It’s stupendous, I tell you …
All Net Operating Losses in 1995: $49.331 billion.
NOL taken by @realDonaldTrump in 1995: $916 million.
Trump was 1.9% of the US total.
â€” Alan Cole (@AlanMCole) October 3, 2016
I’ve been wondering something else, though, and Josh Marshall spells it out:
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?
For example, we know he stiffed a lot of his vendors wholesale; paid pennies on the dollar of what he owed them, or not at all. Some of that might have been part of a bankruptcy settlement, but I believe much of it wasn’t. Did he write off bills from vendors as losses and then not pay the bills? Is that possible?
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.
But there are many ways to be crafty and end up with both – some of those may simply be aggressive and sleazy and others may be clearly illegal. Bigly. The most obvious way would be to create some new business entity which you technically continued to owe vast sums of money to but which never actually tried to collect – in other words, you ‘park’ your debt somewhere it will never be heard from again. Any place on the spectrum would go a long, long way to explaining both Trump’s abject refusal to release his tax returns and almost perennial audits.
The question is: did Trump really lose almost $1 billion of his own capital in a single year? He definitely took a bath in Atlantic City. So maybe he did. But that number at least strains credulity, especially given how he was subsequently able to recover.
I know this isn’t going to discourage True Trump Believers. I know this because over at the blog of Jim Hoft, The Dumbest Man on the Internet®, the mouth breathers were outraged that the Clintons had also claimed business losses to reduce their income taxes. Although they still paid a lot of taxes. And also, they’ve released several years’ worth of tax returns. But the Clintons are just are worse, anyway! And the mouth-breathers who read Hoft don’t think people should have to pay federal income taxes, anyway. Yeah, like who needs a navy, right?
And you don’t need a link to that nonsense. You can find it yourself if you want to read it.
But Nate Silver now has the chance of winning at 70.8 percent Clinton, 29.1 percent Trump, which is still too close for my taste, but it’s a lot better than it was on September 25, when it was 58 and 42 percent, respectively. And Trump is running out of time to turn things around.
Mr. Multiple Deferments also pissed off a bunch of veterans today by saying people with PTSD are just “not strong.”
The office of the New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has issued a “notice of violation” to Donald J. Trump’s foundation, ordering it to immediately stop soliciting charitable donations in the state.
However, tomorrow Julian Assange promises to release something that will destroy the Clinton campaign. He changed the announcement venue out of “security concerns,” which triggered a rumor that Hillary Clinton had wanted to take him out with a drone. So we’ll see. “Wednesday Hillary Clinton is done,” he said. I believe he has said that before.