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Old 3rd January 2019, 09:55 AM   #41
Bob001
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
What exactly in a "tax return" is going to tell us or would have told us what we couldn't of already guessed?
.....

It doesn't matter what we have guessed. It would be different, even to his supporters, if we had specific proof of misconduct. We particularly would find out how much of his income comes from foreign sources and how much money he owes to foreign lenders. We could learn about his money-laundering for Russian mobsters. We would learn the identities of the hundreds of LLCs, partnerships and other entities he controls, which in turn could be scrutinized. We would learn how much he actually pays in taxes and how much his family has benefited directly from the tax laws he has supported. Etc., etc., etc.

Here's a starting point:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/leeshep.../#3452407a1264
https://www.factcheck.org/2016/05/trumps-tax-returns/
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Old 3rd January 2019, 09:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
It doesn't matter what we have guessed. It would be different, even to his supporters, if we had specific proof of misconduct.
No it wouldn't. Not in Post-Truth world.

He's a horrible businessman, he's had a ton of shady and illegal dealings... these are already facts and people don't believe them. You can't make them more.... factier and hope to convince them.

It's like showing a Young Earth Creationist a transitory fossil.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:05 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
No it wouldn't. Not in Post-Truth world.

He's a horrible businessman, he's had a ton of shady and illegal dealings... these are already facts and people don't believe them. You can't make them more.... factier and hope to convince them.

It's like showing a Young Earth Creationist a transitory fossil.
Except that to Trump, and many of his fans, it's his bigly wealth that is his central appeal. If his taxes were to reveal he wasn't a billionaire at all it would be a significant blow. Remember, Trump has sued people for saying he wasn't as rich as he claimed. As irrational as it is, being proven to lie about his money might harm Trump more than confessing to treasonous dealings with Russia. Irrational people are vulnerable to irrational things.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:07 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Quote:
Well for one... Trump claimed he was a "great businessman", and that the country needed his financial expertise. While a lot of people saw that it was a false claim, the lack of his tax returns gave at least some plausible deniability to his supporters.
But that's my point. You already know that Trump isn't a great business man, you don't need a tax return to tell you that.
Yes, I know that. And you know that. But not everyone does.
Quote:
People who think Trump is a great business man wouldn't have their mind changed by a tax return, they would just rationalize it away.
I'm sure many would rationalize it away. But perhaps not everyone would. There may be a few people who did legitimately fall for his "wealthy businessman" con who might find that tax returns showing him to be broke would be the "last straw". And when you have elections decided by a few thousand votes in a couple of swing states, ever little bit helps.
Quote:
Trump jumped the shark from "plausible deniability" to "implausible deniability" a long time ago. Trump being a bad business is "water is wet" level of established fact.
You and I know it because we are more rational than the average American. But to some American with a more.... casual knowledge of U.S. politics, his persona on The Apprentice (fake as it is) might be more compelling. And his bankruptcies are often rationalized away by "he rebuilt his empire". Showing tax returns that indicate he's actually poor will make that harder to rationalize.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:12 AM   #45
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I'm not saying there's no good idea in here, just that's going to lead to symbolic and meaningless "I told you so's / I was right all along's" far more often than to any real tangible political victories.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:21 AM   #46
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Making a law just to stop one candidate - who has already succeeded in their candidacy - seems like a bad idea.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:33 AM   #47
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Making a law just to stop one candidate - who has already succeeded in their candidacy - seems like a bad idea.
Who said the point of the law was just to stop one candidate?

While Trump may have been the catalyst for this particular law, there is certainly the possibility that a similar candidate might appear in future elections. After all, it appears that dysfunction and con-artistry is now the new 'norm' in American politics.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:39 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Except that to Trump, and many of his fans, it's his bigly wealth that is his central appeal. If his taxes were to reveal he wasn't a billionaire at all it would be a significant blow. Remember, Trump has sued people for saying he wasn't as rich as he claimed. As irrational as it is, being proven to lie about his money might harm Trump more than confessing to treasonous dealings with Russia. Irrational people are vulnerable to irrational things.
Tax returns don't generally show total wealth. They show current income. Since most of his income would be in his corporate tax, I don't see what his 1040 and related schedules would actually show. He probably pays himself a generous salary, as I don't think his ego could withstand anything less.

