2016 US Presidential Election

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sardia
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:02 pm UTC

If anyone was wondering if the emboldening racists, xenophobes, and neo Nazis would affect anything, the answer is yes. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... FoqNF9lNgQ
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Lazar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:59 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Regarding the "deplorables" question, I really wish Clinton would have responded by saying YES, THE KKK ARE DEPLORABLE! YES! MANY OF HIS SUPPORTERS ARE RACIST SEXIST ASSHOLES! She did well with her apology, but she could have struck back harder.

I think there were a couple reasons for this. One is that in her immediately previous answer, she had made a point of saying that she would be a president for all Americans, even the ones who hadn't voted for her – so to pivot directly into condemning a certain segment of the electorate would be bad optics. And the other is, I think she feels confident enough in her position right now that she doesn't want to risk anything that might backfire. She can afford to be cautious.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Dauric » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:06 am UTC

Lazar wrote:And the other is, I think she feels confident enough in her position right now that she doesn't want to risk anything that might backfire. She can afford to be cautious.


Pretty much this.

All Clinton has to do is not fuck up in the next four weeks. Polling has her with a comfortable, if not commanding, lead. Trump on the other hand has had a campaign in a state of recurring meltdown, just as the last Trump failure/outrage finally fades from media memory, something else comes to media attention and Trump undergoes another meltdown.

Now this worked for Trump insofar as he's a veteran scandal magnet, he knows how to milk the scandal to promote his personal fame and make a profit from it. However what I think we're discovering is that while there's certainly a large enough audience (at least in the U.S.) for scandal magnets to be profitable as a business of celebrity, and certainly an audience large enough to be competitive amongst a field of half a dozen competitors or so, they don't actually make up a majority of the (voting) public, and when you're finally down to the last two serious choices it's not a good enough tactic to win the majority for the PotUS.

Of course we're still four weeks out from the final data....
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:23 am UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/pau ... eeds-ryan/
I'm not sure if anyone knows this, but Trump is more popular than Paul Freaking Ryan. I'm kinda shocked, I thought Ryan had higher ratings, but the polls say otherwise. This is definitely Trump's party. And it explains why Ryan walked back his denouncement of Donald.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/busin ... f=business
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:06 am UTC

Warren Buffet releases tax returns, proves that he pays federal income tax, and claims that he never used the carryover exemption.

Which... is obvious. He's fucking Warren Buffet. His business moves don't lose money. You have to lose money to be able to use the exemptions that Trump used... so a real winning businessman doesn't use that exception.

The US Tax code is very kind on the losers: that way we can encourage more risk takers that do move the economy forward. Sure, the occasional asshole like Trump takes advantage of it... but remember that this is a man who lost a billion dollars in a single year. He deserves a break.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:15 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Warren Buffet releases tax returns, proves that he pays federal income tax, and claims that he never used the carryover exemption.

Which... is obvious. He's fucking Warren Buffet. His business moves don't lose money. You have to lose money to be able to use the exemptions that Trump used... so a real winning businessman doesn't use that exception.

The US Tax code is very kind on the losers: that way we can encourage more risk takers that do move the economy forward. Sure, the occasional asshole like Trump takes advantage of it... but remember that this is a man who lost a billion dollars in a single year. He deserves a break.
I suppose that depends on whether he lost it by being a risk taker who moves the economy forward or by being a crazy, incompetent asshole.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:59 am UTC

Doesn't have that much to do with risk taking or moving the economy forward? It's just fairness - a highly variable income should be treated roughly similar as a flat income with the same average. Most (if not all) tax codes have smoothing features like this.

It's not even obvious that Trump is taking advantage of the tax code here, instead of just minimizing a disadvantage.

Hypothetical calculation example: from 1980 to 1990, Trump has a personal income of (in total) 1.5 billion dollar. So on average 150 million a year, though perhaps booked in a less regular pattern. He pays income tax on this.

