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-   -   The Trump Presidency 14 (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=335902)

smartcooky 13th April 2019 02:35 PM

The Trump Presidency 14
 
Mod InfoThis thread is a continuation from Part 13. Any post from any previous part may be quoted freely here.
Posted By:Loss leader




Trump appears to be firing anyone who will not not break the law for him, and will keep doing so until he is surrounded with people who will break any law he tells them to.

In the case of his tax returns, he is outright defying the Law. USCß 6103 is clear, and unequivocal...

Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.

Its says "shall" not "may" or "can", but "shall". That is an order, not a request, and the Secretary is not allowed under the Law to disobey it. If he does, he is breaking Federal law.

This looks very much like a power grab to me; Trump is stealing power away from the Legislative branch and installing himself as the sole national authority, with a court system stacked in his favour. He is defeating oversight of what he does. This is the sort of thing that all those militias in the south have been saying about the tyranny of government, but they are actually part of his base, and they are enabling him in this power grab.

I think Trump is testing the limits of what he can get away with, and he is only just getting started. If there is no response (and I mean a real response, not just more talk, talk, talk) to his attempts to suspend the Rule of Law, it will embolden him to take even more outrageous measures.

How hard would it be for Trump to declare that he no longer trusts the Secret Service (using the Chinese woman at Mar-a-lago as a premise) and to decide to set up his own personal private security police?

He's already called liberal media the enemies of the people. How hard would it be for him to have journalists arrested or even murdered (he's already turned a blind eye to the murder of one by a business colleague)

How hard would it be for him to have radio & television channels shut down; newspapers prevented from publishing.

Look back at what America was like before the 2016 elections. Who predicted that it would be like it is now, with a POTUS who


1. Routinely lies dozens of times a day
2. Routinely breaks the law
3. Encourages his heads of department to break the law and offers them pardons if they are convicted.
4. Attacks federal judges
5. Publicly directs personal, denigrating insults towards members of Congress
6. Endorses a policy of tearing children away from their parents
7. Routinely obstructs attempt to investigate him

....

Really, how much of a stretch would be for Trump to suspend the 2020 Federal elections? Who would do anything about it if he tried? He has another 18 months to soften you all up to an attempt to do this by doing the next outrageous thing that pops into his head, and if you don't stop him, the next even more outrageous thing, and then the next, and then then next.

Ask yourself if you think any of the things that have happened in politics in the last two years would have happened, and what America would look and feel like now, under President Hilary Clinton.

Wake up Americans! The Democracy you love so dearly is in mortal danger!

Safe-Keeper 13th April 2019 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stacyhs (Post 12663329)
Trump and his minions sure seem to hide behind the "It was only a joke" excuse a hell of a lot. At some point, anyone with more than half a brain would realize that excuse is getting really old and stop. But not this orange buffoon and his staff. They just keep on keeping on....

And his idiot followers just keep swallowing it.

It's Trump's (rather transparent) strategy. Say a lot of BS so that when something turns out to be smart or correct, his followers can use it as an argument to support him, but if it turns to be untrue, they can just say it was part of Trump's trolling MO.

I've written off the followers he has ATM as trolls a long time ago. Defending and excusing Trump one minute, attacking opponents for the same things the next. Like the thugs around a particularly popular school bully.

Safe-Keeper 13th April 2019 06:22 PM

Trump has been given until the 23rd of April to hand over his tax returns to Congress, according to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

acbytesla 13th April 2019 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper (Post 12664058)
Trump has been given until the 23rd of April to hand over his tax returns to Congress, according to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

That's incorrect. The IRS or Internal Revenue Service has been given that deadline. They are the branch of the United States that processes tax returns. Theoretically and legally, the President has no authority to tell the IRS to do anything.

Leftus 13th April 2019 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pgwenthold (Post 12663140)
What does DIF mean?

