Rachel Maddow has Agent Orange's Tax Retuens
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Thread: Rachel Maddow has Agent Orange's Tax Retuens

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    Default Rachel Maddow has Agent Orange's Tax Retuens

    TONIGHT.............Seriously she said

    http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/...x-11002105.php

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    That was 12 years ago.

    What will this mean today?
    - bikeguy

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    Watch the video and post the URL.

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    It meant nothing. I apologize for even bringing it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeguy View Post
    That was 12 years ago.

    What will this mean today?

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    I suspect this was "leaked" on purpose at the direction of Trump himself. The pages are stamped with "Client Copy", which means these are not copies that were filed with the government. It also seems unlikely to me that this was a copy retained by the CPA firm.. they would probably have stamped "File Copy" for their version, if indeed they kept a paper copy at all. When I switched over to public accounting in 1993, firms had huge file rooms of tax returns and audit files..now, we rely on electronic storage.. in 2005, it might have gone either way.

    So, if I were Trump and wanted to prove I made a lot of money and paid a lot of taxes, I'd pick the year in which those two statements were actually true and release only the summary pages of the return.

    The fact is, Trump could release these two pages of his 1040 for every year and we would know nothing about how or where he made his money. The only thing we would know is how much taxable income he had each year and how much tax he paid.

    Now, why do you think he wouldn't want the American people to know that summary information for every year?
    Marc Speer

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    Marc, you have a wild imagination. No offense intended, though.

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    "Tax Retuens" are they anything like amended returns?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerriBradt View Post
    Marc, you have a wild imagination. No offense intended, though.
    Actually everything he said to back up his speculation was exactly correct. Even Rachel Maddow was sheepish about the "tax return" hook used to hype the show. It was a lot of nothing that revealed nothing. That Trump's son, prior to the show's airing congratulated Maddow on proving his Dad paid millions in taxes had me scratching my head. Impulsivity may be a family trait.. they just can't be quiet about what's coming when they like it.

    Can I say Trump released it, no. Did someone who favors him release it? Almost surely. The son's prescient view of the release instead of the usual defensive, snarky fake media response was a tell as surely as Trump's declarations of "something big, something really big is coming" re Wiki-leaks during the campaign right before the Podesta dump was dumbly obvious. The Trump family world view of we may have more money than scruples or brains but we are still smart enough to fool 40% of the American people is so far holding up, even as it creates massive stress, chaos and confusion.
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    Default Rachel Maddow has Agent Orange's Tax Retuens

    Quote Originally Posted by TerriBradt View Post
    Marc, you have a wild imagination. No offense intended, though.

    Are you suggesting that I have a wild imagination because I suspect the Trump organization released this return with his blessing?

    My logic on that is only barely speculative. My confidence that the IRS did not receive a copy of the return stamped "Client Copy" is extremely high. My confidence that the CPA doesn't mark his own file copy that way is well north of 50%.

    There are only three possible sources of a Trump tax return. The IRS, the CPA, or someone close to Trump himself.

    If you weight each of those sources as equally probable (and I don't)... then each has a 33 1/3% chance of being the source. Let's start there.

    Then we weight each of those chances with evidence and logic.

    First, the evidence of the "Client Copy" stamp. I put the chances of the IRS having that copy in their files as less then 10%. I also don't see any motive for an IRS employee to release his return. It's illegal, a career ending move, and I think that wipes out 80% of the remaining 10%, leaving a 2% out of 33 1/3% chance, or an actual chance of 2/3%.

    I put the chance of a CPA marking his file copy as "Client Copy" at about 40%. Some may do that, but more would not. It just doesn't go with the organized mind set of a high dollar CPA firm. So, we're left with about a 13 1/2% chance it was the CPA firm. Then, the question of motive becomes even more important. Releasing a client tax return would destroy his business, result in a loss of license, other civil and potentially Federal criminal charges. I personally believe that wipes out at least 80% of the remaining likelihood it was the CPA, leaving us with maybe a 2 2/3% chance it was the CPA.

    Add that to the IRS 2/3% chance, and we have about a 3 1/3% chance it was NOT someone inside the Trump camp. Or, 96 2/3% chance it WAS someone close to Trump.

    Finally, though, let's assume that someone, either an employee of the IRS or at the CPA firm really hated Trump and decided to go "full steam ahead, damn the torpedoes!"

    The question then becomes "Why didn't they go full steam ahead?" The two pages released give no real insights into the Trump
    business organization, they certainly do no damage to Trump and in fact can be seen in almost no light other than to prove he pays a lot of taxes.

    So if anyone but the Trump camp did this out of spite, they did a very poor job of it. The very fact there was so little released, and that being easily spun as positive for Trump pretty much wipes out any possibility in my mind of it coming from anyone outside his own close circle.

    By the way, I am a CPA, have worked for two of the largest CPA firms in the world and know quite a few IRS agents. My "speculation" is based on my own personal knowledge of how that world works... not my imagination.



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    Marc Speer

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    Excellent point, mspeer, and nice logic. Either that... or maybe it was some administrative assistant temp at whichever bank is carrying Trump's loans these days. I don't know who that would be since most of the multi-national behemoths cut him off after his multiple bankruptcies.

    You know what I find even more interesting than the latest episode of See? This is why I don't pay any attention to Rachel Maddow though? Alternative minimum tax. In the extremely over-hyped and mostly unrevealing two whole pages that were released, we learn that the majority of Trump's tax obligation was alternative minimum tax. Trump's tax reform plan is mostly about getting rid of alternative minimum tax. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    I would say the most interesting returns would be the ones filed for 2016 and forward. But maybe not, that is, outside a small, fussy subset of the American populace. What is that $100 million loss Trump describes as "depreciation?" Depreciation on what? After six bankruptcies in the years that preceded this two page "return," what depreciable assets, exactly, did Trump own?

    But see? There you have it. The question itself is an indication of arcane tastes. Does the average voter wonder about such things? So far, it seems that Trump supporters say, "He's a great businessman! Why are you so mean to him?!?"

    Well, in my case, because I went to accounting school in the pre-Enron days and what they taught us, as holy writ was, whatever it is businesses do, it's the job of the CPA to put it out there so rational people/investors can review the information and make a decision. It was never the case that everybody cared; nor was it ever the case that companies didn't make decisions that would give pause to the rational person/investor. It did seem like real information used to be important though.

    These days, it seems like we've been trained by the Great Recession of 2008. All we heard, over and over and over, was, "We need to bail out the banksters with your tax money. Why? It's too complicated for you hayseeds to understand."

    It was never, actually, very complicated at all but the message operated like a system reboot. Now we hear "financial thingamabob" and everybody waves their hands like Miss Prissy. "I don't know nothin' about no alternative minimum tax derivative shenanigans Miss Scarlett!"

    I'm a fan of expertise. I appreciate it when you weigh in mspeer. In a world where people seem to think Donald Trump is a Christian high priest and Paul Ryan is a combination financial wizard/medical doctor and Alex Jones is an actual journalist, I wonder if there's any place to have a rational conversation with experts any more.

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