Then from 1990 to 1995 some of his businesses struggle. He gets no income in those years. Eventually they collapse. He books 1 billion dollar personal loss in one go, in 1995. He gets tax credits, but they can be applied backwards only for a few years. So gets no money back for his 1980s good run. Now he has made, net, 500 million in 15 years. But he paid taxes on 1.5 billion, and gets tax credits to offset 1 billion in future income.

From 1995 to 2015, he's no longer a big developer, but a smaller-scale hustler. His income is 200 million for those years together, including his inheritance. He pays no income on this, because of the tax credits. Then the credits expire.

In this hypothetical case, his cumulative net income has been 700 million over 35 years, but he has paid taxes on 1.5 billion.


Now, there were some rumours that the 1 billion loss was part of some (legal or illegal) loophole. So he could book a large personal loss for tax purposes, on losses that were in reality shared among defaulted creditors and wiped out shareholders. But I haven't seen proof of that.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:33 am UTC

I suppose that depends on whether he lost it by being a risk taker who moves the economy forward or by being a crazy, incompetent asshole.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Plasma_Wolf » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:37 pm UTC

I read on the Dutch news that this gem made it to CBS?

Regardless of where you've already seen it, I think it's worth putting it here just for fun.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:38 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Now, there were some rumours that the 1 billion loss was part of some (legal or illegal) loophole. So he could book a large personal loss for tax purposes, on losses that were in reality shared among defaulted creditors and wiped out shareholders. But I haven't seen proof of that.
I seem to recall that this is the case; that he actually managed to convince his investors to buy the debt -- then declared bankruptcy and wrote it off as a loss (therefore avoiding losing money while also using that 'loss' as a tax write-off) -- but I don't have any evidence on-hand of it; it's just my vague recollection based on a documentary from a while back.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Yakk » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:01 pm UTC

How to turn a loss into an asset.

You make a loss. You have money elsewhere.

You convince your creditors you'll go bankrupt if they demand their money. Have a 3rd party offer to buy their debt for pennies on the dollar.

You control that 3rd party. In fact, you hid as much of your liquid assets in that 3rd party, which you used to pay off the creditors.

The debt is effectively forgiven, and the arms-length 3rd party makes noises about collecting it. Legally if you have a large debt forgiven, it counts as income; by faking it, you avoid this hit.

Your "loss" is then used to write off any and all income.

You find ways to rob your left hand to pay your right. Your left hand takes a loss -- this is saved up. The profit is written off against that debt. Using this technique, the 15 year horizon of your huge loss can be avoided, the losses laundered into newer losses with no actual loss occurring.

All of this relies on the loss "not really being a loss". The law states that effectively forgiven debt is income; but they have to catch you first.

---

Similar tricks involve getting people who owe you money to give it to a charity you control. Then use the money in the charity to pay off lawsuits, fullfill promises to "give money from your own pocket", and buy pictures of yourself to hang on walls you own or control. These are explicitly illegal actions (self-dealing) and tax evasion (if you direct someone who owes you money to give the money to a specific charity, this *must* be booked as your personal income and charity donation).

Again, they have to catch you first.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:17 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Now, there were some rumours that the 1 billion loss was part of some (legal or illegal) loophole. So he could book a large personal loss for tax purposes, on losses that were in reality shared among defaulted creditors and wiped out shareholders. But I haven't seen proof of that.
I seem to recall that this is the case; that he actually managed to convince his investors to buy the debt -- then declared bankruptcy and wrote it off as a loss (therefore avoiding losing money while also using that 'loss' as a tax write-off) -- but I don't have any evidence on-hand of it; it's just my vague recollection based on a documentary from a while back.


I've heard this too, now that you mention it... and also that George Bush Jr. closed this particular loophole in 2002. Basically, because of bankruptcy + writeoffs, the loss basically counted as double once all the math added up.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that when "taking advantage of the tax system" involves losing tons and tons of money... it isn't really taking advantage of it. The tax system was designed to forgive that sort of thing on purpose.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:58 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Zohar wrote:I don't know that's true. You could talk about how the founding fathers were mostly religious and still chose to separate church and state, for instance - I don't think that's a difficult concept to understand, even with a 2-minute answer.


