The Great Trump Tax Mysteries: Is He Hiding Loopholes, Errors or Something More forums forums Politics and other things The Great Trump Tax Mysteries: Is He Hiding Loopholes, Errors or Something More

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    Andy Brown

    An investigation into the G.O.P. candidate’s finances—the extensive deductions he could claim, the F.E.C. filings from his Scottish and Irish golf resorts, and his declarations to the British government—reveals a disturbing pattern of mistakes, hype, and contradictions.

    Trump isn’t nearly the real-estate player he once was, particularly since some of his companies went through high-profile bankruptcies in the early 1990s. In a ranking of New York condominium developers last September, for instance, Trump didn’t even make the top 20.

    Many bankers don’t lend to Trump now, burned by what some call “Donald risk,” a reference to the fact that some Wall Street banks have been left with pennies on the dollar through some of his maneuvers.

    In his 92-page financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.) in July 2015 and in a second, 104-page disclosure last May, in both of which he calls himself “President of the United States of America” (Hillary humbly calls herself “Candidate for President”), he lists at least $1.5 billion in hard assets. Of this, a minimum of $787 million is in hotels and real estate such as Trump Tower, in Manhattan. There are also 16 golf-related businesses valued at more than $550 million, aircraft worth at least $58 million, $6 million in vineyards, and $4.3 million in entertainment ventures. These are lower-bound numbers: categories include “over $50 million,” with no upper limit. (The main purpose of these disclosures isn’t to build a full picture of a candidate’s finances but to identify conflicts of interest.) Trump claimed to me that his net worth is “much more than $10 billion…. I don’t know how much more.” A Trump press release in July 2015 also claimed his net worth was “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS,” though Fortune in May estimated it at $3.9 billion, and Bloomberg News reckoned it at $2.9 billion last July. (Michael Bloomberg, by comparison, is worth $45 billion, according to Forbes.)

    Some might say that Trump’s single-minded pursuit of money is just a red-blooded example of the American way. Whether or not this is so, his may not be the qualities one seeks in a president. “The president has a duty of loyalty and care to the United States,” said Susan Pace Hamill, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and Honors College and an expert in tax avoidance for small businesses. “He or she is a fiduciary to the public. Donald Trump is a deal-maker for himself. There is not a fiduciary bone in his body. This is generally acceptable in the rough-and-tumble world of business but is not remotely in the universe of what you want out of a public official.”

    Andy Brown

    The plot thickens. Linked In billionaire co founder Reid Hoffman has pledged up to $5 Million for veterans groups if Donald J. Trump agrees to release his tax returns before the Oct. 19 presidential debate.

    Candidates are not required to release their returns, but if Mr. Trump fails to do so before the election, he would be the first major-party presidential nominee in four decades to withhold them. This has fueled speculation that Mr. Trump’s returns would reveal facts about his wealth, charitable donations, business relationships or tax arrangements that might be politically damaging.

    The returns might resolve questions about Mr. Trump’s own charitable giving. The Washington Post has reported that the candidate has exaggerated the amount he has donated to veterans groups over the years.
    drumpf exaggerate? Couldn’t be. Of course, if it was good enough for drumpf to use this tactic on Obama it sure is good enough to put more pressure on drumpf to release his taxes. Oh, that’s right! Even the donald has said if he releases his taxes he will lose. Newsflash: He’s going to lose anyway.

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