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10 years of Trump's Tax Returns Leak

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Jerry Gallo
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

There is an outcome.  So maybe we can agree to have rules that say no job is demeaning,  If you don't have a job, take what comes along.

Second part of that is, can a job like that provide  a roof and food and clothing, not luxury or extravagant just basic? Can we have a rule that says anybody who is willing to work 55 hours per week at any job can have those things, and that if two people are working they can afford to house, feed, and cloth two kids as well as themselves?   If that is an important outcome we want, we might have to create some rules of the game that provide that assistance to hard workers to counterbalance  other economic forces. 

Is it OK with us that  a dozen entities wind up owning 98% of everything?  If not, then tax structure, both corporate and personal is a tool that slows the growth of wealth acquisition.  We want to reward people for being clever, inventive, and hard working beyond the ordinary with enough incentives to be worth while and give a sense of satisfaction.  We want to reward corporations for behavior that benefits society; like reinvesting in technology or new equipment or job training.    

My analogy is rather like a human body.  If all parts are functioning properly, the body is healthy, energetic, and long lived.  If  so much fat accumulates as to shorten life or impair function,  or cancer develops, it needs to be dealt with. .A  cancer is just cells growing without proper organization and without limits, it can cripple or kill the body. If an economy sinks too much resource in non-productive items, eventually the economic body can weaken and die.

Is the game and all players best served by conglomerates and monopolies?   Are more people served by a greater number of competitors and an opportunity to enter a field that is not dominated by one or two mega-corporations?  Is inventiveness and progress better served by greater fluidity and more competition.   Maybe there could be some rules like no entity controls more than 20 % of a market and cannot own 20% in more than some number, say 3 markets.   Financial markets seem prone to this and we have already seen how disastrous that can be.

Maybe there should be some firmer rules about limiting government debt.

We have rules now.  We probably don't need to make a bunch more, just modify the ones we have.  We frequently  complain about the corruption and  inefficiency of the government.  They are playing by the existing rules and using all of the loopholes provided.  If we want a different outcome, we need to change the rules, not depend on the honor of politicians and lobbyists.

Great feedback sir. Very helpful to hear clear vision without animus, even as we may agree to disagree within the overall scope. 

For my part, it's probably easier to discuss what outcomes I don't want.

I don't want any program or plan that punishes success. I don't want any plan that sticks an arbitrary burden or limit on certain groups because it feels fair to say what "enough" is. I don't want any plan that rewards failure or non-participation. I don't want any plan that says equal outcomes are the standard. That said, there will always be egregious examples we can point to, anomalies that stem from being unable to create a one-size-fits-all standard.

A couple examples...we don't see a classroom of kids take a test and all receive identical scores of 90. We don't see 100 yard dashes where every participant runs a 10.00. Politically, we don't fill Congress with 50% from each side and alternate the Presidency every four years. Perhaps we see the A students as superior, angelic gifts and the D students as lazy pieces of crap. Maybe the A student is an Adderall fiend who cheated on the test because he was too busy selling coke in the Hamptons, while the D student with ADHD was too busy to study after checking his mom into booze rehab because she's depressed the dad just started a 20-year bit in Kern Valley. The point is, no one can control all these circumstances with a single approach. It's not the job of government to anticipate and adjust to every turn. You police success to make sure it was earned fairly, applying the rules and punishment when it isn't. If someone breaks the rules, punish them to the maximum extent you can. Conversely, you analyze the failure to determine where true help is needed. You provide that help not by changing results (grading on a curve), not by just passing them along to the next level, you determine whether they are trying to learn, whether they care, and address those issues if they don't.

Point is, I don't want to just hand a pile of cash to the winners and discard those who don't finish in the top half. But I don't want to confuse reward and punishment or see those two things used inversely to try and plot outcomes either.

9 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

There is an outcome.  So maybe we can agree to have rules that say no job is demeaning,  If you don't have a job, take what comes along.

