Mutually contradictory beliefs

The first, and most obvious possibility, is that Trump is not a successful business person, at all. Instead he is an arch manipulator of borrowed funds, using them to give the appearance of a successful business career when he is, in fact, simply accumulating debt that he might well be unable to repay. The possibility that this might arise during the course of a second term in office is particularly worrying: how can the President go bankrupt?

The second, and again quite obvious interpretation of this information is to suggest that Trump is a massive tax avoiders,

They can’t both be true, obviously.

Trump could, of course, simply deny the claims in one very simple, and effective way: he could publish his tax returns.

Well, no, not really, not when the NYT is trying to claim both at the same time.

54 thoughts on “Mutually contradictory beliefs”

  1. I’m not convinced they are totally mutually exclusive.
    Judging from the reports..
    1. Trump clearly isn’t successful, he has a large number of businesses that apparently aren’t making profits, and has borrowed mindboggling amounts of money to keep those businesses afloat.

    2. Trump has used dubious tactics to minimize his tax liability, this seems to include paying his family as consultants (even though they are also directors) and then deducting that as a business expense. Stating something is a business property and so costs of it tax deductable, whilst seeming to use it as a private residence, using write downs and historical losses to zero/minimize current tax liabilities in aggressive ways.

    How illegal or immoral the tax avoidance is a distinct question, but he certainly is aggressive at minimizing his liability beyond what most achieve.

  2. Trump is not a successful business person, at all.

    I wish I was that unsuccessful.

    “ACKSHUALLY, the guy who’s been a big deal in New York real estate for over 40 years, an international celebrity with his own hit TV show, has a private jet and lived in a golden palace before slumming it in the White House is just borrowing it all on his credit card :-)” is definitely a hot take though.

  3. Trump and tax reminds me of Brer Rabbit and the nettle patch: “whatever you do don’t throw me there!” How about a showdown in which he promises to reveal his entire family’s returns if Biden and Pelosi reveal theirs!

  4. Didn’t someone publish a book on this subject way back in 2016? What was the Elysian Spud doing then? Whose cash was he nefariously trousering?

  5. People will complain about this, then next spring go through TurboTax 5 times to make sure they don’t miss any deductions.

  6. he certainly is aggressive at minimizing his liability

    Horrors! Where is the piano wire?

    I have heard some amusing tales of Trump’s business dodginess, although by the standards of New York real estate – where you simply cannot get anything built without dealing with the Mafia for example – he seems pretty typical.

    He is outstanding in terms of chutzpah though: suing DB in 2008 when he couldn’t repay loans because, he said, they were partially responsible for the GFC and thus preventing him meeting his obligations.

    Plus, what Steve said. And don’t forget the lifetime of shagging top class totty (and no doubt plenty of Stormy Daniels-type muck).

  7. ‘how can the President go bankrupt’

    Duh . . . he files for bankruptcy. Just like anyone else.

    Many years ago, Trump claimed he was worth $3B. His wife divorced him. He claimed he was worth $600M. Lost two-and-a-half billion over night.

  8. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    How illegal or immoral the tax avoidance is a distinct question, but he certainly is aggressive at minimizing his liability beyond what most achieve.

    Mole, you are a modern day moron (to quote Elon Musk). Here’s why:

    1) There is no such thing as illegal tax avoidance. By definition tax avoidance is the reducing of tax by legal means. By definition, the reduction of tax by illegal means is tax evasion.
    2) The tax code is neither moral nor immoral. It is a mechanism by which citizens pay for the governmental services provided.
    3) Tax returns are not designed to provide information regarding the financial results of business activities or the financial health of a taxpayer. They are designed to calculate the tax due. And while tax returns will contain a certain amount of financial data in them, that data will most probably not be presented in a manner that conforms with IFRS or GAAP. So, drawing any conclusions about Trump’s business affairs from tax returns is fraught with peril and most probably result in an erroneous conclusion.

    OK, now that we’ve established that you don’t know shit about tax law in general, let’s move on to your next bit of stupidity, which centers around real estate and real estate taxation.

