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Donald Trump has a really big tax write off

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, October 3rd, 2016 - 166 comments
Categories: International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Donald Trump down the drain

The reason (or one of the reasons) why Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns is now clear.  Thanks to an anonymous leak to the New York Times it has been disclosed that Trump claimed a trading loss of over $900 million in 1995 and it is possible that thanks to this he has not paid any tax since.

From Radio New Zealand:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump declared a $US916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns and the large tax deduction may have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years, the New York Times reports.

The Trump campaign, in a statement responding to the Times report, said that the tax document was obtained illegally and that the New York Times was operating as an extension of the presidential campaign of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The Times said it had obtained Donald Trump’s 1995 tax records and that they showed he received the large tax benefits from financial deals that went bad in the early 1990s.

The newspaper said that tax experts it hired to analyse Mr Trump’s records said tax rules which were especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have let Mr Trump use his $US916m loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income, over an 18 year period.

The Times said that although Mr Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years was as yet unknown, a $916m loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50m a year in taxable income over 18 years.

The Trump camp has responded by suggesting that it is evidence of his prowess as a businessman.  But his history of lawsuits, and of unpaid workers and contractors would suggest that he is not as good a businessman as he thinks.

And it completely ignores the optics of a wealthy businessman not paying their share towards the running of the country while ordinary people do.

I was worried for a while because there was a period of time when Trump stuck to the script and the polls started to narrow.

But now we have unscripted Donald Trump back and he is driving his campaign into a ditch.

166 comments on “Donald Trump has a really big tax write off ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Who knows what other dodginess he’s hiding in later returns? A crook.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Trump’s the crook?

      Then any idea why five of Hillary Clinton’s key staffers asked for and received received immunity from prosecution bargains from the FBI?

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Why would you want to defend Trump?

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          To be fair and balanced, of course.

          • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1

            I am a Bernie supporter and acknowledge that Clinton has many, many flaws and problems.

            But support Trump over her? You would have to be crazy …

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That is a very good question. As aging liberals mickey, I think both our instincts would be to vote for Clinton. I truly get that. But here is the always thought-provoking JMG on this:

              The current US presidential election shows, perhaps better than anything else, just how far that decadence has gone. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is floundering in the face of Trump’s challenge because so few Americans still believe that the liberal shibboleths in her campaign rhetoric mean anything at all. Even among her supporters, enthusiasm is hard to find, and her campaign rallies have had embarrassingly sparse attendance. Increasingly frantic claims that only racists, fascists, and other deplorables support Trump convince no one but true believers, and make the concealment of interests behind shopworn values increasingly transparent. Clinton may still win the election by one means or another, but the broader currents in American political life have clearly changed course.

              It’s possible to be more precise. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, in stark contrast to Clinton, have evoked extraordinarily passionate reactions from the voters, precisely because they’ve offered an alternative to a status quo pervaded by the rhetoric of a moribund liberalism. In the same way, in Britain—where the liberal movement followed a somewhat different trajectory but has ended up in the same place—the success of the Brexit campaign and the wild enthusiasm with which Labour Party voters have backed the supposedly unelectable Jeremy Corbyn show that the same process is well under way there. Having turned into the captive ideology of an affluent elite, liberalism has lost the loyalty of the downtrodden that once, with admittedly mixed motives, it set out to help. That’s a loss it’s unlikely to survive.

              http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/the-coming-of-postliberal-era.html

              It’s plain even we are not immune to this change of the tide, and as liberals Sanders was our response to it. Is it then so very hard to understand that for many people, especially those most dissapointed and dispossessed by the collapse of the American Dream would respond to Trump?

              As I said earlier, this is a chaos election.

              • red-blooded

                RedLogix, what exactly makes you think that someone who describes themselves as an “Archduke of Druids” somehow has special political insight?

                “If you enjoy this blog and can handle discussions of Druidry, magic, and occult philosophy, you might like my other blog, Well of Galabes…”
                http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/the-coming-of-postliberal-era.html

              • Olwyn

                This is a chaos election, because with Bernie Sanders out of the picture, the idea of the public good, and the idea of service over self-advancement are nowhere to be seen among the two main contenders. The liberal elite have largely themselves to blame for the working class casting their lot with Trump. He may be an unreliable champion, but the liberal elites have already proved themselves a false one, clinking their glasses over the cracking of glass ceilings while working class men are locked up and working class women locked out. If I was voting in that election I would have to vote for Jill Stein. I do not trust the rambunctious Trump, but my hand would not let me cast my vote for a person who giggled over the death of a man and the defilement of his body. Behaviour like that from a person of high rank shows the casually accepted triumph of expedience over human decency.

                * Once again I have accidentally hit the wrong email when choosing on the bar. This is the same Olwyn that is usually accompanied by the Eureka flag.

                • RedLogix

                  Perfectly put.

                  And as much as we can take pleasure in fulminating over Trump’s manifest personal failings and shortcomings, it should not become a distraction from the fact that what Clinton represents is a busted flush as well.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes, if it came down to a choice between Killary and Drumpf, I’d support Drumpf any day of the week.

            • One Two 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Supporting or voting for evil or ‘lesser evil’ is to ensure that evil wins

              The Sanders Delusion is also and odd phenomenon. If not somewhat understandable

              He is as much an inside man as the rest

            • infused 1.1.1.1.1.4

              she is worse imo.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        There’s that false equivalence, again.

        • marty mars 1.1.2.1

          Yep as day follows night – very predictable.

        • TheExtremist 1.1.2.2

          Like Pavlov’s dogs, as soon as something bad is said about Trump in swings CV with a false equivalence.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.2.1

            Amazing that none of you can defend Clinton’s record of smashing her Blackberrys and erasing her emails, then lying to Congress about it saying that they were only about yoga classes and Chelsea’s wedding.

            (And that after being in DC for decades she didn’t know that the “C” symbol on government documents stood for “CONFIDENTIAL.”)

            Come on, you lot need to do better.

            IMO Clinton’s track record is going to significantly suppress her voter turn out come Nov 8.

