Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Two Big Takeaways From Mike Pence's Tax Returns

First of all he pays a rate that would make Mitt Romney blush-who only paid about 14% of his income himself with much of it tied up in foreign tax havens.

Mike Pence though is on a whole other level in terms of little he does pay in taxes:

"Now we know why Donald Trump picked Mike Pence as his running mate: they both appear to be equally good at hijinks when it comes to their income taxes. Trump has consistently refused to release his tax records, claiming he’s been under audit for nearly a year, even though that wouldn’t stop him from releasing them. Pence released his tax records today, which might have come as an attempt at distancing himself from Trump’s sinking ship, if not for the fact that Pence pays a criminally low income tax rate."

"The records released by Mike Pence reveal that he paid just a 7.9% income tax rate in 2015 despite having a six figure income. The average American making thirty to forty thousand dollars per year typically ends up paying an effective income tax rate of twice that much, even after deductions. In other words, Pence is using every possible loophole in order to pay a far lower rate than what would be reasonably expected."

"But this is no one-year fluke. Pence released a decade’s worth of returns, and his average income tax rate across the years is just 8.8%, even though he’s earned an average of six figures in income in each of those years. In stark contrast, Hillary Clinton paid a 34.2% income tax rate in 2015."

"Meanwhile Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his income tax returns at all, alternating between relying on the widely discredited audit excuse, and simply claiming no one would be interested in seeing them anyway. Meanwhile the tax returns for Donald Trump’s charitable foundation point to all kinds of scams, suggesting that there is even more fraud to be found in his own personal tax returns. Here’s what all we think Donald Trump is hiding in his tax returns."

We know Trump won't release his tax returns. That's no excuse not to keep the pressure on. At Kurt Eichenwald pointed out on AM Joy yesterday, Trump should at least release the letter that proves he's being audited. Hopefully it's obvious why we can't just take his word-or his alleged lawyer's word-at face value.

".@kurteichenwald suggests no reason for #Trump not to release certain three pages of tax returns unless he is lying about something #AMJoy"

Trump has tried to dismiss the discussion by arguing that no one cares about him being the first major party candidate since prior to Nixon not to release his tax returns.

That is just another Trump lie:
"According to new @monmouthu poll 62% believe #DonaldTrump should release his tax returns. RETWEET if you agree #AMJoy #reiders."

In other Trump news:

"Not only did Trump apparently not give to charity, he didn't even give to his own foundation."

Trump employed his normal business model: a scam with one beneficiary.

"What a shock to find out the Trump Foundation is a scam with only one beneficiary. You'll never guess who it is."

Mark Cuban: "This is what rich people scared of running out of cash do."

"Donald Trump was in a tuxedo, standing next to his award: a statue of a palm tree, as tall as a toddler. It was 2010, and Trump was being honored by a charity — the Palm Beach Police Foundation — for his “selfless support” of its cause."

"His support did not include any of his own money."

"Instead, Trump had found a way to give away somebody else’s money and claim the credit for himself."

"Trump had earlier gone to a charity in New Jersey — the Charles Evans Foundation, named for a deceased businessman — and asked for a donation. Trump said he was raising money for the Palm Beach Police Foundation."

Meanwhile, Chris Cillizza has an update on the Clinton Foundation: it just looks bad.

The NY Times: questions are being raised.

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