    1) Real estate development nearly always involves large amounts of borrowed money. It is the norm. So looking at a real estate developer’s tax return and noting he’s carrying large amounts of debt is exactly what you’d expect to see. Such debt doesn’t convey anything in the way whether the taxpayer’s level of debt is a matter of concern. To come up with that sort of assessment, you’d need to review each project separately using financial data not contained in the tax return.
    2) Real estate tax law is designed to generate large tax losses. There are a variety of perfectly legitimate public policy reasons for this, but given that you don’t know the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion, I’m going to assume that getting into the nitty gritty of those policy reasons is well beyond your level of comprehension.

    Anything can look evil to you if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

  9. Dennis, He Who Is Annoyed By Overt Stupidity And Ignorance

    Trump has used dubious tactics to minimize his tax liability, this seems to include paying his family as consultants (even though they are also directors) and then deducting that as a business expense. Stating something is a business property and so costs of it tax deductable, whilst seeming to use it as a private residence, using write downs and historical losses to zero/minimize current tax liabilities in aggressive ways.

    Everything you mention can indeed be a legitimate business expense if properly structured to conform with tax law. So what’s your point? Just because you don’t understand how it can be done doesn’t make it wrong.

    And it’s “deductible”, not “deductable”…

    Twat.

  10. He says he’s been audited every year. An assertion I find quite probable. If the IRS find little or nothing to complain about this is a fuss about nothing.

  11. Real estate development nearly always involves large amounts of borrowed money

    I know very little about real estate, but this was my general reckoning too. It’s a yugely capital and debt intensive industry with labyrinthine deals where profits tend to take years to realise (if you see any at all)?

    Drumf has managed to navigate the toughest possible market in the toughest city in the world for about half a century and still has his shirt, so my guess is he’s probably done ok, otherwise he’d have been laughed out of the country club and forced to panhandle under a bridge years ago, like Dan Akroyd in Trading Places.

    The story used to be something like “Heh, stupid DRUMF should’ve just parked his money in Microsoft”, but as Hyman Roth said “this is the business we’ve chosen”. Somebody’s gotta build skyscrapers, can’t all be autistic internet oligarchs.

    I’ve no idea how comparatively piss-taking Orange Badman’s tax strategy is, but Joe Biden is fully supported by the same people who are still pretending Ghostbusters (1984) never turned a profit.

  12. @ Dennis
    American tax law is your specialty, not mine: so I am curious why anyone should think paying family members as consultants should be avoiding tax since their income should be taxable unless their total income is below the tax threshold (not credible in the case of a Trump). I should expect giving them a “carried interest” in developments taxable at capital gains tax rates would reduce tax payments, but not paying them as consultants. So why?

  13. Dennis, Odin's Tax Collector

    American tax law is your specialty, not mine: so I am curious why anyone should think paying family members as consultants should be avoiding tax since their income should be taxable unless their total income is below the tax threshold (not credible in the case of a Trump).

    I can think of three reasons off the top of my head:

    1) They neither know nor understand tax law.
    2) They wish to imply an activity is nefarious in order to defame an individual or business.
    3) Both 1 & 2.

  14. Hey Dennis–if my thought that Demorats might steal the election by fraud is crap–because 2 by 2 or summat–how come a large number of people inc Project Veritas and Trump himself are now talking about it?

    They all have inch-thick skulls as well?

  15. The first, and most obvious possibility, is that Murphy is not a successful business person, at all. Instead he is an arch manipulator of grant funds, using them to give the appearance of a successful business career when he is, in fact, simply accumulating debt that he might well be unable to repay.

    The second, and again quite obvious interpretation of this information is to suggest that Murphy is a massive tax avoider.

    Murphy could, of course, simply deny the claims in one very simple, and effective way: he could publish his tax returns.

  16. And here was me thinking that it is the right ( if not Holy Duty) of any citizen of any nation to avoid the grubby paws of the tax men to the maximum extent the law allows..