He is most certainly lying about his net worth. Probably has been for all of his public life. But the silver bullet is not going to be found in his tax returns, assuming his accounts are marginally competent.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:42 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I wonder how lawmakers would like it if this standard was also applied to congressional candidates.
Let's require all of congress to disclose their tax returns. I bet that would be quite entertaining.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:48 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
Tax returns don't generally show total wealth. They show current income. Since most of his income would be in his corporate tax, I don't see what his 1040 and related schedules would actually show. He probably pays himself a generous salary, as I don't think his ego could withstand anything less.

He is most certainly lying about his net worth. Probably has been for all of his public life. But the silver bullet is not going to be found in his tax returns, assuming his accounts are marginally competent.
Tax returns show your taxable income, though. How much wealth doesn't generate taxable income? If you own land you pay property taxes. If you have investments you pay capital gains, and tax on interest and dividend income. The IRS is pretty good about getting its due. And even an incomplete knowledge is better than no knowledge at all.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:53 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Seems like this is something easily solved by the electorate at election time. No need to make a law about it.
I agree. It's not as silly as the Constitutional age requirement, but macks of sour grapes.

In a rational world, voters would reject candidates who do not make ten years of tax returns available. If people had any sense, the Trump election would strengthen the tax return norm, but this presidency will probably erode it. C'est la vie...
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Old 3rd January 2019, 10:55 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
Tax returns don't generally show total wealth. They show current income. Since most of his income would be in his corporate tax, I don't see what his 1040 and related schedules would actually show. He probably pays himself a generous salary, as I don't think his ego could withstand anything less.
....

Trump doesn't have a corporation. He has a collection of private partnerships and LLCs. His company's returns are his returns. They would show everything he owns, everything he gets, and his deductions, among other things.
Quote:
The Trump Organization is the collective name for a group of approximately 500 business entities of which Donald Trump, the current U.S. President, is the sole or principal owner.[4] Approximately 250 entities use the Trump name.[5][6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trump_Organization

Also,
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/25/u...-business.html

ETA: And there's this:
Quote:
It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the language of business schools, the Trump Organization’s core competency is in profiting from misrepresentation and deceit and, potentially, fraud.
https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp...business-model

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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:02 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
So how would this even work on a functional level?
Like everything else that's required by law to do x

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt announces his candidacy for Presidency. Gets elected. And then they ask to see his tax return and he refuses. What do they do? Unelect him? Impeach him?
LoL make it a requirement to get your name on the ballot? Then you don't have to worry about them being elected. Why would you even wait to have the information available after the election? That literally makes 0 sense. You have to file a metric **** ton of paperwork to be on a Presidential Ballot in every state.

I can't even believe this is a talking point. Didn't the original post even say something about "when they become the candidate"?

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Or he does put up his returns and he spent 5 years funneling heroin money through ISIS to fund baby seal clubbing in the Arctic. Again so?
What the hell do you mean, so? That wouldn't sway your voting tendencies if your candidate did that? I'm not so partisan as to vote for someone when there's evidence they are a completely **** individual. I would probably vote 3rd party, write in, or even vote for a GOP if they proved to not be the same level of garbage. I get that you're dying to play devils advocate, or whatever it you're doing as you seem to naysay absolutely everything that comes across.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is the inherent problem with the government putting rules one eligibility for elected officials. What do you do when they still get elected? Tell the electoral they were wrong?
No, you don't do anything. You let the electorate decide who is best for them by providing them as much possible information about that person as you possibly can. We deserve that as the voters of this nation.