Second part of that is, can a job like that provide  a roof and food and clothing, not luxury or extravagant just basic? Can we have a rule that says anybody who is willing to work 55 hours per week at any job can have those things, and that if two people are working they can afford to house, feed, and cloth two kids as well as themselves?   If that is an important outcome we want, we might have to create some rules of the game that provide that assistance to hard workers to counterbalance  other economic forces. 

Is it OK with us that  a dozen entities wind up owning 98% of everything?  If not, then tax structure, both corporate and personal is a tool that slows the growth of wealth acquisition.  We want to reward people for being clever, inventive, and hard working beyond the ordinary with enough incentives to be worth while and give a sense of satisfaction.  We want to reward corporations for behavior that benefits society; like reinvesting in technology or new equipment or job training.    

My analogy is rather like a human body.  If all parts are functioning properly, the body is healthy, energetic, and long lived.  If  so much fat accumulates as to shorten life or impair function,  or cancer develops, it needs to be dealt with. .A  cancer is just cells growing without proper organization and without limits, it can cripple or kill the body. If an economy sinks too much resource in non-productive items, eventually the economic body can weaken and die.

Is the game and all players best served by conglomerates and monopolies?   Are more people served by a greater number of competitors and an opportunity to enter a field that is not dominated by one or two mega-corporations?  Is inventiveness and progress better served by greater fluidity and more competition.   Maybe there could be some rules like no entity controls more than 20 % of a market and cannot own 20% in more than some number, say 3 markets.   Financial markets seem prone to this and we have already seen how disastrous that can be.

Maybe there should be some firmer rules about limiting government debt.

We have rules now.  We probably don't need to make a bunch more, just modify the ones we have.  We frequently  complain about the corruption and  inefficiency of the government.  They are playing by the existing rules and using all of the loopholes provided.  If we want a different outcome, we need to change the rules, not depend on the honor of politicians and lobbyists.

Of course jobs like that can provide basic necessities. Of course working 55 hours a week or having both parents work 40 hours each should earn some level of comfort. But, if both of those examples are done as clerks at a convenience store, they'll be hard pressed to pull it off and I cannot say that convenience store clerks simply showing up for those hours is enough to ensure a life of home ownership. Some jobs are not work. Some jobs are not occupations. Some jobs are not going to provide adults with necessities. I think there have always been rules that some want to throw out. First rule, live within your means. Second rule, if you want to live better, you improve your means. Third rule, most critical one...if you cannot improve your means, you didn't earn living better. Again, some folks follow these rules and still can't reach a level to sustain basics. I have no issue with temporary assistance or programs that help these people. A year long hand up with, as you said, some training, on my dime, no worries. At that point, you gotta take the reins. And ALL people with physical and medical disabilities are covered by the taxpayer (even as most will disagree on how that is done).

I see your point about who owns 98% of everything. And I think you astutely touched on the biggest issue with corporations... tax loopholes. I use Exxon and Apple a lot for a reason, as I think comparing and contrasting them is perfect to cover your cogent analogy of the human body. Exxon provides an absolute necessity, reinvests in all the things you mention to the point of 5-6% profit margin and still pays an absurd amount of taxes. But to some, it's never enough. To some, there is greed and a desire to kill the planet. Apple assembles their equipment overseas in sweat shops, charge $1500 for their phones, operates on 25% margins. And a smart phone capable of breaking into the Pentagon's network is not a necessity. Which has a stigma, which adheres to the self-sufficiency of the human body? 

So, I am fine regulating control of markets, so long as it is done fairly. We hear about the fairness doctrine to regulate the passing of information. We had to do this because liberal talk radio was a disaster. So, folks want to stifle Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly and the like because they cannot control their popularity. But, do folks want to stifle Kimmel, Myers and Colbert? Do they want to stifle Lemon, Maddow, and Krugman? Do they wish to see an equal amount of Liberals banned on Twitter and Facebook as Conservatives are? 

Looking at other areas of concern...right to work laws, eliminating religious charity from society, forcing people to buy gov't products or forcing people out of business for social agendas. The bottom line...if you and I were creating doctrine, laws, and mindful regulations, we could probably hash out a handshake on a reasonable-to-all template. The problem is, the left's idea of regulation is punitive on causes that stand in their way to control under the guise of "we care about the have nots". And their policies don't actually help, nor do I feel they were ever designed to. See inner cities.

