Monday, October 10, 2016

Genius Envy

There is quite a bit of idiocy swirling around a leaked Trump Tax Return that revealed The Donald reported a loss of nearly one billion dollars in one year. Tax code allows this loss to be carried forward offsetting future profits. Almost every individual investor has done this, just not to the tune of a billion dollars. A pertinent example would be one Hillary Rodham Clinton who did exactly the same thing, but could only muster a mere seven hundred thousand dollar loss. And this doesn't include the three hundred thousand ripped off by her good friend, convicted felon, father-in-law to her daughter and one-time investment guru as that loss long predated her recently reported loss. Of course both candidates have, legally, used these losses to minimize taxes on income. Anything less would be stupid.

But then her inner spin-ster kicked in with her pondering "If not paying taxes makes you smart, what does that make the rest of us?" The snarky comeback is "jealous." A more nuanced response demands we push back against Clinton Fatigue to again parse various examples of "to be" in order to explore the domain of "who be us?"

First HRC wants you to know that the Don ain't one of "us" but what about Her Highness? She differs, in this matter anyway, only in degree but not in kind. She's a tax loss Mini-Me to his Jabba the Hut. Perhaps that is her problem. If he is "genius" she is so far behind on the smart scale she is looking at the Village Idiot's ass. So we know two people who ain't us but assuming "us" is the "stupid us" paying taxes who does that really include?

We can start by tossing the infamous forty-seven percent into the dustbin alongside Don and Hill. These are the folks the Brookings Institute singled out in the last Presidential dustup. But they claim this was a bad-economy peak and that by 2020 the percentage will be down to...wait for it...

only THIRTY FOUR PERCENT.  Look to the guy on your left. Then the gal on your right. One of you is a genius. So by the time the First Freeloader finishes his or her first term we'll have almost two thirds of taxpayers picking up their tab.

Surprisingly it is not easy to earn your way to genius. The Tax Foundation reports that the top fifty percent paid 97% of taxes but by working your way in to the top five percent you'd be amongst the group paying 50% of federal income tax. If you claw your way into the top one percent you and those like you will be paying over a third of the tab. Seems like sliding down the ladder is more effective than climbing up when it comes to tax avoidance.

This is one of those times when you have to relax to a solution.