The people who mostly concern themselves with religiosity in founding fathers are interested in it as a rationalization why the country is fundamentally Christian and should legislatively follow religious tenets. Presenting evidence, or even theories that undermine that rationalization will be dismissed out of hand as being opposition propaganda.

Those who agree with that statement aren't terribly concerned about using the Founding Fathers as a justification for legislation.

It's not really a powerful piece to sway public opinion, and when you're on time limits for what you can say you have to pick and chose what has more effect on the electorate. Sadly that's more often emotionally charged garbage than rationally constructed arguments.


I think it's a possible distinction to make, and handle in a dignified fashion that earns you respect for honesty, consideration, etc. I do not think that Trump could have made that distinction.

A limitation of his style is that he's really, really bad with nuance.

Trump seems to also expect the last word in every situation. To be able to reply to all her replies, etc. It's..a little obnoxious.

morriswalters wrote:
Zohar wrote:You describe her as being the one in power in the couple (you say she chooses to stay, not forced), and yet you're also implying she has no power?
You said Bill would have a large impact on the Presidency. Why is that? He didn't get elected.


He will. He's politically savvy, and honestly, Hillary had more pull in his presidency than is typical for first ladies. In this case, you have the double whammy of him being an ex-president and also, being the first first husband. That's a really awkward sentence to say, but he's simply going to have more notoriety and pull than most presidential spouses. It might not be fair, but it's what'll happen. Bill can't help but affect Hillary's presidency somewhat.

This presidency is great for prediction markets. All kinds of short term side bets.

The Great Hippo wrote:
Zamfir wrote:Now, there were some rumours that the 1 billion loss was part of some (legal or illegal) loophole. So he could book a large personal loss for tax purposes, on losses that were in reality shared among defaulted creditors and wiped out shareholders. But I haven't seen proof of that.
I seem to recall that this is the case; that he actually managed to convince his investors to buy the debt -- then declared bankruptcy and wrote it off as a loss (therefore avoiding losing money while also using that 'loss' as a tax write-off) -- but I don't have any evidence on-hand of it; it's just my vague recollection based on a documentary from a while back.


It's possible. I certainly wouldn't put it past Trump to do shady things to "win". But yeah, I haven't seen actual evidence on this either. Just speculation. And, if true, it seems like the evidence should be easy enough to find. If the investors bought the debt, well, there should be a record of that, yes? Him using the loss as a tax writeoff isn't really all that weird in itself, you do need something else to really have a smoking gun of fraud.

Anyways, back to the election thing, I wouldn't count on Hillary riding it out being a sufficiently safe strategy. Numbers tend to regress to the mean, and while she has the advantage at the moment, I don't think the election is quite close enough to make that secure. As you get closer, yeah, sure, a week out, don't take any risks if you've got a comfortable lead. But there's enough time for everyone on the Republican side to stare bleakly at their lack of options, and grumblingly sort of support Trump anyways. They simply don't have a lot of options. The fact that they hate their choices is interesting, sure, but at the end of the day....they can't really do anything else. They're trapped.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:02 pm UTC

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 6878578688

Donald Trump wrote:It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.


Apparently Donald is going to become a bigger asshole to get revenge on the GOP members who are abandoning him. Not sure he really thought that one through.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Whizbang » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:10 pm UTC

RE: Bill's Influence

Ex-presidents still have access to all (most?) top-secret stuff. Bill will be in a unique position among first spouses, beyond that of merely also being an ex-president, in that Hillary will literally be able to share everything with him, and he with her.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:09 pm UTC

Trump is clearly 100% working on his post-election media empire at this point.

Fucking Glenn Beck is anti-Trump establishment now, because of what has happened so far. See: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/politics/ ... index.html (Ignore the misleading hyperbole headline and read the content). The Ailes / Trump / Breitbart alliance will remain a huge influence on American politics for years to come.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:59 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Still, it doesn't change the fact that when "taking advantage of the tax system" involves losing tons and tons of money... it isn't really taking advantage of it. The tax system was designed to forgive that sort of thing on purpose.
Yes, but this is a distraction.