We are always on the low end for risk of audit, but I don't want to trigger anything

It's the Discriminant Inventory Function (DIF) System

In short, and without giving any privileged information away, there is a comparison between income and deductions. A score is picked to manage inventory. Exam looks at the number of cases, and how many employees they have to work it, picks a DIF score that's going to generate those cases. This is why the chances of audit are at an all time low. The number of auditors have been negatively impacted by budget and hiring freezes.

If you had 20 billion in income and zero deductions there would never be an audit. Because there is nothing to audit. The IRS does not care if you over-report income. And Under reporting is handled by the Automated Under Reporter group and thus is not a factor in the DIF score.

In short, it's the deductions that get audited.

As far as Trump still being under an audit, it's possible for his 2017 returns. Assuming a complicated return, he filed an extension and filed his return in October 2018. Given the holidays and the shutdown, it's possible that those returns are still under those review. Any other year, exceedingly unlikely.

If he is actually under audit for any other year, his accountants are slow walking it and milking the hours.

Foolmewunz 13th April 2019 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 12663920)
I don't recall seeing any particular Democrat response to the original taunt beyond telling him he is a complete and utter disgrace. So he has made a threat, pretended it was heeded, and is backing off on it, all on his own? Building more of that fantasy world in his fluff-covered head?

...who is he talking to here??

It's a Miller-Trump straw man conversation. They're the new Rumplestilskin - spinning bull **** out of straw. This is second cousin to "Dems want open borders".

Mumbles 13th April 2019 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 12663883)
Trump Tweets


If the Radical Left Democrats all of a sudden donít want the Illegal Migrants in their Sanctuary Cities (no more open arms), why should others be expected to take them into their communities? Go home and come into our Country legally and through a system of Merit!

He's an idiot, of course. Here's what would happen if he actually went through with his asinine, unethical plan:

First, churches and community groups would come to the aid of the refugees, and anyone else caught up, helping them to get settled in, without notifying the federal government.

Second, other refugees and actual "illegal" immigrants would point them in the direction of employers, help them get fake IDs, and the like.

Third, the people that were dumped (who Dolt 45 is supposedly worried are going to vote in massive numbers illegally) would essentially vanish into society, and if discovered, would have a network of people that they've been in contact with that would come to their aid.

As I said, Dolt 45 and his foaming at the mouth hateful base imagine that they'd be releasing some violent subhuman rapist horde upon their imagined snobby weaklings of the city, and it's these disgusting fantasies that dems are pointing out with revulsion - not to the idea of refugees moving in to cities, we already have plenty of them, they're cool.

(Not saying that you hold the same bloodlust, Swoop, just a general reply to Cheeto Benito)

thaiboxerken 13th April 2019 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smartcooky (Post 12663947)
Trump appears to be firing anyone who will not not break the law for him, and will keep doing so until he is surrounded with people who will break any law he tells them to.

But Trumpublicans assure us that the threat of dictatorship is fantasy.

Mumbles 13th April 2019 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smartcooky (Post 12663947)
Really, how much of a stretch would be for Trump to suspend the 2020 Federal elections? Who would do anything about it if he tried? He has another 18 months to soften you all up to an attempt to do this by doing the next outrageous thing that pops into his head, and if you don't stop him, the next even more outrageous thing, and then the next, and then then next.

I wouldn't be shocked if he were to try.

Problem is, the elections themselves are run by the states, and as I recall the electoral college falls under the view of the Supreme Court. All of the above would likely just say "Nope, shut up Trumpy." and keep it pushing. At that point, he'd likely try to call up the military - and they'd be *very* unlikely to obey any such order to help overthrow democracy itself.

Solitaire 13th April 2019 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Belz... (Post 12663020)
For some reason, it seems like taxes in the US are fare more complicated
and stressful than here in Canada.


Yes.

Last year I filled out eight letter sized, 8.5 inch by 11 inch, tax forms.
This year I filled out ninety six post card sized, 3 by 5 inch, tax forms.

Just barely got in before the dead line. Normally I'd be a month ahead.

BobTheCoward 13th April 2019 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smartcooky (Post 12663947)
Trump appears to be firing anyone who will not not break the law for him, and will keep doing so until he is surrounded with people who will break any law he tells them to.