    Even if said citizen is a president which you happen to dislike in extremis.

  17. Timmy TBF he said effectively “either or” so it doesn’t matter if the two propositions are mutually exclusive.

    Having said that the rest of it is weapons grade bollocks as pointed out by your esteemed other commenters.

  18. Dennis, Showing Off My Scots-German Temperment

    Hey Dennis–if my thought that Demorats might steal the election by fraud is crap–because 2 by 2 or summat–how come a large number of people inc Project Veritas and Trump himself are now talking about it?

    It’s my general rule, Ecks, to deal with only one moron/pack of morons and their stupidity/stupidities per day. Mole won today, so you’ll have to wait.

    For a better chance at catching me, I’d suggest that tomorrow you wake up and be stupid earlier than usual.

  19. I seem to remember reading that no Hollywood film ever makes a profit, regardless of how much it takes at the box office, they manage to always shift the profits elsewhere. Hence why actors ask for a % of the gross, not the profits. Perhaps the NYT should have a good look into those tax affairs as well?

  20. “Even if said citizen is a president which you happen to dislike in extremis.”

    He probably dislikes him all the time.

    “in extremis” – In extreme circumstances; at the extremes.

  21. The allegation is tax fraud quite obviously, not that he has indulged in tax avoidance. The issue as you all well know is whether he compromised by putin. It’s well known Deutsche bank were the only bank that would lend to him and then suddenly he got other means of credit, ie Russia guaranteed his db debts

    Not that hard to spot the issue for a democracy in this although you all seem to be trying hard to avoid the point

  22. Thanks, Dennis!

    “The issue as you all well know is whether he compromised by putin.”

    Ahhh, yes, the issue that keeps on giving. Bought and paid for by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    That train never left the station, Perry. And a half dozen careers are in the toilet for pursuing it. Riots in Portland, but RUSSIA!

  23. “The issue as you all well know is whether he compromised by putin. It’s well known Deutsche bank were the only bank that would lend to him and then suddenly he got other means of credit, ie Russia guaranteed his db debts”

    Of which there is not one scintilla of evidence in these documents. Even the NYT had to admit there was nothing in them that supported the ‘Trump is in hock to Putin’ theory so beloved of the Orange Man Bad brigade. When are you going to accept you’ve been sold a pup?

  24. I want to know when he’s going to accept that Biden is in deep with the Ukrainians.

    Also I want to know what he thinks a president in Putin’s pocket can actually do – given how the US government is structured. We have somewhat less vulnerability in situations where the chief executive has been suborned compared to, say, a government where the chief executive also controls a significant portion of the legislature.

  25. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    Not that hard to spot the issue for a democracy in this although you all seem to be trying hard to avoid the point

    You don’t have a point, Perry. At least not a legitimate one.

    Why do you think you need to compete with Mole (and Ecks) for the Moron of the Day award?

  26. The allegation is tax fraud
    Is it? I confess I did not spot an allegation of tax fraud, although I will be excited to read more about this.

  27. You can see it’s bullshit right in their own article where the category is deacrined by the campaign team as ‘hope they don’t show up’.

    Its just a stupid choice of category heading.

  28. Incidentally, which US Presidential candidate has a close family member who has received a large unexplained cash payment from a politically connected Russian citizen?

    [Hint, its not Trump……]

  29. The issue as you all well know is whether he compromised by putin.

    If only there’d been some sort of investigation into these allegations, perhaps headed up by a former director of the FBI, and with a large staff of aggressive prosecutors who already hate Trump’s guts, an effectively unlimited budget, and years to get to the bottom of this Slavic shenaniganry.

    Alas!

    Never mind, I’m sure it’ll all come out with the evidence that Lord Lucan and Elvis eloped to escape the Coronavirus that 5G masts cause.

  30. It’s about presenting evidence to support your bonkers assertions, Perry. For example, do you think that Biden is compromised by openly extorting money from Ukraine?

  31. @Mc – re blacks not voting for Hillary clinton -. The assumption is that blacks can only vote for democrats which seems racist to me.