At the end of the day brother, my beef isn't with what you want, I think you truly do adhere to an honest set of ideals intended to care for those who truly need help. I think the left uses folks like you to further their agenda, they take advantage of your genuine concerns for people and place that into their feigned concerns. This is not an insult of you, but it's why I say you are likely more Democrat than you realize.

I wasn't an adult in the 70's and early 80's. But what I remember about those decades or what I have heard folks reflect on is that society was much more relaxed and much less angry. Sure we had problems, sure many things that exist today existed back then. But today, it's like our problems are on crack, steroids and Red Bull all at once. In the elections between 1972-1988, we elected Republicans at a 83.6% on a state by state basis. And if you throw out 1976, it was 91%. The last five elections, it's 54.8%. More Democrat control, more angst, more problems, all at higher levels. You look at where the left has taken their gains, it's easy to see how they've marginalized religion, instituted indoctrination through public school education, propped up protected classes of people and pandered to them with empty promises and few results. You look at how they belittle the right and portray them as evil. This is a game to them, a game of usurping control.

At the end of the day, as plainly as I can say it, I am all for a lot of what you want and I think grass roots Conservatives are willing to play ball on lobbying, tax law reform and common sense regulations. I think they'd do so on health care, criminal justice and immigration. And they've acquiesced on social issues, however begrudgingly they went about it. The issue is, repetitive as it may be, is that Liberals don't cede, ever. So if we're ever going to get to what you want and what I am willing to concede, you're going to have to pound the table with the left to get them to give here to take there. I sense that you may get what you want without them relenting or you protesting them the way things are going, but I truly think you're going to hate things more when that happens than you do now. I know the folks from the 70's and 80's sure seem to.

Edited by Jerry Gallo
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Jerry Gallo
23 hours ago, Gromdor said:

The Union Trump supporters around here love the idea of tariffs.  They can ask for the $40/hr to produce their product and then use the tariffs to make their competitors products cost the same.  These are the very coal miners and rust belt workers that tipped the scales to get Trump in office.

Upon reflection, it seems this is just a continuance of past conversations. We can agree that coal miners, some farmers, union halls and steel workers tipped the scales toward Trump. What we don't agree on is why. You seem to indicate a clairvoyance that these workers knew Trump would use tariffs to artificially inflate their prospects to gouge the wage scale in their favor. Those workers seemed to indicate they were tired of the bloodletting their industries were experiencing under Obama policies. So, who is right, you or them? Does it matter? 

Worst case scenario, Trump pandered to a voting bloc in the same way Democrats have done in urban communities for 50 years and on the border today. Based on the requirement Democrat voters have for their elected leaders, Trump need not do a thing for the folks he allegedly pandered to. The difference is he will have to account for it on the next election when no Democrat ever does.

Make no mistake here Grom, I don't want your community to suffer, both for selfish reasons (price of bacon and ribs) and because I have friends and family in farm-based communities in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. I don't fault you for a cynical, aggressive tone towards Trump because his impact is hitting you the most. Where I do fault you is that Democratic pandering doesn't seem to stir the same anger, nor do you seem okay with communities now healing from the wounds you are suffering from. It's always been about consistency for me, far more than a particular stance. Hope that message has been apparent in the discourse.

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Tatetopa
7 hours ago, Jerry Gallo said:

I don't want any program or plan that punishes success. I don't want any plan that sticks an arbitrary burden or limit on certain groups because it feels fair to say what "enough" is. I don't want any plan that rewards failure or non-participation. I don't want any plan that says equal outcomes are the standard. That said, there will always be egregious examples we can point to, anomalies that stem from being unable to create a one-size-fits-all standard.

How about one thing to start with.

The easiest thing for societies and individuals to do when faced with an unpleasant situation  is to ignore the people in that situation.   That can take two forms.  One is to ignore the panhandler and give them nothing and forget about them.  The other is to assuage your conscience give them a dollar and forget about them. Neither one is optimum.