In the case of his tax returns, he is outright defying the Law. USCß 6103 is clear, and unequivocal...

Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.

Its says "shall" not "may" or "can", but "shall". That is an order, not a request, and the Secretary is not allowed under the Law to disobey it. If he does, he is breaking Federal law.

This looks very much like a power grab to me; Trump is stealing power away from the Legislative branch and installing himself as the sole national authority, with a court system stacked in his favour. He is defeating oversight of what he does. This is the sort of thing that all those militias in the south have been saying about the tyranny of government, but they are actually part of his base, and they are enabling him in this power grab.

If the law is so obvious,are you saying there is no case where they are legally justified for disobeying the request? For example, if they requested the tax returns of LGBT advocates? Or victims of sexual assault by a politician?

Skeptic Ginger 13th April 2019 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 12664063)
That's incorrect. The IRS or Internal Revenue Service has been given that deadline. They are the branch of the United States that processes tax returns. Theoretically and legally, the President has no authority to tell the IRS to do anything.

We can only hope.

Skeptic Ginger 13th April 2019 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward (Post 12664101)
If the law is so obvious,are you saying there is no case where they are legally justified for disobeying the request? For example, if they requested the tax returns of LGBT advocates? Or victims of sexual assault by a politician?

With no promise of continuing this discussion with you:

You bring up civil rights issues. That slippery slope is only relevant as a secondary side effect here.

Then there is the partisan slippery slope which is relevant because the GOP, especially McConnell, are all too willing to lie, cheat and steal if they can manipulate the democratic process to get their minority views passed into law.

But the failure to use the democratic process to stop the real law-breakers because one fears a slippery slope seems counter-productive.

thaiboxerken 13th April 2019 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger (Post 12664114)
We can only hope.

Legally, POTUS doesn't have the authority. However, legalities appear to play no role when it comes to the Trump regime's actions.

quadraginta 13th April 2019 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger (Post 12664117)
With no promise of continuing this discussion with you:

You bring up civil rights issues. That slippery slope is only relevant as a secondary side effect here.

Then there is the partisan slippery slope which is relevant because the GOP, especially McConnell, are all too willing to lie, cheat and steal if they can manipulate the democratic process to get their minority views passed into law.

But the failure to use the democratic process to stop the real law-breakers because one fears a slippery slope seems counter-productive.


Laws can be and often are abused and misused.

This doesn't mean that the laws are wrong, just that they can be abused and misused. Which is one of the reasons we have courts. (As much as that helps, and it isn't perfect either.)


I'm sure that BtC is perfectly aware of this. He just doesn't care as long as he can pretend to the appearance of an Internet Gotcha or two.

BobTheCoward 13th April 2019 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger (Post 12664117)
With no promise of continuing this discussion with you:

You bring up civil rights issues. That slippery slope is only relevant as a secondary side effect here.

Then there is the partisan slippery slope which is relevant because the GOP, especially McConnell, are all too willing to lie, cheat and steal if they can manipulate the democratic process to get their minority views passed into law.

But the failure to use the democratic process to stop the real law-breakers because one fears a slippery slope seems counter-productive.

To be clear. I wasn't arguing anything about slippery slopes. Smartcooky argued the meaning of the law without qualifiers. I'm asking about that directly. I'm not arguing that letting it happen now could let worse things happen in the future.

Bob001 13th April 2019 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward (Post 12664101)
If the law is so obvious,are you saying there is no case where they are legally justified for disobeying the request? For example, if they requested the tax returns of LGBT advocates? Or victims of sexual assault by a politician?


In that extremely unlikely event, those people themselves might have standing to go to court. But the IRS can't say "we only obey the law when we feel like it." In this case, the President is a government official, and the Congress is entitled to exercise oversight over the IRS and the President.
Quote:

Under Section 6103 of our tax code, Treasury officials “shall” turn over the tax returns “upon written request” of the chair of either congressional tax committee or the federal employee who runs Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation. No request has ever been refused, a host of former congressional tax aides tell me.

