not get rich in Atlantic City because the casinos were profitable in this period. Instead, his wealth came in part from causing the casinos to borrow heavily and then slashing that debt in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Trump is good for Trump - always that, never more, never less.

http://www.salon.com/2016/10/04/donald-trump-is-not-a-job-creating-expert-his-atlantic-city-casinos-failed-at-keeping-people-employed_partner/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bill,

People seem to be sore because Trump has money and they don't. Well, why don't we just take it then?The Clintons are rich, too, by the way. Let's take their money, too. Help Trump and the Clintons be truly patriotic. Anyone got a problem with this?

Sure we do what are you a communist? Fascist?

Even if you're answering yes, the truth is Trump might not have any money to take. I'm betting another reason he refuses transparency (other than whom he owes to) on his murky financial dealings is because he's in a mountain of debt. Hard to seize negative equity.

I'm sure you'll agree it's time he tried honesty and offered up tax returns ...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump financial acumen was the sole work of tax lawyer and accountant Jack Mitnick, who capitalized and manipulated the alternative minimum tax system, working the federal liability to adjust gross income.....

Close the loophole!! ...........

Instructions for Form 6251.....Alternative Minimum Tax—Individuals

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i6251--1995.pdf

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most Americans are right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bill: I think it would be "patriotic" for everyone to decline all exemptions, credits for housing, education, etc

I think it would be 'genius' of everyone to lose a billion dollars.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted Instructions for Form 6251 - Alternative Minimum Tax - Individuals

Is the very definition of a taxa avoider lucky dip.

How many more Trumps are out there lunching under the woodwork.

Some of my favorites... Line 8—Post-1986 Depreciation...

But Line 20 is a Trump winner —Alternative Tax Net Operating Loss Deduction (ATNOLD)...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump is so proud that he's been able to avoid paying taxes because he can use all of that money that was spoon-fed to him by dear old Dad. The fact that he can do it, is not what really is the issue. The real issue is that he comes off as saying that because he is rich, he can do it and 'boo hoo hoo' to those of us ( the majority of Americans ) who can't. It's so obvious that as soon as he is voted into office, he'll screw every middle to lower-middle class American and make sure he and his own billionaire club members live off the average American's hard earned money.

I worry because as an expat, even though I still file my taxes every year, I don't have to pay due to the exemption I can claim on the 2555ez form. With Trump as President, that exemption could be taken away, and he will probably require all expats to pay taxes on foreign earned income, which amount to double taxation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

US tax code laws are reminiscent of the old Wild West, If only Calamity Jane Clinton rumored to be Wild Bill Hickock Clinton only love could ride into town and clear up the modern day Tombstone..... after all William Pitt - Where law ends, trump begins......sorry lolol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is it that every time there is a poll the number of Democrats polled always exceeds the number of Republicans?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states.

Online polls are self-selecting and invalid for the greater population. Think of the last time you agreed to do any online poll.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is why America's infrastructure is so SHABBY. There is no money in the coffers because millionaires and billionaires and big corporations ARE TAX EVADERS! If the roads where you live are full of potholes that are never repaired, BLAME TRUMP!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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