1: The bad thing isn't "taking advangate of the tax code", it's "defrauding the IRS by hiding the debt forgivement that also occured".

2: The first thing: "Trump paid no taxes for 20 years!" packs more political punch than the second thing: "Trump structured a complex deal in which money was shuffled around and made something look legal that was in fact against the law, leading to a debt forgiveness that was not taxed." But in saying the first thing (for its punch), we should not forget that the second thing is the issue that needs to be addressed.

Tyndmyr wrote:evidence should be easy enough to find. If the investors bought the debt, well, there should be a record of that, yes? Him using the loss as a tax writeoff isn't really all that weird in itself, you do need something else to really have a smoking gun of fraud.
To the first question, yes. But would they come out and speak? There may well be confidentiality clauses in the purchase agreement. It would be right in with his pattern. In any case, that's not the problem. The problem is that the debt would have been bought by a company that Trump controls (perhaps through long arms) which pretends to keep trying to collect, but just doesn't try "hard enough". That is much harder to find a smoking gun for, especially absent tax returns which would at least help show where to look.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:07 pm UTC

Trump definitely created a public company to run his failed casinos, and he definitely used it as a way to shift liability for the debt they were under.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyreg ... -city.html
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:evidence should be easy enough to find. If the investors bought the debt, well, there should be a record of that, yes? Him using the loss as a tax writeoff isn't really all that weird in itself, you do need something else to really have a smoking gun of fraud.
To the first question, yes. But would they come out and speak? There may well be confidentiality clauses in the purchase agreement. It would be right in with his pattern. In any case, that's not the problem. The problem is that the debt would have been bought by a company that Trump controls (perhaps through long arms) which pretends to keep trying to collect, but just doesn't try "hard enough". That is much harder to find a smoking gun for, especially absent tax returns which would at least help show where to look.


Those sorts of debts should be recorded in bankruptcy filings, yes? Should be easy enough to follow the trail, if it exists.

Lack of evidence isn't evidence of innocence, but the grander the accusation, the more burden there is to provide at least some evidence. I think folks are blurring the ethical lapses into assuming it must be illegal.

Thesh wrote:Trump definitely created a public company to run his failed casinos, and he definitely used it as a way to shift liability for the debt they were under.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyreg ... -city.html


That's really not the same thing, though. Sure, sure, it speaks to his general style of doing business, but it doesn't establish that the losses booked to avoid taxes violated laws. Creating a public company isn't really that weird. Selling stocks and shifting liability are intrinsically tied. Yeah, the precise manner is ethically sketchy as hell, but making money as a CEO while stockholders lose money isn't even weird, let alone illegal.

If you want to establish that Trump is a self centered jackass who screws others over, you have kind of a surplus of evidence. If you want to establish criminal wrongdoing with regards to the taxes, I haven't seen it yet.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Yablo » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:31 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:How to turn a loss into an asset.

You make a loss. You have money elsewhere.

You convince your creditors you'll go bankrupt if they demand their money. Have a 3rd party offer to buy their debt for pennies on the dollar.

You control that 3rd party. In fact, you hid as much of your liquid assets in that 3rd party, which you used to pay off the creditors.

The debt is effectively forgiven, and the arms-length 3rd party makes noises about collecting it. Legally if you have a large debt forgiven, it counts as income; by faking it, you avoid this hit.

Your "loss" is then used to write off any and all income.

You find ways to rob your left hand to pay your right. Your left hand takes a loss -- this is saved up. The profit is written off against that debt. Using this technique, the 15 year horizon of your huge loss can be avoided, the losses laundered into newer losses with no actual loss occurring.

All of this relies on the loss "not really being a loss". The law states that effectively forgiven debt is income; but they have to catch you first.


This is basically what brought down Enron. They used off-balance-sheet Special Purpose Entities to hide accounting realities, and they used a subsidiary, Whitewing L.P., to realize cash from the partnership's investments while keeping the partnership's debt obligations off Enron's balance sheet.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

Incidentally, the same trick is available in retail, by simply removing the expiration date from gift cards.