There is, however, a law requiring every federal “employee” who touches the tax system to do their duty or be removed from office.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-...d-go-to-prison

thaiboxerken 13th April 2019 09:14 PM

Remember when Obama refused to give Congress his tax returns when the Republican Congress requested them?

Me neither.



Because he just let them have it. He had nothing to hide.

BobTheCoward 13th April 2019 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob001 (Post 12664125)
In that extremely unlikely event, those people themselves might have standing to go to court. But the IRS can't say "we only obey the law when we feel like it." In this case, the President is a government official, and the Congress is entitled to exercise oversight over the IRS and the President.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/heres-...d-go-to-prison

So, you are saying if Congress chose the most obviously inappropriate person to request tax returns for, the IRS is in no position to refuse? Even if the request explicitly said it was being done to violate the person's rights?

Safe-Keeper 13th April 2019 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 12664063)
That's incorrect. The IRS or Internal Revenue Service has been given that deadline. They are the branch of the United States that processes tax returns. Theoretically and legally, the President has no authority to tell the IRS to do anything.

Thanks for the correction.

Steve 13th April 2019 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobTheCoward (Post 12664138)
So, you are saying if Congress chose the most obviously inappropriate person to request tax returns for, the IRS is in no position to refuse? Even if the request explicitly said it was being done to violate the person's rights?

Do you actually think Bob001 said that? I do not.

Delphic Oracle 13th April 2019 10:38 PM

Privacy, as with a lot of other not-so-ironclad rights, is often pitted up against "compelling public interest" with a "least intrusive measures" caveat.

I think there's a case to be made for a compelling public interest in the President's financial activities leading up to his taking office and potential emoluments violations since.

I also think Congress simply asking the IRS for the records is about the most straightforward and least intrusive means available. Trump literally has to do exactly nothing and the request would get processed. Zero "burden" on his part, no "encumbrance" is placed upon him. It takes more work for him to resist this method than anything!

Planigale 14th April 2019 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle (Post 12664168)
Privacy, as with a lot of other not-so-ironclad rights, is often pitted up against "compelling public interest" with a "least intrusive measures" caveat.

I think there's a case to be made for a compelling public interest in the President's financial activities leading up to his taking office and potential emoluments violations since.

I also think Congress simply asking the IRS for the records is about the most straightforward and least intrusive means available. Trump literally has to do exactly nothing and the request would get processed. Zero "burden" on his part, no "encumbrance" is placed upon him. It takes more work for him to resist this method than anything!

I am not sure I agree with this. I think this is a case of 'caveat elector'. You get what you vote for; you cannot take back your vote if you subsequently decide you don't like your President when you get him home. A majority of the electorate voted for the President it was their responsibility to do due diligence.

Maladministration / corruption in office are specified reasons for impeachment, thus I think one can argue that review of the President's financial affairs once in office is justified. I am not sure that his tax return is the way to do this. Perhaps Trump has recorded in his return "Gift from Mr Putin $1,000,000", but I doubt it. In any case is this not the function of the office of government ethics?

I do not know if this law has been previously challenged; it would seem entirely reasonable for Trump to challenge it. It seems a bad law; from now on I suspect that the tax returns of political enemies will be increasingly requested by the chairs of the relevant committees. There is no check and balance in this law, a single individual without agreement of the committee can request the return, nor is it clear that the request needs to be made public nor that the tax payer needs to be informed, nor does there appear to an appeal process.

In principle I think the Scandinavian practice of making tax returns of all public is best. Some wealthy people contribute little to their country. My guess is that Trump does not have any big secret to hide other than the fact he will legitimately have avoided paying much tax. Many middle class tax-payers may suddenly discover they have paid more than he has.

Mumbles 14th April 2019 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 12664216)
I am not sure I agree with this. I think this is a case of 'caveat elector'. You get what you vote for; you cannot take back your vote if you subsequently decide you don't like your President when you get him home. A majority of the electorate voted for the President it was their responsibility to do due diligence.

