Trump is a tax cheat and a fraud

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Stanislav, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Anyway, while only the most gullible cheerleader would believe that Trump has nothing to hide in those documents, that's not the point. It's blatantly obvious that Congressional Democrats' purpose in trying to get these documents is political, not legislative, and thus the courts should quash their subpoena.
  4. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    It's blatantly obvious that the motivation is political, true. But I honestly don't see why it's self evident that Trump (whom I did not vote for and in 2016 threatened to leave the country were he elected) has something to hide that's nefarious in those tax documents. Come on, does anyone really think the IRS under Obama and since just looked the other way and ignored his tax evasion?
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I am not any kind of tax expert but it seems that it's quite possible that issues that do not actually break any laws. For example, it may be perfectly legal for Trump to have taken out loans from Russian banks but under the current situation it might be problematic.
  6. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    My thinking is he doesn't want people all up in his business because he knows it's a lose-lose. No matter what's in there, it will get used as a bludgeon against him.

    You're too rich, Trump, you disgusting, selfish scumbag...You're too poor, Trump, you pathetic, fake wannabe...You donated too little, you greedy b--tard...You donated to the wrong, non-PC causes, you white supremacist monster. In this present climate, there's no way the guy wins. I despised the guy and still think him the ultimate ugly American, but he has brought to light such unthinking lunacy and mental illness on the far left (and I do NOT Mean all Democrats), and the attacks have been so utterly devoid of fair play, I find myself rooting for a guy who makes me vaguely ill. I didn't think that could happen, but then again, I didn't think I'd ever say that Nancy Pelosi seems like a dignified, rational person. But compared to the hateful little Omar, the delusional Booker, the incompetent AOC, the narcissist Schumer and the very picture of Joe McCarthy, Mr. Schiff, she is stable, rational, reasonable. BTW, years ago I had her great nephew as a student. A mite full of himself, even more than the average 19 year old boy.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  7. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    The law is clear. It doesn't matter what the purpose is. Congress will eventually get the tax returns. Republicans asked for 51 tax returns in a blatantly obvious political witch hunt in their investigation of the IRS during the last administration. The last administration just followed the law and turned over the tax returns. This administration is blatantly ignoring the law and obstructing congressional investigations at every turn as a matter of policy.
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    It's interesting to me that the strategy is to obstruct the investigations as the net effect is that these issues will be in the news every day as we move closer to the election. I'm imagining that there are other things Trump would prefer to see in the headlines during election season. Of course, maybe he knows that the findings of the investigations would be even worse. It's difficult to understand how Trump is thinking about this because he shoots himself in the foot often enough to make you think that he's not really thinking at all.
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I remember Mit Romney being criticized for not paying taxes on 15 million dollars that he donated to charity...

    I'm not saying I think Trump is innocent here (hardly anyone would be surprised if he had something to hide) I'm just saying that I don't think he'll be given a fair shake if he does release them.

    On the other hand, regardless of the obviously political motivations behind the call for their release, if he IS a tax cheat and fraud, then go ahead and sick the dogs on him. :emoji_imp:
  10. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Bill, it's not that simple, there are balance of power issues. It may be that they get them, but not necessarily. Who cares what the last admin did? That doesn't mean ipso facto that they had to. We're talking about Art II powers here, not cut-and-dried. Also, I think the "blatantly ignoring the law" language is hyperbole. Again, a president should not just have to bow down to the Art I branch, just as the Art I branch shouldn't have to bow to the Art II branch. Personally, I think the idea of an unelected general counsel with vague and far-reaching powers performing two years of investigation into the Executive Branch is arguably the unconstitutional issue here, whether it be Mueller or Starr.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    That's just silly. If there were anything even vaguely unconstitutional about anything in the investigation then it would have been called out long ago.

    "A century ago, the Teapot Dome corruption scandal engulfed Harding’s administration, spurring Congress to pass legislation that finally reclaimed its right to review private tax returns. It was a solid law, and remains so today: The legislative branch has the power to tax and spend, and the review of personal tax returns falls well within its rights and obligations."
  12. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. Just because things happen does not make them constitutional, just because no one barks loudly enough and there is no popular impetus to shoot something down, does not mean it is constitutonal. Plessy v. Ferguson, which was a brazen evisceration of the 14th Amendment, survived for nearly six decades, but it was absurdly unconstitutional.