If they don't expire, unused cards remain a liability. And a certain proportion are lost, destroyed or never used in practice. Adds up, at high volume. Essentially a "loan" that will never be called in.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby duckshirt » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:37 pm UTC

That's definitely the entire purpose of a corporation. You let someone else take on most of the risk (and you give up most of the reward if it pays off). The investors know what they are buying and still make plenty of money if one investment doesn't work out. (Edit: simulposted)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If you want to establish that Trump is a self centered jackass who screws others over, you have kind of a surplus of evidence. If you want to establish criminal wrongdoing with regards to the taxes, I haven't seen it yet.


Criminal? Probably not in this example, but that is likely what he was using to exploit this loophole. But with regards to taxes, the evidence is completely clear that he has violated the law. Trump was using the foundation for at least one campaign contribution, which is illegal in and of itself, and there was an investigation and the foundation was fined - since the foundation is tax exempt but campaigns aren't, this is a way for Trump to avoid paying taxes (otherwise, why not just make the donation directly?). I think the evidence is pretty clear that the entire purpose of the Trump Foundation is to spend money on Trump to avoid taxes. For example, Trump has used the foundation to settle lawsuits with his businesses, it spent $20,000 on a painting of Trump that's hanging in one of Trump's business properties - this is pretty clearly a violation, and it is obvious to anyone with a brain cell that Trump has been using the foundation as his own personal piggy bank, and that is pretty clear cut tax evasion.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:46 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:If you want to establish that Trump is a self centered jackass who screws others over, you have kind of a surplus of evidence. If you want to establish criminal wrongdoing with regards to the taxes, I haven't seen it yet.


Criminal? Probably not in this example, but that is likely what he was using to exploit this loophole. But with regards to taxes, the evidence is completely clear that he has violated the law. Trump was using the foundation for at least one campaign contribution, which is illegal in and of itself, and there was an investigation and the foundation was fined - since the foundation is tax exempt but campaigns aren't, this is a way for Trump to avoid paying taxes (otherwise, why not just make the donation directly?). I think the evidence is pretty clear that the entire purpose of the Trump Foundation is to spend money on Trump to avoid taxes. For example, Trump has used the foundation to settle lawsuits with his businesses, it spent $20,000 on a painting of Trump that's hanging in one of Trump's business properties - this is pretty clearly a violation, and it is obvious to anyone with a brain cell that Trump has been using the foundation as his own personal piggy bank, and that is pretty clear cut tax evasion.


The foundation thing, sure. That's different from the "eighteen years of no taxes" thing that people are focusing on, though.

Oddly enough, everyone is focusing on the probably not illegal thing, instead of the somewhat less impressive/grandiose thing that's almost certainly illegal. It's a bit frustrating.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:48 pm UTC

It's hard to judge those Atlantic city stories. They mention 15% junk bonds. At such interest rates, bankruptcy becomes a different beast than usual. If you collect coupons for 10 years on such a loan, then restructure for 30 cents on the dollar, you still collected 180% of face value. Similar to an 8% coupon without bankruptcy, and with the potential of substantial upside if you're lucky. The debtors might leave such a bankruptcy happy, and willing to go for another round with the same management.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:24 pm UTC

Trump could settle this if he released his returns. He's chosen not to. Absent hard facts he invites people to create narratives that suit them. People will see what they want to see. I had to look up a word. Obfuscation.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:45 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Bad language? Bad language was when Trump called his daughter a nice piece of ass. This was him admitting to grabbing women by the pussy just because he could.
Trump lies and exaggerates. This is a context where lying and exaggerating is (somewhat) normal. People who say this is just "Bad language" don't believe a word he said there. Similarly to if he said that the sun shines out of his ass, we wouldn't start arguing that he needs to be shot into space.