Um...the majority did not vote for Dolt 45 - and for that matter, nobody managed to get a majority of the vote.

Quote:

In principle I think the Scandinavian practice of making tax returns of all public is best. Some wealthy people contribute little to their country. My guess is that Trump does not have any big secret to hide other than the fact he will legitimately have avoided paying much tax. Many middle class tax-payers may suddenly discover they have paid more than he has.
Given that pretty much everyone around him agrees that he routinely undervalues his properties on his taxes, *and* overvalues them when applying for loans, I suspect that they'd provide clear evidence of both tax evasion and fraud. Not that this would be a shock coming from a career criminal like him...

phiwum 14th April 2019 04:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 12664216)
I am not sure I agree with this. I think this is a case of 'caveat elector'. You get what you vote for; you cannot take back your vote if you subsequently decide you don't like your President when you get him home. A majority of the electorate voted for the President it was their responsibility to do due diligence.

Maladministration / corruption in office are specified reasons for impeachment, thus I think one can argue that review of the President's financial affairs once in office is justified. I am not sure that his tax return is the way to do this. Perhaps Trump has recorded in his return "Gift from Mr Putin $1,000,000", but I doubt it. In any case is this not the function of the office of government ethics?

I reckon that if a sitting President was, after election, found to have committed a serious crime prior to the election, impeachment is a reasonable response. It would make little sense that there's nothing that can be done to remove, say, a killer who murdered a victim prior to election from office.

Now, no one will find evidence of murder in Trump's IRS forms, but your statement was sweeping, not about the scope or seriousness of the offense. If you think that caveat emptor has its limits, I suppose we'd need some indication of what they are and why.

For the second point, perhaps OGE is responsible for investigating corruption in office, but Congress also has an independent oversight responsibility.

I'm not altogether certain that Congress should be requiring the tax returns of Trump, but I tend to think its their right to do so. If they receive them, I genuinely hope they're treated with due concern and don't leak.

Planigale 14th April 2019 04:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mumbles (Post 12664246)
Um...the majority did not vote for Dolt 45 - and for that matter, nobody managed to get a majority of the vote.



Given that pretty much everyone around him agrees that he routinely undervalues his properties on his taxes, *and* overvalues them when applying for loans, I suspect that they'd provide clear evidence of both tax evasion and fraud. Not that this would be a shock coming from a career criminal like him...

Trump received 304 votes versus 227 for Clinton. A clear majority, That the US has a 'broken democracy' in which the President is elected by a small elite of Illuminati (or possibly reptilian aliens from Sirius) is an explanation for the democratic deficit. The whole point of the electoral college was;
"... A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations." Although it also enabled the slave states to profit from the additional votes awarded by virtue of the disenfranchised population.

Indeed several voters did try and prevent Trump's election.

(FWIW my guess is that many of the electors were believers in Trump and as we on a skeptic site should know, belief often trumps rationality. (Accidental pun.) so even if free to vote would still have voted for Trump)

I think the Nebraska style electorate seems a balance between tradition and democracy and states power. Although given the length of time it took for the last amendment to pass I don't hold out much hope for electoral reform any time soon.

jeremyp 14th April 2019 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mumbles (Post 12664246)
Given that pretty much everyone around him agrees that he routinely undervalues his properties on his taxes, *and* overvalues them when applying for loans, I suspect that they'd provide clear evidence of both tax evasion and fraud. Not that this would be a shock coming from a career criminal like him...

No. There won't be any evidence of tax evasion in them. If there were, the IRS would have spotted it and he would have gone to prison instead of the Whitehouse.

I'm not saying he does or doesn't evade taxes, but if he does evade taxes, he is not so stupid as to put clear evidence of the same in his tax returns.

Planigale 14th April 2019 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyp (Post 12664288)
No. There won't be any evidence of tax evasion in them. If there were, the IRS would have spotted it and he would have gone to prison instead of the Whitehouse.

