Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 28, 2020

Trump's Tax Filings Do Not Reveal What Democrats Had Hoped For

Lots of pages have been filled with rumors about President Trump's income tax filings. The Democrats had hoped that they would reveal criminal behavior or at least prove that Russia had illegitimate influence over him:

Trump says his tax returns reveal nothing that is not already disclosed on his official candidate financial disclosure, called Form 278e. As ethics counsels to the past two presidents, we dealt with both their tax filings and their Form 278's and so we know that Trump is wrong. His tax filings have an enormous amount of additional information which, in this case, could be critically important to determining whether his business overseas might affect his decision-making as president. That is because Trump’s 12,000-page tax return may tell us a great deal about his Russian and other foreign business ties that is not on his 104-page campaign financial disclosure. It’s now more vital than ever that we get that information in light of Trump's embrace of Russian hacking, leaking and interference in our election.

Now the New York Times has obtained Trump's tax filings. It has made a huge splash out of them.


bigger

The story starts with this:

Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.

He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.

However, down in paragraph 78(!) it reports:

Mr. Trump was periodically required to pay a parallel income tax called the alternative minimum tax, created as a tripwire to prevent wealthy people from using huge deductions, including business losses, to entirely wipe out their tax liabilities.

Mr. Trump paid alternative minimum tax in seven years between 2000 and 2017 — a total of $24.3 million, excluding refunds he received after filing.

Reading the details of the 11,000(!) words story one finds that it is largely a bummer for the 'resistance', not so much for Trump.

It essentially says:

  • Trump is a quite rich international real estate investor.
  • U.S. tax laws allow investors to minimize their reported income by claiming various kinds of deprecations and other gimmicks.
  • Tax regulations that allows investors to carry forward leftover losses to reduce taxes in future years are especially helpful.
  • Trump has good accountants and tax lawyers and has used the laws to their full extent to minimize his tax payments.

Is any of the above something we did not already knew?

What the Times story does NOT say is:

  • Trump's tax record reveal that he did something illegal.

The paper had surely hoped for more. It must have been especially bitter for its authors to write this paragraph:

By their very nature, the filings will leave many questions unanswered, many questioners unfulfilled. They comprise information that Mr. Trump has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

This is a dud. It is certainly not the campaign ammunition the Democrats had hoped for.

Posted by b on September 28, 2020 at 11:31 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 29 2020 11:40 utc | 99

It didn't make sense to me back then. Post 9/11, the compelling idea for me is that the "neocons" were the early wrecking crew of the controlled demolition of the deals made, which did not favor the Zionist Entity, and more importantly, the entity's creators and benefactors in the City of London.

So it was not "stupidity". It was meant to provoke. A whitepaper mad elephant in the carefully arranged and constructed new Holy Roman Empire, which again fell like humpty dumpty, just like its predecessors. For the same precise reasons ...

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 29 2020 11:57 utc | 101

What a dreary article. Might as well read the Guardian rather than The Whisky Bar.

Posted by: DM | Sep 29 2020 12:02 utc | 102

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 29 2020 11:57 utc | 100

"For the same precise reasons ..."

We've always been suckers for a parade here. I remember right after 9/11 when I realized they planned to go full-tilt jingo over it, have a "War on Terror (TWAT) rather than treat it as criminal matter, knowing it was going to be like Vietnam all over again. Boy did we put that Vietnam syndrome behind us.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 29 2020 12:30 utc | 103

Told you it would blow back on the liberal elites:

EDITORIAL BOARD: The Picture of a Broken Tax System - Donald Trump’s tax returns illustrate the profound inequities of the tax code and the shambolic state of federal enforcement.

Just one correction from the headline: there's no failure of federal enforcement here, Trump used the loopholes that were left on purpose the the Congress when they passed the laws. Everything is perfectly legal.

Whatever the case, fact is the NYT is now having to own the exposure of the unfair tax system of the USA, as it didn't find anything illegal or Russia-related in Trump's tax forms.

Posted by: vk | Sep 29 2020 12:34 utc | 104

And yes, what it is implied here is that the "neocons" were perfectly happy to throw America and America's future under the chaos bus.