Back to your normal scheduled passive aggressive negativity.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:09 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
Tax returns don't generally show total wealth. They show current income.
True... its possible for someone to have a high net worth and a low income, but I think for the most part there is at least some correlation.
Quote:
Since most of his income would be in his corporate tax, I don't see what his 1040 and related schedules would actually show. He probably pays himself a generous salary, as I don't think his ego could withstand anything less.
Well, somethings it might show (assuming that 1-we get access to the complete tax return and not just some sort of summary, and 2-Trump actually filled everything out properly):

- The depth of his foreign ties. (If you get income from one country you can deduct taxes paid to that country on your U.S. tax return. If Trump had income from Russian sources that was taxed in russia, he could claim it on his U.S. return.)

- Capital gains on property he personally owns (which might indicate whether he personally benefits from recent tax code changes)

- How much money Trump personally donates to charity

- How much he gives to NAMBLA. People are saying its a lot. The best people.

Now, I admit... seeing his tax returns won't tell you everything about Trump. There are ways to hide income, and things like borrowing may not show up. But, its a certainly better to have them public than not.

Here's something you should ask yourself... Pretty much every presidential candidate publishes their tax returns. Trump did not. If you really think "you can't learn much from them" then why is Trump so reluctant to publish them? It seems to me he could have just released them back in 2016 then got back to focusing on his racism instead of letting the issue fester.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:15 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Not that this would pass the present Senate and be signed by Trump anyway, but what's the penalty if the nominee refuses to release their returns?
The guillotine.

Been done before.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:18 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Quote:
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt announces his candidacy for Presidency. Gets elected. And then they ask to see his tax return and he refuses. What do they do? Unelect him? Impeach him?
LoL make it a requirement to get your name on the ballot?
Here's something I'm curious about (maybe there is an expert that can enlighten me)...

In the U.S., a lot of the election mechanisms are handled at the state level. (Thus you can have situations where presidental candidates are on the ballot for some states but not others.)

Would it be possible for individual states to pass their own "Tax disclosure" law? Thus, if a Trump-like politician becomes a presidental candidate, they would be forgoing any electoral votes from states where disclosing taxes is a requirement. They could still win if they got enough support from other states, but it would make it harder (depending on which states had such disclosure laws).
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:20 AM   #57
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:22 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Making a law just to stop one candidate - who has already succeeded in their candidacy - seems like a bad idea.
What, he’s never going to run again?
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:26 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
What exactly in a "tax return" is going to tell us or would have told us what we couldn't of already guessed?
It would be facts instead of guesses, something not easy to find in politics.

It would keep those with something serious to hide from even trying to run.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:27 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
...
Would it be possible for individual states to pass their own "Tax disclosure" law?
...
Yes. Each state sets its own standards for what candidates need to do to get on its ballot.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politic...se-tax-returns
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:30 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Quote:
.Would it be possible for individual states to pass their own "Tax disclosure" law?
Yes. Each state sets its own standards for what candidates need to do to get on its ballot.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politic...se-tax-returns
Thanks. I didn't realize that there were actually states that were in the process of creating their own tax disclosure laws.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:35 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Here's something I'm curious about (maybe there is an expert that can enlighten me)...

In the U.S., a lot of the election mechanisms are handled at the state level. (Thus you can have situations where presidental candidates are on the ballot for some states but not others.)

Would it be possible for individual states to pass their own "Tax disclosure" law? Thus, if a Trump-like politician becomes a presidental candidate, they would be forgoing any electoral votes from states where disclosing taxes is a requirement. They could still win if they got enough support from other states, but it would make it harder (depending on which states had such disclosure laws).
Unsettled. it is generally not permitted to impose additional qualifications not specified in the constitution. The debate would be if it was an additional qualification or not. It would probably be legally esoteric.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:44 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Tax returns show your taxable income, though. How much wealth doesn't generate taxable income? If you own land you pay property taxes. If you have investments you pay capital gains, and tax on interest and dividend income. The IRS is pretty good about getting its due. And even an incomplete knowledge is better than no knowledge at all.
If I run my wealth through an LLC and only take a small stipend, how do you determine my net worth?

