Trump ran up nearly a billion dollars in red ink from spectacular real estate failures — this is the guy who’s running for President because he’s supposedly a great businessman — enough to shield him from paying taxes for 18 years.
My favorite part of the story is where the Times finds Trump’s accountant from the 90s, Jack Mitnick, who’s now 80 years old and verifies the record.
“This is legit,” he said, stabbing a finger into the document….
[Mitnick] contrasted Fred Trump’s attention to detail with what he described as Mr. Trump’s brash and undisciplined style. He recalled, for example, that when Donald and Ivana Trump came in each year to sign their tax forms, it was almost always Ivana who asked more questions….
Mr. Mitnick … said there were times when even he, for all his years helping wealthy New Yorkers navigate the tax code, found it difficult to face the incongruity of his work for Mr. Trump. He felt keenly aware that Mr. Trump was living a life of unimaginable luxury thanks in part to Mr. Mitnick’s ability to relieve him of the burden of paying taxes like everyone else.
“Here the guy was building incredible net worth and not paying tax on it,” he said.
David Barstow, Susanne Craig, Russ Buettner and Megan Twohey report for the New York Times in an admirable feat of old-fashioned investigative journalism.
Trump gave at least $45,000 to the campaign of Alan Hevisi, a New York state comptroller who later went to prison for bribery. The donations coincided with a $500 million lawsuit Trump filed against the City of New York to reduce property taxes. Soon afterward, the city settled, saving Trump $97 million. (Christina Wilkie, The Huffington Post)
“Here we have the largest corporation in capitalization not only in America, but in the world, bigger than GM was at its peak, and claiming that most of its profits originate from about a few hundred people working in Ireland — that’s a fraud,” Stiglitz said. “A tax law that encourages American firms to keep jobs abroad is wrong, and I think we can get a consensus in America to get that changed.”
Apple has a corporate structure that allows it to transfer money to low-tax jurisdictions, and one of those is Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent — far below the U.S. top statutory rate of 35 percent. The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, is probing whether Ireland violated the bloc’s state-aid rules by helping Apple lower its Irish tax liability.
Apple, which declined to comment on Stiglitz’s remarks, has firmly denied using any tax gimmicks, telling an EU tax panel in March that it had paid all of its taxes due in Ireland. Apple employs 5,500 people in Ireland, according to its website.
Apple, Google and other tech giants have shown themselves to be capable of resisting government demands when it suits their interests — see, for example, Apple’s brave and admirable stance on being forced to compromise its cryptography — but when it comes to things like paying its fair share of tax to compensate its host nations for the educations provided to its workforce, the roads they drive on, the courts and laws that defend their interests, and the health systems that keep the majority of their workforce dying from TB or yellow fever, the companies’ stance is “We comply with all laws and pay as much tax as they require.”
Rick Santorum said pregnancy from rape is a “gift from God” and compared gay relationships to “man-on-dog” sex — and he signed a pledge saying that African-Americans had it better during slavery.
He’s not an aberration, either. The whole cadre of GOP presidential nomination hopefuls were a bumper-crop of absolute terribleness: Rick Perry’s summer hunting camp is called “Niggerhead” and he pledged to eliminate three cabinet-level government agencies, but couldn’t remember which ones. He is a young-Earth Creationist, an anonymous GOP governor once said that Perry was “like George W Bush, but without the brains.”
Bobby Jindal named himself after a character on the Brady Bunch and bankrupted Louisiana by cutting taxes on the wealthy. Carly Fiorina is a climate-change denier who tanked HP and thinks Planned Parenthood sells foetal organs. Rand Paul wants to eliminate environmental and civil rights legislation and eliminate welfare. Scott Walker said he could be trusted to fight Isis because he’d defeated Wisconsin’s teachers’ unions. Chris Christie is basically a mafia don, but not a competent one. Jeb Bush thinks that health insurance can be eliminated by giving people Apple watches and that poverty can be solved by everyone “working longer hours.”
The vlogger sees “non-Brexit Brexit” as the most likely outcome, where the UK exits the EU in name only, still subject to the EU’s laws, open borders, and taxes, but without a voice in EU policy, which would suck for the UK’s citizens but be good for business and save face for politicians.
Another outcome: Full Brexit, which would lead to the breakup of the UK as Northern Ireland and Scotland secede to stay in the EU. Also seceding from the UK: The City of London (!) which would join the EU as an independent city-state.
Millionaires don’t move from high-tax states to low-tax states in significant numbers, according to a recently published study. And when they do move, it’s to Florida, disproportionately more than other low-tax states, such as New Hampshire, Tennessee and Texas. That suggests the millionaires are moving for reasons other than fleeing taxes.