            • marty mars 1.1.2.2.1.1

              I would guess that not one commenter above defends Clinton in any way, certainly I don’t.

            • left_forward 1.1.2.2.1.2

              … but this is not about Clinton is it? Its about Trump! How is he exonerated from tax evasion by Clinton’s behaviour?

            • James Thrace 1.1.2.2.1.3

              Nah, it won’t be Hillary’s track record that will suppress her voter turnout

              It’s the fact that the poor, disenfranchised and dispossessed will not be able to vote for her.
              No photo id, and very little ability to meet the high bar that the Republicans have put in place since 2008 for people to be able to vote.

              Never mind the massive reduction in polling stations in areas that are typically favourable to Democrats since the 2012 elections. Whilst Republican favourable states have more polling stations lined up to go.

              My money is on Trump to do far better than anyone expected. History tells us that once a Democrat has finish their turn in the White House, dollars to donuts it ends up in the control of a Republican.

              It’ll be a close election though.

              • Colonial Viper

                Nah, it won’t be Hillary’s track record that will suppress her voter turnout

                It’s the fact that the poor, disenfranchised and dispossessed will not be able to vote for her.

                Really? That’s the reason for why Clinton’s turnout is going to be shite?

                Firstly, Hillary cannot turn out anywhere near the same numbers of African American voters as Obama did in 2008 and 2012. She loses hundreds of thousands of votes just there.

                Secondly, in several polls, enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton amongst her supporters are lower than enthusiasm for Donald Trump amongst his supporters. Trump has a massive edge in terms of engagement.

                Thirdly, whereas Trump regularly holds public rallies where attendances are in the 5,000 to 10,000 range (with thousands turned away at the door), Clinton finds it extremely difficult to pull in crowds of even 1,000 to 2,000. As an example, in N.C. last week she pulled in a crowd of just 1440 – on the campus of Wake Technical College which has a student roll of 70,000 and thousands of associated staff, contractors and lecturers.

      • Takere 1.1.3

        Stealing a little or stealing a lot? Is that the same thing? Is there a principle involved or not?
        Billary Clinton’s been at it as well …. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-02/clinton-campaign-admits-hillary-used-same-tax-avoidance-scheme-trump

    • James 1.2

      What is dodgy about it. He lost a ton of money that year and you can carry forward losses. It’s legal.

      It’s not dodgy in the slightest.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        Whereas stealing charitable donations, on the other hand…

        • Macro 1.2.1.1

          That’s ok! As are personal and sexually explicit attacks against women who have slighted him. It’s all ok! Why we are electing the POTUS here, not some weak wrested wanker. What has ethics got to do with it?

      • Macro 1.2.2

        Oh that’s ok then! A really successful businessman who just manages to loose nearly a Billion dollars in one year! Wonder how much he could “loose” of US Govt funds in a year? Just imagine him in charge of the Treasury!!
        Oh that’s right – it won’t be lost – it will all be saved in the pockets of his mates thru his wonderful tax cuts to the rich. What a man!

        Trump has proposed a tax plan that would cut taxes for all Americans, but analysis by the conservative Tax Foundation found it would disproportionately help the richest Americans, saving them millions.

        “You have middle-class people working longer hours for low wages, they pay their taxes,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, whose battle against Clinton for the Democratic nomination drew on similar anger over inequality.

        “They support their schools, they support their infrastructure, they support the military, but the billionaires, no, they don’t have to do that because they have their friends on Capitol Hill. They pay zero in taxes,” Sanders told ABC on Sunday.

        “So Trump goes around and says, ‘Hey, I’m worth billions, I’m a successful businessman, but I don’t pay any taxes, but you, you who earn 15 bucks an hour, you pay the taxes. That’s why people are angry and want real change in this country.”

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2.3

        He must have worked really hard to create useful things worth the $900m he lost… In reality no single person can create $900m of wealth, they can only get there by grabbing it from those around them.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    I was worried for a while because there was a period of time when Trump stuck to the script and the polls started to narrow.

    But now we have unscripted Donald Trump back and he is driving his campaign into a ditch.

    One week after Trump’s “disastrous” poor debate performance, Hillary Clinton is now polling a full 2.3% ahead.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton_vs_johnson_vs_stein-5952.html

  3. Andre 3

    $916million loss is an appalling bottom line number. But chances are, if the detail of the returns came out, that people would be even more appalled at the kinds of things he could claim as a “loss”. Just like here in New Zealand where the wealthy get to claim as “deductible expenses” things that ordinary wage and salary earners pay full whack on.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Ask Bill Clinton. He was in charge of the tax code in 1995, and proceeded to give more breaks and more benefits to large corporations.

      • TheExtremist 3.1.1

        Wow – even Trumps failure to pay his own taxes is the fault of the Clintons

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          I repeat my stand on this election; I can’t stomach either Drump or The Clintron; but in this case CV is right. Assuming this tax return complies with the tax code rules of the day …. you have zero grounds on which to claim a ‘failure to pay tax’.

          Oh you may want to claim a moral case that Trump should have voluntarily paid more, in which case I think you have brought yourself a barrel with a LOT of fish in it.

          And in general in the USA directors have a legal fiduciary duty to not to overpay tax.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Trump claims that the IRS subjects him to audits most financial years, so clearly the IRS is keeping a very close eye on his activities.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It would be a lot easier to go with the crowd here, and bay for Trump’s blood on this. You know, the kind of populist hysteria everyone hates Trump for.

              Besides I guess he might just come back and start asking questions about the tax deductions and losses claimed by Clinton’s major donors and suddenly all the chattering keyboards would fall silent.

              • North

                Red Logix……it would follow then that if Clinton’s donors have done whatever they’ve done legally, and any deductions made in respect of whatever they’ve done were legally claimed……you’ve got no problem ?

                Many ‘ifs’ here but I guess you see the point.

                • RedLogix

                  Fair point. Just for clarity it’s plain to me the neo-liberal madness which has engineered these self-serving, amoral and plain old greedy tax exemptions that have enabled massive corporates to pay very little tax is a major issue.

                  On the other hand it has to be pointed out the concept of a tax loss is a well established principle that’s been around for yonks and for the most part is considered legitimate unless grossly abused. And this is what IRS auditing is for.