I have no direct knowledge if Trump is an S corp or C corp, I'd wager C, but processing his income via his corporation, and living off that structure (see Mar-A-Lago) would effectively allow him to use wealth that doesn't get reported on the 1040.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:52 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
What the hell do you mean, so? That wouldn't sway your voting tendencies if your candidate did that? I'm not so partisan as to vote for someone when there's evidence they are a completely **** individual. I would probably vote 3rd party, write in, or even vote for a GOP if they proved to not be the same level of garbage.
No I'm saying that if the candidate doing X is already a well known and established fact that their detractors are already angry about and their defenders have already rationalized away/made peace with what is a tax return that just shows that they did X again going to accomplish?

Is anyone under the illusion that anything in Trump's tax returns, either if released today or 2 years ago or 2 years from now would tell us anything about Trump that we couldn't have already figured out?

A tax return is just going to be proof... again of stuff that's already been proved. Rational people don't need more proof of it and irrational people aren't going to be swayed by this proof anymore than the previous proof.

Sure there's be some mind changing on the margins, but it will be statistically insignificant.

Quote:
Back to your normal scheduled passive aggressive negativity.
Jesus dude who pissed in your Cheerios?
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:55 AM   #65
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
If I run my wealth through an LLC and only take a small stipend, how do you determine my net worth?

I have no direct knowledge if Trump is an S corp or C corp, I'd wager C, but processing his income via his corporation, and living off that structure (see Mar-A-Lago) would effectively allow him to use wealth that doesn't get reported on the 1040.
I just wonder how far he could actually go with that. Using company resources to pay for personal living expenses might cause even more legal problems.

And again, back to my previous statement... if you really think that Trump's tax returns won't provide anything of interest, then why is he keeping them hidden? If they are as innocent as you seem to think, he could have just released them back in 2016.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 11:59 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
True... its possible for someone to have a high net worth and a low income, but I think for the most part there is at least some correlation.

Well, somethings it might show (assuming that 1-we get access to the complete tax return and not just some sort of summary, and 2-Trump actually filled everything out properly):
Well, I guess we should get the post audit transcripts and not what he filled out. BTW, I do believe he has been audited, I'm not buying the audits are still open. Open cases of that age would have been put on the front burner ages ago.

Quote:
- The depth of his foreign ties. (If you get income from one country you can deduct taxes paid to that country on your U.S. tax return. If Trump had income from Russian sources that was taxed in russia, he could claim it on his U.S. return.)
I really think he would be running that through a corp shell. I doubt his accountants would have, since he decided to run, put that income on a 1040.

Quote:
- Capital gains on property he personally owns (which might indicate whether he personally benefits from recent tax code changes)
With what was done for corporate tax rates, as opposed to personal rates, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. I would be surprised if he actually owned any property himself. He needs to protect any assets from his ability to go bankrupt and constant lawsuits.

Quote:
Now, I admit... seeing his tax returns won't tell you everything about Trump. There are ways to hide income, and things like borrowing may not show up. But, its a certainly better to have them public than not.

Here's something you should ask yourself... Pretty much every presidential candidate publishes their tax returns. Trump did not. If you really think "you can't learn much from them" then why is Trump so reluctant to publish them? It seems to me he could have just released them back in 2016 then got back to focusing on his racism instead of letting the issue fester.
I think the reason he didn't share them is fear that people will see his income, realize his billionaire personae is smoke and mirrors, and possibly show him not to be the deal-maker he has sold himself to be.

What would he have to gain? It probably didn't cost or gain him any votes. The people he has hoodwinked into his myth of riches are going to believe no matter what it shows. Hell, they bought into the Trump University.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:21 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
If I run my wealth through an LLC and only take a small stipend, how do you determine my net worth?