I think it is great that people volunteer to help the hungry and homeless, but that should be a matter of desire to volunteer  and not shame for not volunteering.  

Some of those people are veterans with PTSD or who have just been left to fall out out of society, some are homeless families, some are drug addicts, some are con artists.   People not profitably employed are a wasted resource and  can be a drain on resources if require aid.  Maybe we both agree that letting people starve is not a good thing and giving them money is not helpful either.   

Rather than giving the panhandler a dollar, I might be wiser to pay that dollar to a person willing to engage and help people sort out their lives.  Can the Vet receive proper treatment and get back in control of life if somebody is willing to engage and help them get on the right path?  Can addicts be offered a path to sobriety? Can families be protected while they get back on their feet?   That still leaves the people who don't or can't take help and the con men.  But at least we winnow it down.   Public housing in cities where there are no jobs doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but again it is easy to stick them there and ignore them.

I had to take a history of manufacturing course for my engineering degree many years ago.   What I remember is that low cost worker  housing was built  to supply the demand for large factories and mills especially in the East.  Before WWi, Eastern Europeans were the low cost workers of choice.  When hostilities broke out and the flow of European immigrants dried up, factories sent recruiters and filled trains with agricultural workers from the South to be the new bottom level factory workers.  As plants diminished in size, automated, and moved, workers were left and housing become slums full of the jobless.  (Short Summary) 

People talk about revitalizing  cities, but its hard to tear down an old slum and build project housing that will do anything more than decay.  All of those people were gathered there for a reason, to keep American manufacturing on an upward trend. Now the reason is gone, and  a different approach is needed.  Once those workers were vital to American prosperity, now we often despise and ignore the needs of their grandchildren. .Ignoring will not make it better, even if you throw money at it.  People need to  be where there are jobs  So maybe it is time to reverse that trend and disperse people to smaller towns where there are jobs.  

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Jerry Gallo
14 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

How about one thing to start with.

The easiest thing for societies and individuals to do when faced with an unpleasant situation  is to ignore the people in that situation.   That can take two forms.  One is to ignore the panhandler and give them nothing and forget about them.  The other is to assuage your conscience give them a dollar and forget about them. Neither one is optimum.

I think it is great that people volunteer to help the hungry and homeless, but that should be a matter of desire to volunteer  and not shame for not volunteering.  

Some of those people are veterans with PTSD or who have just been left to fall out out of society, some are homeless families, some are drug addicts, some are con artists.   People not profitably employed are a wasted resource and  can be a drain on resources if require aid.  Maybe we both agree that letting people starve is not a good thing and giving them money is not helpful either.   

Rather than giving the panhandler a dollar, I might be wiser to pay that dollar to a person willing to engage and help people sort out their lives.  Can the Vet receive proper treatment and get back in control of life if somebody is willing to engage and help them get on the right path?  Can addicts be offered a path to sobriety? Can families be protected while they get back on their feet?   That still leaves the people who don't or can't take help and the con men.  But at least we winnow it down.   Public housing in cities where there are no jobs doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but again it is easy to stick them there and ignore them.

I had to take a history of manufacturing course for my engineering degree many years ago.   What I remember is that low cost worker  housing was built  to supply the demand for large factories and mills especially in the East.  Before WWi, Eastern Europeans were the low cost workers of choice.  When hostilities broke out and the flow of European immigrants dried up, factories sent recruiters and filled trains with agricultural workers from the South to be the new bottom level factory workers.  As plants diminished in size, automated, and moved, workers were left and housing become slums full of the jobless.  (Short Summary) 

People talk about revitalizing  cities, but its hard to tear down an old slum and build project housing that will do anything more than decay.  All of those people were gathered there for a reason, to keep American manufacturing on an upward trend. Now the reason is gone, and  a different approach is needed.  Once those workers were vital to American prosperity, now we often despise and ignore the needs of their grandchildren. .Ignoring will not make it better, even if you throw money at it.  People need to  be where there are jobs  So maybe it is time to reverse that trend and disperse people to smaller towns where there are jobs.  

