We now know that Donald Trump lost money for about ten years. The New York Times analyzed tax information for Donald Trump between 1985 and 1994. It found substantial business losses by Donald Trump for that period. Other tax information that the New York Times analyzed includes some of Trump’s 1995 tax documents. Rachel Maddow also received a copy of the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 income form. Almost all of them show that Donald Trump has paid no federal income taxes because of losses.
The losses of about a billion dollars has most readers’ attention.
But forget the business losses and look at what they point to.
As many know, individuals cannot carry a negative balance in their checkbook for long before they lose their house, car and everything else. They could borrow money for a short time but eventually they lose everything if they don’t make money.
This is true for businesses as well. Business owners can’t lose money every year and stay in business.
That is unless, you are money laundering to avoid paying taxes or simply to keep your business alive.
Some observers are focusing on tax “depreciation” and other tax schemes to explain the business losses. Even the most effective tax avoidance scheme will eventually need to rely on fraud to keep it going over a long period of time.
Depreciation is the tax benefit of buying equipment to operate a business and using the cost of the machine overtime to offset income taxes. Any asset expense, i.e. property or machine can be depreciated. But there are limits. Also, there needs to be money to buy the item in the first place.
But, money launderers, especially the drug trade ones, use schemes of buying things by paying over inflated prices from one company using another company’s money while selling the purchase to yet another company which uses the product to offset taxes and make widgets that makes money for the company. All the companies are related and work in concert to take the illicit money and “clean” it at the end where the widgets are being sold.
But there are only so many widgets that can be sold and this is where “services” play a part in the money laundering schemes. “Experts” sell their expertise to the company to operate the widget maker, to maintain the widget maker and to “sell” the widgets through the markets that require more “experts,” i.e. marketers to brand the widget.
Each “expert” costs money.
How much money? That depends on the company buying the service. A company looking to make money looks for the best value at the least cost. A company looking to launder money doesn’t care what the experts cost. Rather, they care how much money each “expert” can launder.
Take that information and apply it to what we know about Donald Trump.
What does Donald Trump sell?
Trump and family want readers to believe that they peddle properties – buildings.
But what Donald Trump sells is his name, i.e. his brand, an intangible asset that only has value when people are willing to buy for the use of the Trump name.
We also know that Donald Trump has not paid federal income taxes for most of the years because of business losses. We also know that many banks no longer lend Trump and family money, and many have reported losses on loans to Donald Trump.
Over the years Donald Trump has consistently argued that he is a successful businessman. Trump has built a business around his “success”.
Yet, the information that the American people now know is that rather than being a successful businessman, Donald Trump has, in fact, reported business losses. As a result, Trump has not paid federal income taxes for many years.
Through all this, Donald Trump has refused to release his income taxes, being the only national executive to not do so in recent history. Trump has even blocked attempts by Congress to see his tax returns.
One would think that a “successful” businessman would want to settle the debate about their “success” by releasing tax returns proving their “success.”
Yet, Donald Trump refuses to do so.
The question remains, why?
It cannot be simply because Donald Trump wants to protect his financial “success” by keeping his tax returns secret.
That leaves two options, either Donald Trump does not want America to see his tax avoidance schemes or Donald Trump does not want American taxpayers to see illegal activities in plain sight.
The Mueller report provided evidence of obstruction by Donald Trump. Over 700 former federal prosecutors agree there is evidence of obstruction. The few tax information that the public has seen so far lays out evidence that Donald Trump is involved in tax avoidance schemes, money laundering or both.
Trump continues to refuse to release his tax information to the American people and yesterday declared “executive privilege” on Mueller report that has yet to be released.
The question remains, why?
All the evidence to date demonstrates a pattern by Donald Trump to keep secret his business dealings.
Is it because of criminal activity? The evidence certainly shows that this may be the case.