I have no direct knowledge if Trump is an S corp or C corp, I'd wager C, but processing his income via his corporation, and living off that structure (see Mar-A-Lago) would effectively allow him to use wealth that doesn't get reported on the 1040.
Presumably corporations file taxes also. At least they're supposed to. Let corporations owned by a candidate also have their taxes published.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:22 PM   #68
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Trump's base get bent out of shape over helping the less fortunate via (lawful) social assistance programs, but would happily give Trump a pass for criminally cheating the country by avoiding to pay his fair share of tax.

Actually, that's something of an endemic American mindset: The lazy bums on welfare don't deserve my contribution to bettering their lot, but the rich cheat is admired for getting one over on 'the Man'. A sadly myopic viewpoint borne of the delusion that government is something of an 'other' entity, instead of (nominally) the collective will of a civilized society to function cohesively and fairly.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:30 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
Re: What Trump's taxes could tell us...

Quote:
- The depth of his foreign ties. (If you get income from one country you can deduct taxes paid to that country on your U.S. tax return. If Trump had income from Russian sources that was taxed in russia, he could claim it on his U.S. return.)
I really think he would be running that through a corp shell.
Maybe, maybe not. Best case scenario.... we find out that Trump was getting cash from Russia. Worst case... he ran it through a shell corporation, but a studious investigator may be able to trace the activities of that shell corporation and perhaps uncover other problems.

Who created that shell corporation? Is it someone who's been indicted by Mueller and who might be compelled to testify?

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I doubt his accountants would have, since he decided to run, put that income on a 1040.
The proposed law would be to disclose 10 years of returns, so they'd be going back long before he joined the republican campaign.

Plus, Trump is an idiot, and there is a chance he was doing dumb things that either the accountants didn't know of, or weren't there to stop.

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- Capital gains on property he personally owns (which might indicate whether he personally benefits from recent tax code changes)
With what was done for corporate tax rates, as opposed to personal rates, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. I would be surprised if he actually owned any property himself. He needs to protect any assets from his ability to go bankrupt and constant lawsuits.
Keep in mind that there were a lot more tax changes than to just the corporate and personal tax rates. Although I initially listed only capitial gains, there were also changes to the tax code affecting partnerships and S-corporations. Voters may want to know if Trump benefited from those tax code changes too.

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Now, I admit... seeing his tax returns won't tell you everything about Trump. There are ways to hide income, and things like borrowing may not show up. But, its a certainly better to have them public than not.

Here's something you should ask yourself... Pretty much every presidential candidate publishes their tax returns. Trump did not. If you really think "you can't learn much from them" then why is Trump so reluctant to publish them? It seems to me he could have just released them back in 2016 then got back to focusing on his racism instead of letting the issue fester.
I think the reason he didn't share them is fear that people will see his income, realize his billionaire personae is smoke and mirrors, and possibly show him not to be the deal-maker he has sold himself to be.
Which is one of the reasons why I think its a good reason to have his tax returns released.
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What would he have to gain? It probably didn't cost or gain him any votes.
If his tax returns were really so innocent, then a failure to release them gave ammunition to people claiming he was dishonest/hiding something. Releasing his tax returns would have allowed him to focus more on his racism.
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The people he has hoodwinked into his myth of riches are going to believe no matter what it shows.
Yes, MOST people will. I do think there will be a small number who might be swayed, and when the election was as close as it was, even losing a small number of voters could have caused him to lose.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:51 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
If I run my wealth through an LLC and only take a small stipend, how do you determine my net worth?

I have no direct knowledge if Trump is an S corp or C corp, I'd wager C, but processing his income via his corporation, and living off that structure (see Mar-A-Lago) would effectively allow him to use wealth that doesn't get reported on the 1040.
I note again Trump is NOT a corporation. All of his various LLCs etc. would be reflected on his personal returns, which is why they would be so revealing.