Because the envisioned order that the architects of NWO (the crew that actually brought US of A to the top of the global mafia food chain) were articulating (via their head huncho, George Herbert Walker Bush) and seemd on the verge of establishing their vision, with a very symbolic German initiated ethnic war right in the middle of Europa to neatly tie the knots before the New Holy Roman Empire ("NWO") would be fully operative.

I should add that it seems US never figured out who was really behind that 'message' on September 11, 2001. This was likely a necessary component of that watershed event. That ambiguity forced the hand of US. If US knew with evidence which state actor was behind 9/11, it would have attacked that nation. We don't know but had to do something. Our "wise" "advisers" the "neocons" were there to guide the then Actor cum President to take the desired subsequent steps to kick humpty dumpty off his perch.

"Mission Accomplished".

Posted by: conspiracy-theorist | Sep 29 2020 12:37 utc | 105

@ conspiracy theorist. the u.s. did know what nation was behind it, saudi arabia. surely you don't mean israel, not when the u.s. ignored an attack on a u.s. ship in international waters by israel.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 29 2020 13:10 utc | 106

we did not already knew know?

Is any of the above something we did not already knew?

I vaguely recall one Trump vs Hillary debates. Already then, as I recall, Hillary challenged him on matters. He seemingly pretty easily pointed out, that after all, couldn't she have changed US Tax laws in all her time in legislation?

Posted by: moon | Sep 29 2020 14:20 utc | 107

@ conspiracy theorist. the u.s. did know what nation was behind it, saudi arabia. surely you don't mean israel, not when the u.s. ignored an attack on a u.s. ship in international waters by israel.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 29 2020 13:10 utc | 106

Saudis, like George HW Bush's son, George the lesser, are patsies.

(Scared shitless people lose situational awareness and do stupid things, like holding books upside down.)

But your diversionary interjection entirely misses the historic geopolitical plate techtonics discussed in my comments.

Saudis very much depended on and counted on NWO. They had a very respected seat at the table. They had NO desire to see mayham in middle east. They NO desire to see Wahabism in the headlines. No motives whatsoever.

The relevant historic events that continue to very much inform what is happening even today (such as Brexit, monkey business around strategic energy sources for EU, etc.) are:

- Collapse of Soviet Union

- Yugoslav Wars [full blown UN / NWO affair]

= 9/11

- War on Terror [dethroned UN / Anglo-Zionist affair]

- [coming soon: Collapse of USA?]


The asymmetry in above due to the abrupt change in regime of the US security state. (Other asymmetries that are now manifesting include shift from "our Chinese partners" to "the Chinese threat". CCP signed on the NWO deals, not the post 9/11 "neocon" order.)

The Yugoslav Wars were the platform for the 'New Order' to establish its authority. It was an entirely UN centered affair. This was in full harmony with the vision of Emperor GWHB.

As an anti-thesis, the "Neocon" War on Terror undermined UN, put huge internal stress on the NWO structure (in Europe, for example).

To sum it up: 9/11 and WoT were the live-birth abortion of the New World Order.

Posted by: conspiracy-theory | Sep 29 2020 14:36 utc | 108

...
have a "War on Terror (TWAT) rather than treat it as criminal matter, knowing it was going to be like Vietnam all over again. Boy did we put that Vietnam syndrome behind us.
Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 29 2020 12:30 utc | 103

Yep. That was Inside Job Q.E.D for me.

The whole case should have been handed over to the FBI & Interpol to track down the perps and prosecute them in the courts. And the US Congress should have facilitated an open-ended budget for the investigation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2020 15:28 utc | 109

Tonight's Debate Show

MAGA Pussy-grabber vs. I'm the guy! Malarkey.

=

- These two pro-establishment Centrists will accuse each other of being too radical to govern.

- They will disagree about who supports Israel more.

- Inconvenient truths (aka "cheap shots") that are sure to pop-up: Trump's tax returns; Hunter Biden.

- Pre-arranged "gaff"?: a "senior moment" for Biden followed by Trump's too-harsh mockery of it.

- Playing to the 'base': Supreme Court nominee rabbithole; 'racial justice' vs. 'law and order' rabbithole.