                  I won’t commit to any details on Trumps claimed tax loss here; except to say it’s likely pretty small beer in the larger scheme of things. As the Panama Papers revealed, far more egregious and amoral tax scams are a commonplace in the corporate world.

          • joe90 3.1.1.1.2

            Assuming this tax return complies with the tax code rules of the day …. you have zero grounds on which to claim a ‘failure to pay tax’.

            Only if the losses were personal and not part of a larger scheme to minimise his tax burden.

            The key question is how much of the Atlantic City losses did Trump absorb in real terms? How much of those losses were forgiven or written off formally? And perhaps most importantly, how much of those losses were squirreled away or ‘parked’ in places which effectively put them in a sort of limbo or suspended animation – neither truly absorbed nor forgiven?

            Here’s where the Times revelation comes into play.

            If you sustain real capital losses, you can apply those losses to cancel out future income/profits and reduce your tax liability. But if your losses are canceled out by debt forgiveness, the debt forgiveness is counted as income. That cancels out the losses that would provide you with the tax benefit. In other words, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/just-a-hunch–2

            According to the New York Times the losses came

            … through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

            There is an issue here.

            Donald Trump did not repay all the debt associated with those investments.

            Either

            the loss is a real loss and the Donald was really was out of pocket by $916 million (in which case he has legitimate NOLs)
            or the loss was passed on to someone else by The Donald defaulting on debt – in which case Donald Trump should be assessed for income from debt forgiveness.

            After all if the debt is forgiven it is not Donald Trump’s loss. The loss is borne by the person who lent Donald money and did not get it back.

            That – clearly stated by example – is why most income tax systems assess debt forgiveness as income

            http://brontecapital.blogspot.co.nz/2016/10/some-comments-on-new-york-times-story.html

            edit: he may not have been complying with the rules of the day but whaterevr, if it makes you happy
            //

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Assuming this tax return complies with the tax code rules of the day…

              Love the selective mis-quoting there buddy.

          • Ovid 3.1.1.1.3

            It’s not so much a failure to pay tax, but being so inept as to make a billion dollar loss during a period of exceptional economic growth. Trump is not a very good businessman. Which is why banks in the US won’t lend to him any more and he’s in debt to the Russians.

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        Genuine question, because google has failed me: what breaks and benefits did Bill Clinton give corporations? Because AFAIK he raised corporate and higher-income tax rates, albeit to still a thin shadow of pre-Reagan days.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          The two main ones I can think of are allowing investment banks to mix deposit and investment activities in the same entity allowing massive leverage and speculation (repealing Glass Steagal), and changing Federal broadcasting laws to allow the formation of massive media conglomerates buying up all independent media outlets in the country (Telecommunications act of 1996).

          Both of these moves shifted massive corporate power and profits to a few huge multinationals.

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1

            Oh, so nothing to do with how much tax Trump paid, then.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Nope, but it explains why Wall St loves the Clintons.

              • McFlock

                But didn’t Bill Clinton increase taxes for corporations and higher income earners?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Possibly? But he still kept in place all the loop holes allowing corporates like Trump to pay near zero tax regardless of the official headline rate.

                  • McFlock

                    So Wall St loves the wife of the guy who raised their taxes more than the guy who promised to cut them. Got that.

                    It still doesn’t explain why we should “ask Bill Clinton” if Trump’s been paying no tax for the past ten years. If anything without Clinton Trump would have paid even less tax, if such a thing were possible.

                    While Clinton’s tax returns show she paid over 30% income in federal tax. I guess Trump’s just a winner because he was such a big, billion-dollar loser in the 1990s.

                    • TheExtremist

                      CV’s argument has gone from False Equivalence status to outright Non-Sequiturs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So Wall St loves the wife of the guy who raised their taxes more than the guy who promised to cut them. Got that.

                      You have to stop thinking small time PAYE serf for a moment.

                      Clinton repealed Glass Steagal which made it possible for investment banks to massively and profitably restructure their business models and shift all the risks they took on to a largely unawares public.

                      Secondly, by allowing massive consolidation of the media industry, Wall St got the sequential growth and the hugely profitable M&A activity that it wanted.

                      It still doesn’t explain why we should “ask Bill Clinton” if Trump’s been paying no tax for the past ten years.

                      I pointed out that not only did Clinton keep all the existing loopholes in the tax code, he also massively benefited certain large corporate institutions.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      I pointed out that not only did Clinton keep all the existing loopholes in the tax code, he also massively benefited certain large corporate institutions.

                      So he increased the tax rate, left the loopholes as they were, so corporate tax would still have increased. And he made life better for “certain” institutions now, rather than all of Wall St?

                      And that’s assuming it was all part of Clinton’s cunning plan, anyway, rather than a worse outcome than was imagined given the environment at the time and ISTR a Republican congress/senate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      *Shrug* Clinton sold out the Democratic Party for big corporate money, and knew that the working class would have no where else to put their votes.

                      It’s all a matter of history.

                    • McFlock

                      What isn’t a matter of history, yet, is the amount of tax Trump pays or does not pay, because the coward refuses to release his tax returns.

                      Whereas the Clinton you despise openly contributes 30% or more to the country which gave her the opportunity for such success.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well good on her, both her and Bill “contributing” back to the nation.

                    • McFlock

                      The question being, what degree of corporate parasitism is Trump concealing by keeping his tax returns private?

    • Reddelusion 3.2

      Please elaborate unless you are making stuff up or because a friend of a friends sister told you , my experience IRD are all over claiming personal expenses as tax deductible business expenses

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        For example, keeping a mileage log book is a legitimate way to reduce your tax burden that is unavailable to employees.

  4. Ad 4

    Awesome campaign timing.
    I smell Nixon again.

  5. save nz 5

    He’s not the only billionaire paying zero taxes. The super rich don’t pay any taxes, so many loopholes, so little tax.

    Kinda like all the millions in corporate welfare, no questions asked. But if someone on a benefit is accused of fraud (this seems to be as simple as having a bf on fb), jail time.