Last edited by Bob001; 3rd January 2019 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 12:59 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm guessing noncompliance could be grounds for legal action to compel the release of the documents and criminal/civil sanctions for those who don't comply.
How could anyone not be compliant? The only way I can think is that they simply don't have the required years of tax filings?
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:13 PM   #72
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I note again Trump is NOT a corporation. All of his various LLCs etc. would be reflected on his personal returns, which is why they would be so revealing.
I dunno if they'd be that revealing. A lot of what we "know" about Trump is actually supposition - e.g., the Russian collusion. It's not like the tax returns are going to document indictable crimes or whatever. At best(?), they'll just provide more grist for the rumor mill.

The idea that the returns will provide new information that turns out to be The One Thing that stops Donald Trump is, as Lambchops might put it, adorable.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:31 PM   #73
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
How could anyone not be compliant? The only way I can think is that they simply don't have the required years of tax filings?
Depends how the law is written. Tax returns are considered private information, and it's the private citizen who can authorize their release. If the law is written to mandate that the private citizen authorize the release, then they can be out of compliance simply by refusing to authorize.

On the other hand, if the law is written to mandate that the government agency (the IRS) release the private citizens tax information without their consent, then no, the citizen could never be out of compliance (since they no longer have control over their information).

Mandating a voluntary disclosure of private information, as a condition of running for office is distasteful, but relatively feasible.

Mandating an involuntary disclosure of private information, by a government agency, against the wishes of the citizen, is extremely problematic.

Again, this seems like a matter that is properly addressed by the electorate, at the polls.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:32 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay but people aren't picking candidates based on their tax returns...
Of course not. Who would want to pick a candidate based on facts?


Quote:
Raise your hand if you're a Trump supporter now and anything in his tax return could make you stop supporting him?

Okay now raise your hand if you're a Trump... errrr opposer (supporter needs a better antonym) and anything in his tax return could make you start supporting him?
It's a bit late now that Trump is president and has revealed his true nature, but before the election it might have made a difference. I suspect a lot of republicans would have chosen someone else if they knew the truth about Trump's financials, and many 'independents' would have been less inclined to support him. And that's not just my opinion. Trump himself obviously thought there was something damaging in his tax returns, else he wouldn't have refused to release them.

But hey, the less we know the better, eh? I propose that no information be made public. The press should be limited to publishing material handed to them by the candidates themselves. Or better yet a total media blackout. Then we can choose candidates based on qualities we really value, like whether or not they have an 'R' next to their name.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 01:43 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I dunno if they'd be that revealing. A lot of what we "know" about Trump is actually supposition - e.g., the Russian collusion. It's not like the tax returns are going to document indictable crimes or whatever. At best(?), they'll just provide more grist for the rumor mill.
We aren't suggesting that tax returns should be made public because of their nature in a criminal investigation. (I'm sure Mueller already has Trump's tax returns, even if the public doesn't.)

We're saying it would be beneficial because even if something isn't a crime, it may still affect how people vote because of either perceived dishonesty (e.g. "I have no business interests in Russia") or the potential for a candidate to have divided loyalties.