It's worse than mere bad language in a rape culture sense. The macho idiot and the serial rapist sound way too similar, and it's reasonable to be disturbed by that. Examining this in light of the actual sexual assault allegations makes this much more worrisome, but it's still preposterous to take him literally. We he got of the bus and met a beautiful woman he shook her hand, not her genitals, because some things are too ridiculous for even Trump to do.

KnightExemplar wrote:Which... is obvious. He's fucking Warren Buffet. His business moves don't lose money. You have to lose money to be able to use the exemptions that Trump used... so a real winning businessman doesn't use that exception.
Buffet isn't in the same business as Trump so he has much less opportunity to need it.

Large portions of of Buffet's wealth are in many (relatively) small, risky investments that average out to be stable. His largest investment (Geico) is buy and hold so Buffet is only taxed on the dividends and not the changes in stock price.
Tyndmyr wrote:Oddly enough, everyone is focusing on the probably not illegal thing, instead of the somewhat less impressive/grandiose thing that's almost certainly illegal. It's a bit frustrating.
Americans hate a freeloader. The impact of the charity crime is undermined because of it's complexity (what law was broken and why is that law important?), the impact of the tax is increased by it's complexity (I send a check every year to the IRS, why doesn't that guy have to? I'm hearing a lot of talk but I"m not seeing any checks being mailed).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SDK » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:46 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Trump could settle this if he released his returns. He's chosen not to. Absent hard facts he invites people to create narratives that suit them. People will see what they want to see. I had to look up a word. Obfuscation.

It is better to keep your tax returns hidden at the risk of being thought a criminal than to show them and remove all doubt.

Tyndmyr wrote:Oddly enough, everyone is focusing on the probably not illegal thing, instead of the somewhat less impressive/grandiose thing that's almost certainly illegal. It's a bit frustrating.

Yeah. Everyone pays taxes, so I'm guessing that issue is seen as easier to understand. You'd think charitable organizations using their money for personal gain would be simple enough though.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Yablo » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:51 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Trump could settle this if he released his returns. He's chosen not to. Absent hard facts he invites people to create narratives that suit them. People will see what they want to see. I had to look up a word. Obfuscation.


He's stated several times that he'll release them once the audit is completed. Granted, completion of the audit isn't a legal requirement, and the IRS has said he can release the documents despite the ongoing audit, but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:12 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Trump could settle this if he released his returns. He's chosen not to. Absent hard facts he invites people to create narratives that suit them. People will see what they want to see. I had to look up a word. Obfuscation.


He's stated several times that he'll release them once the audit is completed. Granted, completion of the audit isn't a legal requirement, and the IRS has said he can release the documents despite the ongoing audit, but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.

And yet he's not releasing older returns either. His son's explanation that releasing his returns would "detract from (his father's) main message" seems the more likely actual explanation.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CBusAlex » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:49 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.


I mean, "I will withhold information from the American people if there is a chance it could harm me personally" isn't a great look for a guy running for President. That's basically the cornerstone of most of his attacks on Clinton.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:18 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Trump could settle this if he released his returns. He's chosen not to. Absent hard facts he invites people to create narratives that suit them. People will see what they want to see. I had to look up a word. Obfuscation.


He's stated several times that he'll release them once the audit is completed. Granted, completion of the audit isn't a legal requirement, and the IRS has said he can release the documents despite the ongoing audit, but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.


Why not release something from 2007 then? You know, stuff that's already been audited?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:20 pm UTC

Forgiven debt is income. Deferred debt is not. It's just ordinary "I'll pay you later" debt. What Trump did is to get his debt forgiven (resulting in income) while pretending it's deferred. He did this by buying his own debt at a discount, and pretending to try to collect from himself.

The scam is in the "pretending to try" part. That debt was for all intents forgiven, but it was not reported as income. That is a crime.

But the fact that we are talking about it this way shows how little political punch it has. Whereas "Trump pays no taxes!" (its cover story) is much stronger politically (while being quite intrinsically defensible legally and morally). It's not the "no taxes" part... it's the why he paid no taxes.

duckshirt wrote:That's definitely the entire purpose of a corporation. You let someone else take on most of the risk...
...but that does not allow one to form a corporation for the purpose of criminal activity, and then shielding yourself from the risk of that activity just because it's a corporation.