    There is now a two system of justice under neoliberalism. Money can buy anything. The super rich don’t need to pay taxes.

  6. Tristan Haije 6

    “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” MY COLOSSAL BLISTERING ASS! NOT DOING YOUR TAXES WHICH KEEPS AMERICA GOING!? BIG MISTAKE! TRUMP, YOU SLEAZY GREASE BALL! I HAVE YOUR BRAIN!

    • Red 6.1

      Tristan you don’t pay tax on losses that can be carried forward, strangely big writing in caps does not change this fact

  7. Tory 7

    Well Mickey, you have all successfully failed in your predictions for the last 3 NZ General Elections so I’m with CV on this one as your form as against you.
    As for the comments regarding his tax write offs, amazing how this can be viewed as a worse crime than lying to the FBI and all that’s associated with the Clintons.

    [How about you provide a citation for your claim that I predicted a progressive government on the last three occasions. I am a strong advocate for the benefit of a progressive government. Does not mean that I am an eternal optimist – MS]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Where did someone say that?

      I think that soliciting charitable donations and spending them on yourself is probably worse than lying to the FBI, and what John Oliver said about false equivalence. Still, that Swiss file transfer eh!

    • Puckish Rogue 7.2

      Well to be fair you’ll find most people on this site also failed in their predictions for the last three elections as well

      I didn’t 🙂

  8. Worth noting that trump wants to lower taxes for companies large and small too.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      the US issues the reserve currency of the world, it can afford to reduce taxes on individuals and SMEs.

      The large corporations like Exxon Mobil and Apple don’t pay existing taxes so that is no change for them.

      • marty mars 8.1.1

        I think everyone should pay their FAIR share, after all they all derive the benefits don’t they.

      • DoublePlusGood 8.1.2

        The US is also close to $20 trillion in debt. It can’t afford to reduce taxes on individuals and SMEs.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1

          Not really. Strictly speaking, taxes are not required to fund the US Gov.

          In rough terms, the US took 200 years to run up its first US$10 trillion of government debt.

          President Obama took 8 years to run up the second US$10 trillion of government debt.

          Obama could do this because the US government is the issuer of the reserve currency of the world via this debt, and it can create this new money as it requires, without any limitation.

          • DoublePlusGood 8.1.2.1.1

            Well, yes, that is true, the US can just issue whatever money it wants and probably has the military to avoid paying back whatever debt it wants and hold on to whatever it wants to steal as well.
            But if it was at all concerned about only spending about as much as it takes in in tax, it really should be raising its individual and business tax rates.

    • Sabine 8.2

      let’s cut taxes for all.

      actually let’s abolish taxes for everyone.
      NO more taxes for nothing.

      Not for schools
      Not for infrastructure
      Not for roading
      Not for hospitals
      Not for anything at all.

      You pay for everything. Libertarian dreams come true for all. We’s all gonna be Rand and super rich, cause we don’t have taxes to pay anymore.
      Also Guns for all. Cause we gonna need them. To protect us and our goods, cause we not gonna have a Police Force either, cause NO TAXES.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Libertarianism was always going to be yet another failed dream.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        You do have to have authoritative collection of some taxes to maintain the value and position of your national currency as legal tender, but as the US is the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, they do not (and have not) been funding themselves solely through taxes, but rather by issuing new money (approx US$100B in new money created out of thin air each month of Obama’s term).

        • RedLogix 8.2.2.1

          True, but they have to maintain the illusion for us ordinary people that money is something real.

          After all we have to do real work to earn it, and we use it to buy and sell real things, so by association we have a strong magical belief that money is something real too.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.1.1

            Good observation.

            Another factor is that the power elite of society require the on demand provision of quality goods and services to them, for which they can exchange these electronic currency units that they have hoarded huge quantities of.

            Without the little people’s belief in the importance of these electronic currency units, the members of the power elite might find ordinary working people far less interested in going to war for them, destroying rain forests and habitats for them, or waiting on them at their beck and call.

            • Stunned Mullet 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Despite dismissal of these currency units, I note that you are more than happy to ask your clientele to front up with them in one form or another.

              • Colonial Viper

                The Government demands that I pay my taxes, duties, rates and fines in these units, and states that they are the legal tender of the land required to establish consideration in enforceable contracts.

                Did you not know this?

        • red-blooded 8.2.2.2

          “You do have to have authoritative collection of some taxes to maintain the value and position of your national currency as legal tender,” + “Strictly speaking, taxes are not required to fund the US Gov.”= just the kind of double-think you’re so (in)famous for, CV.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.2.1

            The two statements are perfectly complementary.

            1) Taxes are not needed to fund the US Gov (because the US Gov can issue whatever shortfall of funding it comes across – and has been to the tune of over US$1 trillion per annum during Obama’s time).
            2) Taxes of some degree are needed however to maintain the value and legal tender status of the US dollar (by helping to add to an official demand for US dollars).

            • red-blooded 8.2.2.2.1.1

              This is idiotic.
              1) Without taxes, there is no machinery of government (and that includes Treasury Department; the policy guys and gals in charge of quantitative easing – which, BTW, is practised in lots of economies, not just the US, and which The Greens were very keen on leading into the last election).
              2) Precisely. When you say, “taxes of some degree are necessary” straight after saying “taxes are not needed to the the US Gov” that’s the ultimate example of doublethink. It’s almost as good as Orwell’s 2+2=4 at the same time as 2+2=5. You don’t happen to have a good friend called O’Brien, do you, CV?

              • Colonial Viper

                I fail to see how it is my problem that you cannot conceptually differentiate between the funding of the government budget, and maintaining the status of the US dollar as a unit of legal tender and financial consideration.

              • McFlock

                It’s almost as if the quantity of money printed and thrown into the economy to finance government exenditure has nothng to do with the value of said money.

                The Spanish thought that about their American gold and silver, too. All of a sudden a chest of silver didn’t buy so many galleons, nor a coin as much food.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Spanish didn’t understand the need for recycling of their currency into globally demanded investment assets, nor the importance of financialising their economy to enable that to occur.

                  In comparison, the USA has that system down to a fine art, and it has been a central pillar of US hegemony for many decades.