  32. Warren Buffet’s secretary pays more tax than him. He famously complained about it. That Donald Trump has a rather good accountant is no surprise.
    What’s the difference between “aggressive” tax avoidance and tax avoidance? None, apart from the difference between good and bad tax accountants.

  33. Don’t bother Dennis–keep on pissing up your leg and playing with the steam. If you’re not too busy dealing with all those other morons. The Demorats do indeed have a chance of stealing the Election. They must not of heard of your edict that they just can’t,

  34. Perry –

    You have to cover a very large expanse of stupid to get ridiculed by both Murphy’s crowd and Timmy’s crowd.

    I’m kind of in awe, as I didn’t think it was possible.

  35. “philip

    Warren Buffet’s secretary pays more tax than him”

    I’m fairly sure he said that his secretary paid at a higher percentage.

    But even if in one year Buffet chose not to pay himself anything, as people who are really rich and own or manage their own company can chose to do, or even if his pay was linked to company profits and they didn’t make any and the secretary is on a guaranteed salary whatever happens, so what? Over his career, Buffet would have paid plenty of tax and many multiples of any secretary.

  36. Must admit I not only didn’t care about the allegations of Russian influence, I actually hoped that Trump could come to some agreements with Russia, as he’s tried to do with North Korea.

    After all, once Gorbachev freed the countries of Eastern Europe and European Russia, it was plain that Russia had effectively given up its plans to rule the world. I don’t of course care how badly it mismanages its affairs provided it doesn’t try to mismanage mine for me.

    Being a sentimentalist though, I don’t really like foreigners being killed unless they’re my enemies. So since supporting one side in Georgia and Ukraine simply meant the Russians supported the other ones and turned the places into some of Obama’s shitholes, I’d hoped a reasonable compromise was possible and such places could be left alone.

    But alas the Dems Trump-is-Russian-spy-campaign put paid to that possibility.

  37. Warren Buffet’s secretary pays more tax than him. He famously complained about it.

    And just as famously didn’t do anything about it, such as make voluntary tax payments.

    It’s like me “complaining” about Rachel Welsz sitting on my face.

  38. I have observed a few 2nd/3rd generation family business types. The ones who are not smart, and know it, either sell out or stand back and let professionals run the business. The ones who are not smart but don’t know it, they take control and run the business into the ground. The ones who take control and grow the business are smart, full stop.

  39. “Loud, crazy and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

    Not interested in your personal story D–but better add smug to your list. As an affirmation the line is far too late for you. You might get it adopted as one of those Christmas Cracker motto –a fitting tribute to the tornado of self-declared superiority and hot air you call your life.

  40. Democrat supporting newspaper launches attack on popular Republican president in run-up to presidential election. Who could have expected that?

  41. Still waiting to here how post ballot votes, lawyers and bent Judges are not a possible plan for the Demorats to steal election because ?2 by 2? –esp as they already stole an election with the Sinema woman in Arizona in 2018 .Officials on the day cant stop bogus ballots up to 10 days(ffs) after the Poling Day –with lawyers on the job as well. Such rules seem designed to facilitate fraud.

    Ad hominems/I haven’t time/can’t be bothered with my fellow morons today etc is your usual line –but explanation so far =2 from each side means they cant. But since they already did albeit in a lesser way….

    I pray they cant and that Trump will see them off via the Courts/SCOTUS/anything. But you STILL– despite large numbers in US itself saying it could happen– have no convincing answer as to why it cant.

  42. “I confess I did not spot an allegation of tax fraud”

    Of course you didn’t for that would be libel. It’s sufficient for the journalists to make everyone think it’s fraud, relying on the large number of people who don’t know the difference between avoidance and fraud, but they can’t say it out loud.

    That doesn’t mean 99% of readers aren’t thinking it. Especially those who, like all of us, tend to jump on information that supports our own pre-ordained opinions.

  43. The story contains nothing we did not already know and nothing which is illegal.

    I wonder where the hotel chain ‘mole’ runs is?

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