When Trump says "This tax plan will not benefit me", we have no evidence whether that is correct or not. If we see from his tax forms that indeed he does benefit, it shows that 1) he was dishonest, and 2) his tax policy may be self serving rather than what's best for the country as a whole.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 02:00 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
No I'm saying that if the candidate doing X is already a well known and established fact that their detractors are already angry about and their defenders have already rationalized away/made peace with what is a tax return that just shows that they did X again going to accomplish?
Right, there's a name for this. It's called a false dichotomy, right? Those aren't the only two types of people in the US. There's even a common mantra that that independent voter is the important target. That's why they focus on toss up states. I'm positive that some of those people might have changed their minds depending on what those taxes show. If any of this is wrong, feel free to correct me.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Is anyone under the illusion that anything in Trump's tax returns, either if released today or 2 years ago or 2 years from now would tell us anything about Trump that we couldn't have already figured out?
I don't know. I've never studied taxes, and I've been married for going on 8 years, so I haven't done taxes in almost a decade either. I bet that more information would come from having those available than not.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
A tax return is just going to be proof... again of stuff that's already been proved.
Yes, you've repeated this now. Again, I'll state that there were a lot of people that just decided to "give him a shot", that might not have if they heard more about who he is as a person. Shady Russian businesses dealings that WERE NOT PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE DURING THE ELECTION, and so on. Yes, we know this information NOW, but to say that it wouldn't have changed certain people's minds previous to the election would signal to me that you should contact Mr. Randi and try for that million.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Rational people don't need more proof of it and irrational people aren't going to be swayed by this proof anymore than the previous proof.
And again, false dichotomy. Already been addressed.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Sure there's be some mind changing on the margins, but it will be statistically insignificant.
You of course have evidence to support this, considering swing states and "mind changing" is part and parcel to the entire US electoral system.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Jesus dude who pissed in your Cheerios?
Never understood this phrase. Why has no one addressed the person running around and pissing in cereal?
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Old 3rd January 2019, 02:13 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
We aren't suggesting that tax returns should be made public because of their nature in a criminal investigation. (I'm sure Mueller already has Trump's tax returns, even if the public doesn't.)
ETA: Bob001 is actually suggesting that the tax returns would provide "specific proof of misconduct" and tell us "about his money-laundering for Russian mobsters."

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...1#post12551551

Quote:
We're saying it would be beneficial because even if something isn't a crime, it may still affect how people vote because of either perceived dishonesty (e.g. "I have no business interests in Russia") or the potential for a candidate to have divided loyalties.

When Trump says "This tax plan will not benefit me", we have no evidence whether that is correct or not. If we see from his tax forms that indeed he does benefit, it shows that 1) he was dishonest, and 2) his tax policy may be self serving rather than what's best for the country as a whole.
An electorate that already perceives politicians as dishonest and self-serving is probably not going to be very impressed with evidence that a politician is dishonest and self-serving. Especially if they've already reached that conclusion anyway, and already decided how they feel about it.

Trump is somewhat more obvious and amateurish about this than most politicians, but I think you're greatly overestimating the power of the "Trump is the most worst ever!" narrative to the average voter. The only voters who might care about such revelations are those who fervently believe that Trump is more honest than other politicians. But those are the voters who are least likely to pay attention to such revelations. All this to maybe split off a tiny fraction of die-hard Trumpists. Who might choose to re-elect him anyway once they realize they still hate the Democrats, and nothing about exposing Trump actually rehabilitates any other politician.

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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:16 PM   #78
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Forcing individuals who seek to be elected to public office to disclose their financial interests is not just about preventing them from acting in their personal financial interests in secret it's also about trying to prevent perfectly reasonable decisions from appearing suspicious and tainted.

Informal political conventions might work for conventional politicans but clearly are worthless when someone like Trump comes along and not only breaks them but unwittingly acts completely suspicious and incredibly questionable.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 04:19 PM   #79
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Forcing individuals who seek to be elected to public office to disclose their financial interests is not just about preventing them from acting in their personal financial interests in secret it's also about trying to prevent perfectly reasonable decisions from appearing suspicious and tainted.
Easily solved by voters at the polls.

Quote:
Informal political conventions might work for conventional politicans but clearly are worthless when someone like Trump comes along and not only breaks them but unwittingly acts completely suspicious and incredibly questionable.
Easily solved by voters at the polls.
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Old 3rd January 2019, 05:02 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Easily solved by voters at the polls.


Easily solved by voters at the polls.
Except that Donald Trump's actions can be and have been painted as motivated primarily or even exclusively because of his own personal financial gain even-though he was elected.

Then again American's don't seem to care about even trying to maintaining something resembling political legitimacy at this point, as demonstrated by electing someone like Trump, who basically embodies all the qualities of toxic demagoguery, and whose constant shameless lying and ********ting is one of his core appeals.

He's so authentic! He lies all the time like all politicians do but stands for it by denying everything! Who cares if he enriches himself or his family at the taxpayers expense because they all do that! At least he doesn't even try to hide it!
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