                  • McFlock

                    all fine until China calls in its markers…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Actually, China has fucked itself there. Trump has got the idea – if China tries any of this financial argey bargey he’ll just buy back the US debt that China owns, but at a massively cut price.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                      good luck with that

                • Nic the NZer

                  “It’s almost as if the quantity of money printed and thrown into the economy to finance government exenditure has nothng to do with the value of said money.”

                  What you are suggesting (that there is a strong intrinsic link between the quantity of money and inflation) is a basic precept of the economic theory known as Monetarism (This is the theory Milton Friedman got his Sveriges Riksbanks prize for). Still want to take this position? Well at the beginning of the neo-liberal take over of governments this theory was tried quite directly by many central banks. One of the most clear examples was the Bank of England, this was one of the main policy thrusts of the Thatcher government in fact, their idea was to control inflation in the UK by controlling the quantity of money.

                  What was the outcome? Well apart from destroying a lot of manufacturing capacity in the UK, and decimating demand the policy also clearly demonstrated that the central bank can’t control the quantity of money anyway. No matter how stringently the UK government limited issueing reserves the M3 money supply (mostly commercial bank deposits) simply continued to grow and grow. Central banks since switched to policy rate targeting where they sell any quantity of reserves to banks in their jurisdiction at a set price (in NZ called the OCR). There is simply put no clear link between the quantity of money (especially government money which is only a small fraction of the broad money supply) and the rate of inflation.

                  • McFlock

                    Oh, ok, let’s just print $50billion a year for a decent UBI and see if that changes anything.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Actually an additional $0.8B per month / $10B p.a. will be more than sufficient to sort out NZ’s poverty problems.

                      BTW that’s less than 5% of current GDP.

                    • McFlock

                      $10bil/yr is the low end speculation that relies on the most handwaving over supposed efficiencies in distribution and increased economic activity. As soon as the UBI needs to be supplemented for individual special needs, the savings dramatically reduce.

                  • pat

                    and this of course conveniently ignores the fact that the QE has indeed countered the deflation (or negative inflation) that would have happened had QE not occured for just as the banks create money when debts to those institutions are defaulted money is destroyed…..and there was a shit load of default going on…..but hey, no clear link.

                    the comparative GDP figures tell the story.

              • Nic the NZer

                Quotes from two fed chairs (Bernanke and Greenspan) explaining how US$ are created without limit by the Fed. The US government does not need taxes to create additional spending and they didn’t in practice need these funds to fund their bank bailouts.

                http://mmtincanada.jimdo.com/essential-quotes/

                • McFlock

                  You’re confusing the means of production with the consequences.

                  Money supply isn’t the strongest or only factor in the value of money as a means of exchange, but it’s a bold move to ignore it completely.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    What i have been saying is that spending needs to buy real resources before inflation is even a possibility. Also that the US govt doesnt need to collect taxes before spending (or conducting bank bailouts).

                    Its your model and arguments which are premised on a disconnect between the financial side and the real side of the economy. Thats how they draw the ridiculous conclusion that theoretically all additional spending results in higher prices (in the long run) but doesnt effect real output (again in the long run).

                    I am pretty sure that programs of money supply growth (such as QE) were on the basis that this would have tangible effects on the volume of production and prices. In fact this is the counter story Friedman used when implicating the Fed in causing the Great Depression (that they let the money supply shrink too much). But in practice that does not work. If your argument is its a major concern despite only working in theory then you are saying we should not apply scientific reasoning to economics.

                    • McFlock

                      spending needs to buy real resources before inflation is even a possibility

                      And what would any government expenditure be spent on? Sooner or later the government buys paperclips, or pays salaries, or whatever.

                      Thats how they draw the ridiculous conclusion that theoretically all additional spending results in higher prices (in the long run) but doesnt effect real output (again in the long run).

                      That’s a pretty bold claim [that I never made]…

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Govt expenditure is quite far from only on real resources. For example transfer payments (eg a UBI) don’t buy any real resources. Neither do interest payments on govt debt. Neither do QE style monetary policy interventions (as discussed up thread).

                    It seems we have a point of agreement however the govt can afford to buy up all idle resources in the economy (without collecting taxes first) with no inflation risk.

                    What i said about the arguments of mainstream theory is true (for example discussions between David Friedman and the Romers). if you go on to claim that all govt payments must be considered inflationary because they all eventually get used to buy real resources then you are repeating it.

                    • McFlock

                      What do you mean by “idle resources”?

                      Transfer payments (UBI, benefits, pensions) are the most inflationary, because without them poor people wouldn’t be buying a damned thing. They’re distributed throughout the country.

                      Monetary policies tend to only affect how willing banks are to lend, as well as trade currencies. They tend you affect things in the CBD, but the effects on the rest of the population are slower to permeate through the country. Even so I would expect some sort of effect, even if it’s a clumsy and ineffective way to try to throttle the economy.

                      Think about it: you’re arguing that money is one of the few commodities that doesn’t devalue as the supply increases, all else being equal. I’m not on board with that.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Idle resources are unused production capacity of firms or for example the unemployed (those who want to work).

                    I thought that we had already agreed spending needs to impact the real economy before inflation is even a possibility? There are several steps between a givernment issueing a transfer payment and that reaching the real economy. How do you know these occur following some transfer payment? (You dont). The problem with trying to analyse inflation by looking at the money supply is its only a proxy for actual spending reaching the real economy, you can no longer make a good analysis of what spending impacts inflation and what doesn’t.

                    And yes that is exactly what i am arguing. First because money is not a commodity (if you want to challenge this please do point out some examples of monies where the issuer is able to run out of what they issue). Second because the ‘law of demand’ only applies (in theory) all other things being equal. When dealing with the macro economy you can never have all other things being equal any more so its relegated to another untrue theory which does not survive observation of the real world.

                    • McFlock

                      Government transfers are spent much more immediately from payment than e.g. government bonds to financial institutions. If they weren’t, then we wouldn’t actually need social welfare benefits because beneficiaries wouldn’t spend them.