I'm not saying he does or doesn't evade taxes, but if he does evade taxes, he is not so stupid as to put clear evidence of the same in his tax returns.

My thoughts too. The issue is reputational not criminal. Either he is poor, or he is rich. In either case I suspect his tax is embarrassingly small. Like his hands.

Norman Alexander 14th April 2019 05:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jeremyp (Post 12664288)
No. There won't be any evidence of tax evasion in them. If there were, the IRS would have spotted it and he would have gone to prison instead of the Whitehouse.

I'm not saying he does or doesn't evade taxes, but if he does evade taxes, he is not so stupid as to put clear evidence of the same in his tax returns.

You are talking about Donald Trump here. A sensible person would proceed like you describe. Trump...is not sensible.

Fast Eddie B 14th April 2019 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Solitaire (Post 12664099)
Yes.

Last year I filled out eight letter sized, 8.5 inch by 11 inch, tax forms.
This year I filled out ninety six post card sized, 3 by 5 inch, tax forms.

Just barely got in before the dead line. Normally I'd be a month ahead.

I just filed mine, Federal and Georgia, on Friday.

Using TurboTax, I found no significant difference in complexity. All the relevant numbers went in all the relevant boxes. With the larger standard deductible, I did not even bother adding up deductions* - no way I’d have enough to make a difference.

Just a single data point, of course, but I think I benefited from both the much higher standard deductible, plus the slightly lower marginal tax rate for my income level.


*We did get a straight $7,500 off our tax liability this year, due to the fact we bought a qualified Plug-In Hybrid EV last year. That credit only counts against taxes owed - most years we would not have that much in taxes - which is why we made the purchase in 2018 in the first place.

Delphic Oracle 14th April 2019 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 12664216)
I am not sure I agree with this. I think this is a case of 'caveat elector'. You get what you vote for; you cannot take back your vote if you subsequently decide you don't like your President when you get him home. A majority of the electorate voted for the President it was their responsibility to do due diligence.

Has nothing to do with anything I wrote.

Quote:

Maladministration / corruption in office are specified reasons for impeachment, thus I think one can argue that review of the President's financial affairs once in office is justified. I am not sure that his tax return is the way to do this. Perhaps Trump has recorded in his return "Gift from Mr Putin $1,000,000", but I doubt it. In any case is this not the function of the office of government ethics?
Ways and Means has a right to know if someone is interfering with revenue collection.

Quote:

I do not know if this law has been previously challenged; it would seem entirely reasonable for Trump to challenge it. It seems a bad law; from now on I suspect that the tax returns of political enemies will be increasingly requested by the chairs of the relevant committees. There is no check and balance in this law, a single individual without agreement of the committee can request the return, nor is it clear that the request needs to be made public nor that the tax payer needs to be informed, nor does there appear to an appeal process.
There are a number of court cases that affirm Congess' subpoena power and investigative authority.

Quote:

In principle I think the Scandinavian practice of making tax returns of all public is best. Some wealthy people contribute little to their country. My guess is that Trump does not have any big secret to hide other than the fact he will legitimately have avoided paying much tax. Many middle class tax-payers may suddenly discover they have paid more than he has.
Okay.

BobTheCoward 14th April 2019 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 12664155)
Do you actually think Bob001 said that? I do not.

Bob001 has not equivocated on the IRS's inability to not comply. That is why I asked the question.

newyorkguy 14th April 2019 06:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
So many lies, so little time. From Vox:
Quote:

During the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump praised WikiLeaks’s consistent releases of emails related to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks!” Trump professed during a speech on October 10. As ThinkProgress has documented, in the final month before the 2016 presidential election, Trump mentioned WikiLeaks and the hacked emails it published at least 164 times during speeches, media appearances, and debates. Link
But last Thursday, when reporters asked Trump about WikiLeaks, following the arrest in London of founder Julian Assange, Donnie got amnesia:
Quote:

“I know nothing about WikiLeaks,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday. “It’s not my thing,” he added.
Sadly, this is the kind of situational lying Trump's supporters undoubtedly, uh, support. Like Bart Simpson throwing a rock through a window and then turning around and saying, "I didn't do that, man!"