I'm on board with this. I think the problem is, liberal politics and the related push away from religion have hindered this. Whether one was religious or not, no one could argue that the church was one of the largest charities out there, a sizable part of "taking care of the less fortunate". But we know that the left feels the government can spend those dollars better. We know there is advantage to Democrat politicians to have people indebted to them rather than the local YMCA. I am always amazed when the paltry charitable contributions of Democrats are exposed, the amazement isn't that they don't give, it's that their supporters who are supposed to be greater champions for the have nots say nothing.

The other issue is that the welfare state has created a greater incentive not to work than to work. I think there are some poor, unemployed people who do have the conscience and ethic to work rather than sit at home. And there are some poor folks who job the system. I think identification is a huge part of the problem, I also think there needs to be some sort of a line drawn in the sand, a "you gotta start somewhere" approach. 

Yet another issue I've seen locally is that manufacturing rarely wants to go into urban communities. It's not the crime, poverty, poor logistics - though those things are concerns. It's the tax policies, the fight over incentives to have companies come into urban areas. An effort to offer a tax break to a company is met with caterwauling about corporate welfare. So, if there is zero widget tax revenue coming in and 50000 people unemployed, that's preferred over $100 million tax dollars, 10K less unemployed, and the residual improvement that come with the new revenue. The protest is that they feel the tax dollars should be $150 million. We've seen sports venues revitalize parts of impoverished communities in Denver, Baltimore and St. Louis, jobs in vending, service, and security that otherwise wouldn't have existed. These aren't silver bullets in every case, certainly don't solve the issues, but they certainly don't hurt anything except the mission in the mayor's office or in the council meetings.

My approach is not permanent solution, I truly don't know if it would help or hinder. I'd personally address one challenge with another. We have squalor and poor infrastructure. We have bridges and roads and buildings crumbling. I'd create programs that would hover somewhere between community service and legitimate craftsmanship jobs where the pay is somewhere between the hourly wage of welfare and aid and the current wage paid on today's contracts for infrastructure improvements. Spend a little more on training and employing the poor, but at wages that save from existing jobs on approved gov't contracts. It may not save us a dime on the whole, may even cost us a bit more, but there will be trickle down improvements. People who have work won't find themselves in bad situations out of boredom or insecurity. Infrastructure will improve, as we really don't get much return on our current welfare investment. Might even see a bit of a return to the nuclear family format, where Johnny sees daddy going to work rather than him seeing his daddy go to jail if he sees or knows him at all.

I think we likely agree enough to try any and all approaches to address this one issue - together. I question who is truly the stumbling block. Is it conservatives who haven't had a say in urban politics in decades, or the folks who've manipulated the urban poor into Democrat leadership permanency. Once again, I am right back at one here. I can admit, the right has their warts, the are FAR from perfect. But most of the angst felt towards them is personal on what I think are more surface issues. Why is there no angst from the moderates and independents at the complete lack of progress made in spite of the trillions of dollars they've earmarked, the decades in charge of the problem? I think it's the same phenomenon, personal, surface support. Isn't it time the middle starts holding the left accountable with the same animosity they have the right, at least on this one issue? Isn't it time the left eschews the "I won't waver on any single issue for fear it diminishes my support on the whole" approach? When I see those things start, we may be on to something! 

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Raptor Witness

So in reality, Donald Trump is actually the biggest loser in history.

When the truth is told, and eventually it will be, we will likely find out that Trump's wealth was largely financed by the taxpayers, who deserve to know this. It's really that simple. It has nothing to do with why people were deceived into voting for him. 

He's a fraud, and always was a fraud.  The truth hurts the brand, and when this is revealed fully, the brand will be worthless.

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susieice
Posted (edited)

Look for things. They can be found. This article is from the time frame of the tax returns in question here if we are still on thread. It's a long piece so keep scrolling down. None of this was hidden, ever.

https://www.nytimes.com/1990/06/20/business/new-terms-for-trump-from-big-bank-lenders.html

Edited by susieice

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