- Topics avoided (memory-holed):

- assassination of Iranian Gen. Soleimani;

- massive wealth inequality;

- Flynn prosecution;

- Biden's sex accuser;

- Epstein;

- Wall Street and Boeing bailouts;

- Yemen and North Korea.


Deep State messaging conveyed the Trump-Biden performance: Foreign enemies are taking advantage of USA divisions! Foreshadowing the future domestic crack-down on dissent.

Drink: every time Biden makes a concession (the need police .. the need for a strong military .. China is to blame for virus devastation (not Trump, BoJo, Macron, ..) .. Trump has solved the Arab-Israeli conflict (peacemaker!) .. etc.)

Enjoy the Show!

(Brought to you by the USA Duopoly Inc., a subsidiary of Imperial NWO. Are you with us, or against us?)

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 29 2020 16:07 utc | 110

B's headlines is absolutely right on. The democrats since Trump's election believed that his tax returns would show a financial connection and dependency on Putin/Russians. In 2017 the same people who organized the Womens/Pussy March organized a protest on April 15 (tax due day) that demanded Trump's tax returns be made public. Absolutely nothing about the inequities of the American tax system. In fact I know two Russian women who were taking public transportation when a bunch of "tax day day" protesters boarded with anti-Russian posters. They immediately stopped speaking Russia fearing some blowback.

Parts of the media are trying to recoup this ruined propaganda ploy as Trump is now susceptible to nefarious foreign influence.

I don't see the tax revelations as having staying power as both wings of the Property/War party are implicated on the travesty of the American tax code.

Posted by: Erelis | Sep 29 2020 17:08 utc | 111

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 29 2020 16:07 utc | 110

Feel a lot better now, since I was kind of lamenting not watching the show due to time zones. For breakfast I’ll find out if Biden dropped dead on stage or Trump lost his tupee.

Meanwhile war in the Caucasus, another one, and a Belarussian TV chanel nominates Lukashenko for the peace Nobel, to join an exclusive roster of nominees, Trump, Putin, Greta Thumberg, George Floyd, Juan Guaidó and Juanita Tikhanovskaya aka Guaidikha.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 29 2020 17:08 utc | 112

It's incredible how many of MoA's posts make RT hesdline news only days later:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/502039-nyt-scoop-trump-tax-return/

Posted by: Paul | Sep 29 2020 17:48 utc | 113

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2020 2:40 utc | 80
"Bosses aren't required to pay tax on money paid out on salaries, commissions, bonuses, and consulting fees etc paid to employees.

But Trump did not write off those expenditures as "money paid out on salaries, commissions, bonuses, and consulting fees etc paid to employees" which would not have been deductible in any case. He wrote them off as fees paid to anonymous "outside consultants" whom he did not identify.

He did not identify them because they did not exist, and because monies paid for "outside consulting" by a person who is already drawing a salary for managing the very company or companies on which the employee is allegedly "outside consulting" cannot be written off.

That's tax fraud.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 29 2020 18:40 utc | 114

circe. U R wrong. Bout Bernie and definitely about me. Ever consider no one bothers with answering your questions because unless one agrees 100% with you you just screech and belittle them? I'm betting this is why. No matter how shrill and preachy you get this wont change. It could be that every one kinda agrees with you and is aware of the first point. The way you turn off people that otherwise might be allies or even allied most of the time is truly sad. It kinda makes you a bootlicker in the opposite way than you think, because you might as well be a vote for orange man the way you turn others off with your self righteous holier than now offensive garbage. No feelings hurt Circe, just pointing out that most problems we encounter can be solved internally and the best medicine is sometimes introspection, something you seem to desperately lack.

Repeat above to infinity, i no i no u dont care. Unfortunately if u don't no one else will.


Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 29 2020 19:41 utc | 115

Re Tom | Sep 29 2020 7:25 utc | 93
"What ever happened to “from each according to the abilities; to each according to their needs” I remember Noam Chomsky saying there was a survey done where the majority of Americans thought this slogan of Karl Marx was in the Declaration of Independence."