.

Captain_Swoop 14th April 2019 07:04 AM

Trump Tweets

If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%...with almost no inflation. Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!

Norman Alexander 14th April 2019 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 12664334)
Trump Tweets

If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points, and GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%...with almost no inflation. Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!

...commented the financial genius who crashed a number of uncrashable casinos and went bankrupt multiple times.

Ladewig 14th April 2019 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 12664293)
My thoughts too. [xhilite]The issue is reputational not criminal. [/xhilite]Either he is poor, or he is rich. In either case I suspect his tax is embarrassingly small. Like his hands.

Hmmm. I am not sure I agree with that.
He has been found to break the law previously. Loan application fraud and bankruptcy fraud are felonies. The later (when done repeatedly) is on the list of federal racketeering crimes (RICO statute).

After he demonstrated how little business acumen he has and his propensity to make sure he comes out ahead while investors lose their money, fewer and fewer US banks would lend him money. They have been long-time allegations that the Russian mob started bankrolling him at that point.

Requesting the presidentís tax returns is not just Congressís right, it is their duty. Checks and balances are the only thing making sure that the presidentís Business dealings do not represent foreign entanglements.

Ladewig 14th April 2019 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norman Alexander (Post 12664502)
...commented the financial genius who crashed a number of uncrashable casinos and went bankrupt multiple times.

Also the guy who, when responding to a question about the country defaulting, said, ďFirst of all, you never have to default because you print the money, I hate to tell you, OK?"

acbytesla 14th April 2019 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Planigale (Post 12664216)
I am not sure I agree with this. I think this is a case of 'caveat elector'. You get what you vote for; you cannot take back your vote if you subsequently decide you don't like your President when you get him home. A majority of the electorate voted for the President it was their responsibility to do due diligence.

Maladministration / corruption in office are specified reasons for impeachment, thus I think one can argue that review of the President's financial affairs once in office is justified. I am not sure that his tax return is the way to do this. Perhaps Trump has recorded in his return "Gift from Mr Putin $1,000,000", but I doubt it. In any case is this not the function of the office of government ethics?

I do not know if this law has been previously challenged; it would seem entirely reasonable for Trump to challenge it. It seems a bad law; from now on I suspect that the tax returns of political enemies will be increasingly requested by the chairs of the relevant committees. There is no check and balance in this law, a single individual without agreement of the committee can request the return, nor is it clear that the request needs to be made public nor that the tax payer needs to be informed, nor does there appear to an appeal process.

In principle I think the Scandinavian practice of making tax returns of all public is best. Some wealthy people contribute little to their country. My guess is that Trump does not have any big secret to hide other than the fact he will legitimately have avoided paying much tax. Many middle class tax-payers may suddenly discover they have paid more than he has.

Really? I think I disagree with every point you made.

But most importantly, saying that the "law is bad" is not a legal rational to disobey or challenge it. The question is, "is the law illegal?" As in unconstitutional. And you provided no reason why the law is unconstitutional and requires rejection.

Your argument that just because the electorate should have done their due diligence so it doesn't matter now goes against the principle of transparency. And who cares if other President's tax returns are subpoenaed by future committee chairpersons? Past presidents have been forthcoming with their taxes before they became President. This has been the norm for 50 years.

The Great Zaganza 14th April 2019 01:40 PM

The easiest way to avoid a future Trump would be for both parties to pledge to only allow candidates who have given their tax returns to the Party's national committee, which they will release in case the person gets nominated.

Safe-Keeper 14th April 2019 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza (Post 12664545)
The easiest way to avoid a future Trump would be for both parties to pledge to only allow candidates who have given their tax returns to the Party's national committee, which they will release in case the person gets nominated.

Didn't Washington state just make it impossible to run for POTUS/win that state for candidates who had not released their tax returns?


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