                      What makes it a commodity isn’t whether the suppy is limitless, it’s that people trade it for other things, be it other money or goods and services.

                      The Spanish didn’t run out of silver coins. They minted as many as they wanted. Didn’t do them much good after a while.

                      I suspect demand applies all the time, but sometimes its effect is hidden by other factors. This is why economics isn’t repeatable or falsifiable.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    On the law of demand,
                    https://larspsyll.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/the-law-of-demand-a-useless-tautology-immunized-against-empirical-facts/

                    On money as a commodity,
                    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2011/08/mmp-blog-12-commodity-money-coins.html
                    http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2011/08/mmp-blog-13-commodity-money-coins.html

                    The point about running out, is that the value of the money would be valued in a non-nominal way (rather than determined by the issuer). But that is never the way money has worked.

                    This is a circular,
                    “What makes it a commodity isn’t whether the suppy is limitless, it’s that people trade it for other things, be it other money or goods and services.”
                    If your going to argue money is a commodity you must account for the fact it has value to be exchanged for other commodities. Your basis for arguing this can’t be that its exchanged for other commodities, this is circular reasoning. Otherwise (as the two posts above cover in depth) you can’t explain bank deposits, paper money, almost anything except physical lumps of precious metals (eg, not even coins which have nominal face value). Money is not a commodity and never has been one.

      • Red 8.2.3

        Now your thinking

      • One Two 8.2.4

        It is testament to the brainwashing that so many still believe personal income taxes are ‘acceptable’

        That the goverment have first rights to your energy which was spent earning money, and people accept it this, is asinine

      • Nic the NZer 8.2.5

        In fact most people have taxes totally backward. A government like the US which issues its own currency is not deprived of spending power for want of people avoiding taxes. The purpose of taxation is not to fund the governments activities, it is to create a sufficient spending shortfall in the economy that the government is able to buy real goods out of the economy (hopefully for a reasonable public purpose). If the government spends too much and taxes too little then the economy can reach its full capacity utilization rate, and likely some price inflation occurs around this point. If the government taxes too much and spends too little then unemployment (what is called involuntary unemployment) results. This implies that if the government wants to take a larger role in the economy they should look to increase both its taxation and spending at once.

        Also as CV points out the shortfall in spending creates a certain incentive for US businesses and individuals to sell real goods and services (to get a hold of additional US$). This is largely the value of having US$, that you can purchase goods and services that the US sells. In the case of the US this includes some relatively rare and valuable resources such as advanced military equipment, nuclear resources, some medical resources and often oil resources which may mostly be available for US$. Simply put taxation is creating a fundamental demand for the currency and a sufficient condition for a government to spend its currency and get real goods and services in return. The advanced resources available from the US economy may give them some advantage over other countries in the extent that they can issue additional spending without collecting taxation.

        On the other hand its a pretty reasonable criticism to say that some individuals and businesses get a significant economic advantage over others by avoiding taxation in one way or another.

  9. Anne 9

    I have the distinct sense that the ‘hand of the state’ is moving in. All I can say is: Thank God for that!

  10. Reality 10

    Trump complained in the debate that the US infrastructure was in need of much repair. Perhaps if the likes of him and other tax avoiders paid their fair share of tax there might be funds available for this, plus health, and education. Hillary is right in saying he is unhinged. Lots of other adjectives could apply as well.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      No, Trump was right, if he’d paid any more taxes it would have just followed the many trillions of dollars wasted in Bush’s and Obama’s (and Hillary’s) wars in: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya.

      As well as bail outs for the special interest groups who fund Hillary’s campaign.

    • Red 10.2

      How do you pay tax on a 900 million loss, please explain ?

  11. Cinny 11

    A clever business man will always exploit loop holes to their advantage, after all it’s legal, it may not be right but it’s legal, and with money being their priority, one would not expect anything less.

    Swamp Kauri, Water bottling etc springs to mind when talking about exploiting legal loop holes.

    Listening Post had an interesting story about the Clinton/Trump debate in the weekend.

  12. Justathought 12

    Hmmm, “Donald Trump has a really big tax write off”. Er, no he doesn’t, it is called a loss. You don’t pay tax on losses. All companies make losses, hopefully only occasionally, and they are balanced against profits in coming years, but if a company makes serious or multiple losses the company becomes an ex-company and the staff become unemployed. If losses were burdened with taxation companies would have to react much, much quicker, and more severely, to any potential loss-making situation which would inevitably result in an acceleration of job-losses, it would harm the company and the employees.

    “it is possible that thanks to this he has not paid any tax since” It is possible he has been to the moon and back also.

  13. NZJester 13

    Donald Trump like his father before him is a scam artist.
    Donald Trump has been using his so called charity that he has not contributed to in years as a money laundering service. Some groups it has claimed to have helped have also been unable to find any records matching the amounts of the donations quoted in that charities filings. He has personally contributed $0 to charity, even though some groups have received money from his charity. Nearly all of those groups that can show they received money from his charity have also paid more to him than his charity has listed as giving them in fees for hiring out facilities he owns for their charity events. In real terms rather than $0 to charity, he has actually received money from them.
    Some say his running for president is also a big scam as well. Apparently, all the money he has personally put into his own campaign has been more than recouped in money paid out from his campaign funds to his children in wages and his to his businesses for his use of their facilities. He is making a profit out of this campaign win or lose.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    NBC: “Trump may have had the worst week in Presidential Campaign history”

    I put this link up to make all the lefties feel a bit better.

    After “the worst week in presidential campaign history” just over a month out from the election, Trump is a total electoral goner, right? Right?

    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/analysis-trump-may-have-had-worst-week-presidential-campaign-history-n658071

    • McFlock 14.1

      Who knows if he’ll win or lose – not all of us get personal messages from the intrinsic intelligence of the universe. 🙄

      Although I agree with the penultimate paragraph – it’s always possible that the US electorate will be overwhelmed by fuckwit fatigue: he’s a jerk in so many ways that it becomes impossible to fully appreciate each instance of Trump being a failure at human-ning.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Sure, like all those Trump supporting deplorables and irredeemables “being failures at human-ning.”