Tyndmyr wrote:Incidentally, the same trick is available in retail, by simply removing the expiration date from gift cards.

If they don't expire, unused cards remain a liability. And a certain proportion are lost, destroyed or never used in practice. Adds up, at high volume. Essentially a "loan" that will never be called in.
Hmmmm.... an interesting take on it. I suspect however that were companies to actually try this accounting trick, some clever lawyer would call the cards a form of security, which is being sold without a license and without proper due diligence. NO guarantee it'd work, (that's how lowyers make money) but I'd love to be a fly on that wall.

As to the foundation thing, that was clearly illegal and abusive. However I'm kind of surprised at the low numbers involved. For someone as successful as Trump claims to be, a $20,000 painting (of himself) is pocket change. Why try to launder that amount?

Yablo wrote:but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.
All the research isn't in yet about smoking and cancer either.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:37 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:He's stated several times that he'll release them once the audit is completed. Granted, completion of the audit isn't a legal requirement, and the IRS has said he can release the documents despite the ongoing audit, but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.


Then why not release all of his tax returns that aren't under audit, which I assume is most since he claimed he was under audit every year?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:57 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:He's stated several times that he'll release them once the audit is completed. Granted, completion of the audit isn't a legal requirement, and the IRS has said he can release the documents despite the ongoing audit, but I honestly still don't blame him for holding back until everything is official and legit.
I don't blame him either since I lack data to know what to blame him for or exonerate him, for that matter. But I can make up my own stories about why though he won't. Just like everybody else. In one version I'll have him be a saint, in another a sinner, in another an innocent bystander.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:05 am UTC

morriswalters wrote: In one version I'll have him be a saint, in another a sinner...
The only one that matters is the one you believe when you pull the lever.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:38 am UTC

ucim wrote:
morriswalters wrote: In one version I'll have him be a saint, in another a sinner...
The only one that matters is the one you believe when you pull the lever.

Jose
I don't believe any of those narratives. You can't support any of them with facts, since there aren't any. The only salient fact is the one where he is the only one in the race who hasn't released at least some type of return. A situation I believe to be analogous to being the only one dressed at a nudist colony.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Dark567 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:22 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Warren Buffet releases tax returns, proves that he pays federal income tax, and claims that he never used the carryover exemption.

Which... is obvious. He's fucking Warren Buffet. His business moves don't lose money. You have to lose money to be able to use the exemptions that Trump used... so a real winning businessman doesn't use that exception.
Not to defend Trump but there is a big difference in how their taxes are structured. Buffet runs a corporation, which may or may not have used the carryover exemption, but he didn't on his personal returns. Trump's business is private, and his actual business losses appear on his personal tax statements.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby addams » Wed Oct 12, 2016 1:44 am UTC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF5M6VoyiL0
Like Trump has so famously and repeatedly said, "I've been hearing."

I've been hearing, Trump's goal is not the Presidency.
Trump's goal is to be the Media Mind of the Deplorables.

He will have power, money and endless attention.
He will not be constrained by law nor good taste.

FOX and The Donald can push personal agendas without a whisper of personal responsibility.
The man holds a unique position in history. He has done away with the pretense of dignity.

Yes. He may have toyed with the idea of serving as President.
He would be inconvenienced and frustrated by the restrictions.

If he and his 'buddy' Humpty-Dumpty run The American Media;
Then he will have more power and more fun than any President.

I think, that's his Game!
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:34 am UTC

I think you're right addams. Dead on. I'm actually surprised I didn't realize this myself, since I thought of this with regards to Ben Carson and his book. I'd always wondered why no-chance campaigners keep going. When I learned of Ben Carson's book, it clicked. Disguised as a presidential campaign, he got other people to finance a stealth campaign to publicize his book.

I don't know if this was his actual motivation, but it is certainly a viable one.

It does seem like more work than it's worth though. But in Trump's case, maybe not. He's selling a lot more than a book.

Hmmmmm......

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