    I think the existence of the general counsel as it was practiced during the Clinton Administration and Trump Administration has been an unconstitutional overreach, a violation of the Separation of Powers. That is something of an academic argument, granted, but I'm an academic. I honestly believe this to be so, and while you may disagree with me, you need some support beyond "Well surely if it were unconstitutional it wouldn't still be happening." That's just not the way it works. I have yearned and agonized and struggled for almost three decades to learn the law, practice it at the trial and appellate levels, and spent the last decade and a half teaching it, including constitutional law. That should be worth something to you, my final analysis may be right or wrong, the SCOTUS will determine that, but what I say on this subject is not "silly."

    As for citing a 95 year old law, remember that the passage of a law says nothing about its constitutionality. That's subject to judicial review, and as I discussed above, even that can be plain wrong. In all honesty I know more about this stuff than Stephen Mihm, the author of that article you linked. He teaches up the road from me a ways in Athens. He is a historian, and I checked his CV. There is nothing in it that would indicate any knowledge of either taxation (which I have taught to accountants) or constitutional law (which I have developed curricula in). He doesn't understand the law like I do, that's not his gig. It is mine.
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator


    That’s the phone number for the White House. Go ahead and call them. I’m sure they’d like to hear about your theory. Meanwhile I’ll just stay put in realityland
  14. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    And the fact that you’re disinterested is even less interesting
  16. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member


    First off, this whole thing is something of a Baader-Meinhoff for me, because when you cited the 1924 law, I happened to be writing about the Harding Administration in my fraud textbook. What are the odds?

    Second, I'm not the only one who believes that the 1924 law would not be dispositive in this matter and necessarily force the IRS to turn over the tax documents. There's a split in the legal academic community on this point, and it involves theories that unless you're a legal scholar, you would not be expected to understand because you have not struggled as we have over decades to understand them. Again, these are matters of balances of powers, and a law cannot just step in and upset the constitutional apple cart. It doesn't work that way. Mind you, at no point did I say I know the way the SCOTUS would head on this, only that it's not a fait accompli either way. They might decide for Trump or the Democrats on the committee. Could go either way. You and Bill don't have the tools to make absolute pronouncements about this, unless you're a legal scholar, in which case we're two lawyers talking shop and I'll be glad to pivot on this in our conversation and ask you what sort of caselaw you've found or what sort of inside knowledge you have of what the SCOTUS justices are saying about a case that is not even before them yet and how in the world you came to know these things.

    Otherwise, it's astonishing that you'd use this sort of snark on one who is actually something of an expert in the field. What in the world would inspire you to do this? Can't you see how you might look a bit ridiculous? I wouldn't presume to tell you about the more complex doctrines in your field, what kind of mindset makes you think you're qualified to tell me about mine?
  17. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    It is fascinating how much thought and knowledge goes into explanation of how Donald Trump is a victim. Really something.
  18. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Stanislav - I don't know who's making him into a victim in this thread, but it certainly isn't me. I'm talking about legal theory and not even taking sides, just speculating on the interplay of the separation of powers and checks and balances and a 1924 law, just as you might talk about computer theory, or Kizmet might talk of whatever theory is prevalent in her field. Strawmen are beneath you, friend.
  19. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Stanislav - I'll put it another way: If I'm not willing to stand by my convictions about the proper interpretation of the Constitution as it relates to someone I didn't vote for (e.g., Trump), by what consistent principles can I argue that these constitutional doctrines would protect someone whom I did vote for?
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    The world of Washington DC is full to the brim with attorneys. Very smart, ambitious, accomplished attorneys. Exactly NONE of them are following that course. Nobody in the private sector or the public sector has filed a motion, a brief or done anything officially to challenge the constitutionality of this investigation. And then there's you. Who should I believe? If you think it's snarky to side with hundreds of practicing attorneys then I guess I'm being snarky but as far as I can see, you're just speculating on something that might be true, maybe, under certain conditions, possibly. The fact is that a large number of very well known, powerful, motivated attorneys disagree with you. Many of the people who disagree with you reallyreally wish you were right. Lots of these attorney would LOVE to be able to throw out the whole investigation. But they can't. And they know they can't because they know it's not unconstitutional. That's why I don't need to be a legal scholar. You and your buddies can debate the issue in your school until the cows come home and it means absolutely nothing unless and until the law changes. Until then you're just speculating.

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