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        Even rational materialists like yourself get messages from the intrinsic intelligent nature of the universe, every moment of every day.

        • TheExtremist 14.1.2.1

          I didn’t know being rational was now used as a snarl word.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1

            A day where you don’t learn something new is a wasted day

          • McFlock 14.1.2.1.2

            “Rational” will always be a dirty word to people who can’t match their assertions to reality.

        • McFlock 14.1.2.2

          Well, my dad does, but he’s got dementia.

          Apparently for him the intrinsic intelligence of the universe consists largely of union stopwork meetings that nobody else ever sees, but they all seem to progress reasonably well so he’s not too worried.

  15. Well, this has certainly been a humorous thread. As soon as I heard the news that Trump had engineered his financial affairs to make himself untaxable for a couple of decades, I wondered how the deluded would take it.

    Now that we know that he is as establishment as it’s possible to be, I assumed he would be nigh on impossible to defend. But no, we have a couple of people here who not only kissed his orange arse when he was just a 1%er, but are now brown tonguing the Donald when we now know he’s actually a 0%er as well.

    Ah, well. This has been a tough day for the irrational. So here’s some light relief from the scamps at SNL. It’s gonna be yuge in Jina! Fact!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orrpP_gb1Jk

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Trump is a 0.1%’er but he is certainly not a DC/Pentagon beltway insider like Hillary Clinton. Big difference.

      • te reo putake 15.1.1

        And the big difference is capitalism, CV. HC is a politician. Trump is a billionaire bludger. I’m starting to understand where your difficulty is; you think government is the problem. It’s not, it’s unfettered capitalism that is buggering our world. But, then, as a capitalist businessman yourself, you possibly have a soft spot for the exploitation of the masses 😉

        • Chris 15.1.1.1

          “But, then, as a capitalist businessman yourself, you possibly have a soft spot for the exploitation of the masses”

          That’s a really fucked up and totally puerile analysis. For you to be correct then anyone engaging in business is a capitalist, in its most derogatory form, purely because that business is carrying on within an economic capitalist framework. Do you really believe what you said?

      • Tricledrown 15.1.2

        Yeah right CV Trump is part of the problem .
        You are one of his few educated supporters.
        My guess is you want him to win and destroy the GOP

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      Watching that just made me appreciate how utterly ridiculous some of the things that Trump said in that debate truly were.

    • marty mars 15.3

      That was funny – he’s got the don down and clinton was skewered more than thrice.

  16. But his history of lawsuits, and of unpaid workers and contractors would suggest that he is not as good a businessman as he thinks.

    I suspect most NZ business owners would consider these evidence of excellence they wish they could emulate.

    • Phil 16.1

      I suspect most NZ business owners understand we’re a small country and it’s important to keep your suppliers and service providers happy, because word of mouth is still the most effective method of advertising.

  17. alwyn 17

    I totally fail to understand why a bunch of people domiciled in New Zealand really give a damn about whether Trump or Clinton are fiddling their taxes the most.
    Unless you are a US citizen, or at least have a Green Card it isn’t going to affect you.
    If we are going to have an opinion on who should win we should at least be making up our mind based on something important to us.

    If Trump were to win I can see him getting the US into a war with Russia.
    He will rabbit on about how the US will not assist a NATO member, Estonia perhaps, if it is threatened by Russia. Putin will then decide, as he has done in Ukraine, that it would be nice to extend Russia’s boundaries and will invade.
    Trump will then decide to go to their defence after all and war will break out between Russia and the US. His pride will have been hurt and he might be likely to face impeachment. It won’t be intentional but it could easily happen.

    After all that is regarded as a very likely cause of the Korean conflict in 1950.
    http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/korean-conflict/
    I think the chances of war are much less likely with Clinton as President. I don’t like either of the possible Presidents but at least I would, if I had a vote use it on a supremely important question, not something that is, in the long run of very little interest to anyone.

    • seeker 17.1

      +1 well said alwyn.
      i would far rather have Clinton’s hand beside the ‘red button’ than irrational, unpredictable, prejudicial, school boy tantrum personality disorder person Trump.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      I think you missed the bit where Trump said he could work with Russia to sort out the head choppers in Syria.

  18. One Two 18

    2012 Mitt Romney ‘tax returns’

    Short memories allows people to be played like fiddles

    The system many of you believe can be changed is sneering and laughing as it feeds on the energy of life it is given by simple minded folk

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      If the system could not be changed, women wouldn’t have the vote, habeas corpus wouldn’t exist, etc etc.

      Who benefits from your sneering? Ask Simon Lusk.

  19. mosa 19

    Trump, if he was serious about his campaign for the White house and knowing he would have to be up front and declare his tax statement ( paid or not) as every candidate has to do why did he not declare this much earlier and make it public.
    His campaign team dont seem to be advising him or see the possible fire storms ahead and steering him away from danger.

    I dont think he ever believed he would get this far and win the nomination and neither did his campaign team and its starting to show with this latest fiasco.

    He will have to come up with something too explain this to the blue collar Americans he claims to represent.

    • marty mars 19.1

      + 1
      It’s all about monetizing the support and his supporters wouldn’t believe it if he bit some poor creatures head off in front of them – just listen to The deluded supporters on this thread. The don don’t really want the white house imo he want the support to get more money. Some will find that hard to believe but really it’s as simple as that. And if he gets in, more money so win win.

  20. Mike the Lefty 20

    Trump is quite simply a greedy f…r (rhymes with “trucker”).
    Just what makes a great American president.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      The Clintons are greedier. They actually need this White House gig to keep the top dollars rolling in. While running for President is costing Trump money, time and energy away from his corporate enterprise.

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        And yet they pay more tax than trump. And have a genuine charity, rather than a personal slush fund

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          Sure a genuine charity which disburses a shitload of monies to people in their social and family circle

          Actually that sounds quite like a personal slush fund

          • McFlock 20.1.1.1.1

            lol sorry I was unclear: the clintons “started a new charity that is independently funded and from which they receive no money whatsoever, even though they sit on the board when they aren’t serving public office, and that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on audited and verified humanitarian works across the globe”.