Well you're right that it was not in the Declaration. Matter of fact, it was not in any of Marx's writings nor of his recorded comments, either.

It was French socialist Louis Blanc who wrote it in his 1839 essay "L'Organisation du Travail."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 29 2020 20:29 utc | 116

...
He wrote them off as fees paid to anonymous "outside consultants" whom he did not identify.

He did not identify them because they did not exist, and because monies paid for "outside consulting" by a person who is already drawing a salary for managing the very company or companies on which the employee is allegedly "outside consulting" cannot be written off.

That's tax fraud.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 29 2020 18:40 utc | 114

I was responding to a comment from you in which you claimed that Trump paid Ivanka circa $700k in consulting fees. Now you're claiming that he paid that money to an anonymous "outside consultant?"
Which assertion is correct?
How come there are 2 versions of the same story?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 30 2020 2:22 utc | 117

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 30 2020 2:22 utc | 117
"I was responding to a comment from you in which you claimed that Trump paid Ivanka circa $700k in consulting fees. Now you're claiming that he paid that money to an anonymous "outside consultant?"
Which assertion is correct?
How come there are 2 versions of the same story?

There were not two versions of the same story. I did not say that he had paid that money to an anonymous outside consultant. I said that he had claimed -- falsely -- on his tax return that he had paid that money to anonymous "outside consultants" for some of his businesses (which could be written off) when in fact he secretly gave it to his daughter, who was managing some of his other companies. You cannot pay a package of money to a salaried employee of your own company while simultaneously claiming -- falsely -- on your tax return that the same package of money went to unnamed "outside consultants" to some of his other businesses as payments which could be written off as business expenses. Again, you cannot write off "outside consulting" payments for some of your businesses, when in fact you gave that money to your daughter.

He wrote off exactly $747,622 on his tax return for anonymous "outside consultant" fees for some of his businesses, and then Ivanka reported income of $747,622 on her tax return.

Oops!

The IRS has spotted that, and it's one of the many things for which they've got him under investigation.

Read the N Y Times articles, then perhaps you'll understand.


Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 30 2020 4:04 utc | 118

...
He wrote off exactly $747,622 on his tax return for anonymous "outside consultant" fees for some of his businesses, and then Ivanka reported income of $747,622 on her tax return.
Oops!
The IRS has spotted that, and it's one of the many things for which they've got him under investigation.
Read the N Y Times articles, then perhaps you'll understand.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 30 2020 4:04 utc | 118

Sorry, we'll have to agree to disagree.
If Trump claimed a deduction for $747,622 paid to a 'consultant' and Ivanka DECLARED $747,622 in her tax return then there's no Oops.

The IRS is probably just as good at cross-referencing claims vs beneficiaries as Oz's Tax Office (ATO).
Imo, this is a non-story.
I don't need to read the NYT story because b, bless his heart, has read it for me. And I've been lurking at MoA for long enough to know that if b says he's read something, he's read every word, And I've found that b's interpretation of slippery long-winded blather is usually identical to my own :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 30 2020 5:16 utc | 119

Bunch of corrupt politicians accuse another politician being corrupt instead of fixing the system that spawned the corruption.

More news at 11.

Posted by: J W | Sep 30 2020 12:11 utc | 120

Does anyone wonder why this President is the only one not to make public his tax returns? I(f the new York Times has it wrong it would be easy for him to prove that. Instead he as usual deflects by going on the attack. Same tactic will be deployed when he crashes and burns in November. And his goons will stand in serried ranks to back him.

Posted by: James | Sep 30 2020 15:08 utc | 121

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 30 2020 5:16 utc | 119
"If Trump claimed a deduction for $747,622 paid to a 'consultant' and Ivanka DECLARED $747,622 in her tax return then there's no Oops."

Oh yes there is -- You cannot claim a business tax deduction for a gift made to a relative.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 30 2020 15:14 utc | 122

Tax return is a list of numbers with no information concerning how the money was acquired. This was always going to be a nothingburger. What's next, Trump's daily intake by oz of Diet Coke.. plus the village shaman's interpretation of the entrails?

Posted by: Unsympathetic | Oct 5 2020 17:20 utc | 123

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