            Trump has a “‘charity’ that buys pictures of himself that he hangs in his properties, and totes accidentally makes campaign donations to elected officials who totes coincidentally chose to not prosecute him for fraud”.

            But the first is worst, according to you.

            • Colonial 20.1.1.1.1.1

              and that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on audited and verified humanitarian works across the globe”.

              On various consulting fees and adminstrative and management expenses more like, not on resourcing direct charitable activity

            • Colonial 20.1.1.1.1.2

              Bullshit Bill Clinton got paid $750,000 by Ericsson for a speech and it went to “good works.”

              • McFlock

                lol

                Did they get the speech in exchange for a donation to the charity, or did Bill Clinton do the speech as part of his personal income?

                The money that goes to trump’s “charity” buys assets that are displayed by his companies or in his home (illegally), but now you’re arguing that the clinton foundation is corrupt because Bill Clinton might only spend a portion of his personal income in charitable donations?

                Independent audits say 86.9% of donations to the Cinton Foundation are spent on the actua charitable works, which is better than most real charities.

                Trumps foundation is as “charitable” as his university was “educational”.

  21. Liberal Realist 21

    So Trump is tax dodger, legally or otherwise. I suspected as much should his records leak. Trump is also a bigot, racist, misogynist thin skinned orange fool and so on… My view of Trump is pretty darn low.

    The question personally for me is, given the choice is binary who would I choose if I had a vote in this election?

    In this particular election, madness personified, the choice overall is between one of the continuation of the status quo with all the ugly things that will Trump would bring; Building a wall on the Mexican border, completely denying climate change even exists along with further social decline, minority abuse, sexism, racism, police brutality and including everything nasty the US state has and continues to do around the world will continue unabated. There is also the element of unpredictability and the factor of who ends up in Cabinet. Trump could end up being worse than anyone ever imagined, supposition of course.

    OR

    The ugly things Clinton will bring; escalating/starting conflicts in the middle east and east asia, eventually (or very quickly) escalating into a hot conflict with Russia. Continuation of ‘Regime Change’ and ‘Spreading Democracy’ wherever a pipeline or buffer state is required. The rhetoric of Russia/Putin bashing has reached a crescendo mirroring the preceding propaganda onslaught before Iraq, 2003. Some of the behavior seen in the diplomatic arena is unheard of (eg. Power) in modern times, the Russians basically think the US has lost its collective mind and Obama cannot control the Pentagon. Then there’s the misrepresentation that is the JIT report on MH17 based on Ukrainian SBU information (w Veto) and Elliot Higgins expert opinion which seeks to and has effectively (in the West) pinned blame on Putin/Russia. IMO Clinton represents a portion of the US establishment that wants (and thinks it can win) a conflict with Russia.

    Neither are good choices. Should I have to choose between the two, I choose Trump. Simply because I think Trump is far less likely than Clinton to start WW3.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Yes. Pretty much how I see it as well.

      It’s also true that just saying “they’re both as bad as each other” is a simplistic false equivalence. Trump and Clinton do not represent the same kind of thing at all.

      Trump is evolutionary end-point of that particular strain of narcissistic, ugly American blow-hard the world has loathes with an especial passion. A populist, border-line fascist demagogue Trump personally embodies all those dark, dangerous regressiveness liberals everywhere deeply fear.

      Yet it is the dispossessed and disillusioned who respond to him.

      By contrast Clinton is a civilised human being. Educated, suave and well-trained in the art of government, she represents a high point of modern liberalism. But that very system she is inseparable from has lost all credibility to much of the world. Drained, decadent and debilitated of all passion, none but a few loyalists believe she can lead the USA, much less the world, to a better place. It is quite fair to say the USA is loosing it’s collective mind, and the possibility of a catastrophic war with Russia is indeed more real now than any point since the Cuban Missile crisis.

      It is the establishment and privileged who respond to her.

      So no they are not equivalent. Quite different evils each in their own way. Should I have to choose between the two, I choose Clinton. But I’m hard pressed to say exactly why. Old tribal loyalty to the liberal cause, however misplaced, is as close as I can get.

      • Richard Rawshark 21.1.1

        Don’t forget his recent lip slip, where he accused Hillary and the debate host of “trying to ruin his legacy”

        The term Lagacy tells you a lot about his current psyche. Sorry but it’s not good at all. What exact Legacy does Mr Trump think he’s destined for ?

        serious. I am a god issues folks, serious light shining out of ones own arse stuff.

        • RedLogix 21.1.1.1

          Then again as Scott Adams said “Everyone is irrational about everything all of the time … it’s the only way you can understand the world.”

          Which is why there are going to be more than a few disgruntled voters who will plunk down for Trump just to ‘get back at the system’ … regardless how loathsome he is. How many? I doubt anyone has any idea, which is just another chaos factor in this election. You have to admit, the very idea of Trump as President has a reckless, vengeful appeal, while Clinton feels like ‘jeeze it’s another bloody Monday’.

          God I feel dark this morning, someone, anyone, please cheer me up and give me some good reasons to ‘vote’ for Clinton.

          • joe90 21.1.1.1.1

            God I feel dark this morning, someone, anyone, please cheer me up and give me some good reasons to ‘vote’ for Clinton.

            To ensure the tiny finger of a narcissistic thug with the temperament of a toddler and the impulse control of a fourth former never gets anywhere near the big red button

            It can reasonably be argued that the presidency of George W. Bush was an eight-year warm-up act for the final stage of a dumbed-down America: a Trump presidency. You can draw a relatively straight line from the Florida recount of 2000, which took Bush into office, right through to the shambolic Trump campaign. The election of Bush led to the invasion of Iraq, which led to the de-stabilization in the Middle East (Libya, Egypt, Syria), which led to the migrant crisis, which led to European nationalism, Brexit, and, at the tail end of all these disasters, Trump.

            http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/graydon-carter-on-donald-trump

          • Andre 21.1.1.1.2

            You could try doing yet another one of those “Vote Compass” type quizzes and see that Clinton’s positions are fairly close to yours. Or not.

            https://votecompass.vox.com/?_ga=1.148837687.129477179.1456295694

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