• Politics
    The Wrap

    Trump’s Tax Records Show Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Debt, New York Times Reports

    The New York Times has obtained Donald Trump’s tax information covering the past two decades and found that the president has paid a total of $1,500 in federal taxes since taking office and paid no income tax at all 10 of the previous 15 years because he reported losing more money than he made each year.President Trump has avoided releasing his tax records since before he secured the Republican nomination, but the New York Times reported Sunday that his tax information reveals his finances have been in trouble for 20-plus years.Among the issues, the New York Times says Trump is “beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed” and an audit disagreement with the IRS over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he received after claiming a loss.Also Read: Trump Lashes Out at Fox News After Poll Shows Him Down in Key StatesThe tax return data the New York Times obtained covers the hundreds of companies that fall under Trump’s business organization’s umbrella and does not include his personal returns from 2018 or 2019.If the IRS rules against him, it could cost Trump more than $100 million, the Times reports.The filings show what Trump “has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.”“Most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate,” Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told The Times in a letter summarizing its findings. Garten requested a copy of the documents on which the report is based but the outlet declined the request.“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Garten said in a statement.Also Read: Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett to Replace RBG on the Supreme CourtThat assessment is struck down by The Times, which says Garten is combining income taxes with other federal taxes Trump paid, such as Social Security, Medicare and taxes for his household employees. Garten also stressed that some of what the president owed was “paid with tax credits.”The Times writes, “Together with related financial documents and legal filings, the records offer the most detailed look yet inside the president’s business empire. They reveal the hollowness, but also the wizardry, behind the self-made-billionaire image — honed through his star turn on ‘The Apprentice’ — that helped propel him to the White House and that still undergirds the loyalty of many in his base.”It adds, “Ultimately, Mr. Trump has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.”The team of New York Times reporters combed through the personal and corporate tax records for President Trump and his businesses in the U.S. and abroad, stretching from his time as a New York real estate developer to the beginning of his presidency. Additional articles are to come as they uncover more information in the documents.Also Read: Mary Trump Sues President Trump and Siblings for Fraud“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said in a letter to the public.“As a candidate and as president, Mr. Trump has said he wanted to make his tax returns public, but he has never done so. In fact, he has fought relentlessly to hide them from public view and has falsely asserted that he could not release them because he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service,” Baquet went on.“The records show a significant gap between what Mr. Trump has said to the public and what he has disclosed to federal tax authorities over many years. They also underscore why citizens would want to know about their president’s finances: Mr. Trump’s businesses appear to have benefited from his position, and his far-flung holdings have created potential conflicts between his own financial interests and the nation’s diplomatic interests.”The New York Times had previously obtained Trump’s 1995 tax records, which suggested his $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax return could have “allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.” According to its reporting, the mismanagement of three Trump Atlantic City casinos, his failed venture in the airline business and a badly timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan caused the massive financial loss — but equally massive tax break.Read original story Trump’s Tax Records Show Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Debt, New York Times Reports At TheWrap

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  • Politics
    Good Morning America

    Key Judiciary Republican says Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court confirmation shouldn't hinge on single issue

    A key Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee argued Sunday that Judge Amy Coney Barrett's potential future on the nation's highest court shouldn't hinge on how she may rule in regard to "a single case," such as Roe v. Wade. "You know, only time can tell what will happen to any one precedent," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who supports Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "In any event, you can't look at the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice and and boil down that jurist's contribution to the law, past and future, to what they might do with a single case," he continued.

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  • Business
    Motley Fool

    What's the Average Social Security Benefit at Age 62?

    You may not realize it now, but there's a very good chance that, when you retire, you're going to be reliant on Social Security income to make ends meet. In the latest national Gallup poll of nonretirees, a record 88% of respondents expected their Social Security payout to be a necessary part of their retirement income. This strongly suggests that there isn't a more important decision to be made by our nation's seniors than deciding when to take Social Security benefits.

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  • Politics
    WSJ

    Trump Denies New York Times Report on His Income Taxes

    Responding to questions at a press conference Sunday, President Trump denied a New York Times article about his finances, saying he pays "a lot" in federal income taxes. Photo: Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg News

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  • Politics
    The Guardian

    What a piece of work is this man: Trump trolls liberals with Barrett history play

    David Smith’s sketch: The stage dressed to recall Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the president portrayed her arch-conservative successor as the embodiment of feminist virtue * Report: Trump names Barrett, stoking liberal backlash * Spotlight falls on secretive Catholic group People of PraiseFor liberal America, it was a ceremony of unseemly haste to rank with Hamlet having to watch his mother marry his father’s murderer. Enough to make anyone mad.On a grey Washington day, Donald Trump stood in the White House Rose Garden and introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his next supreme court justice.It followed hard upon, as Hamlet’s pal Horatio would say, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The liberal justice has not yet been buried. As Barrett noted, flags are still at half-staff.But Ginsburg’s last request – that the next president decide her successor – was swept aside amid a pageant of giant US flags hanging from colonnades, resembling the day Ginsburg herself was nominated by Bill Clinton.Some would call it a tribute. Others would call it trolling.Nothing would stop Trump pressing ahead with what critics regard as a very American coup, played out in broad daylight just 40 days before an election, imposing rightwing minority rule for a generation.What was not said at Saturday’s event was more important than what was. Trump did not say he is banking on Barrett to save his neck if he manages to push a close-run presidential election all the way to the court.Nor, despite having promised in 2016 to appoint only “pro-life” judges, did he make any mention of abortion, made legal by the court in 1973, now more threatened than ever. Nor was there acknowledgment that Barrett would knock the court off balance: a 6-3 conservative majority handing down decisions on healthcare, gun rights and other issues, likely to be odds with public opinion.Instead both Trump and Barrett, a former clerk for the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia, sold her as a devotee to the constitution who will prove Democrats’ worst nightmare during the confirmation process.This was their pitch: brilliant at her job, brilliant in the domestic sphere, steeped in conservative values. A living repudiation of liberal feminist narratives about inequality at home and in the workplace. A throwing down of the gauntlet.Praising Barrett as “towering intellect”, Trump said: “A very highly respected law professor at Notre Dame wrote to Justice Scalia with a one-sentence recommendation. ‘Amy Coney is the best student I ever had.’ That’s pretty good.”He added: “If confirmed, Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-age children to serve on the supreme court. That’s good!”The guests stood and applauded.In her own remarks, Barrett graciously began by paying tribute to Ginsburg: “She not only broke glass ceilings. She smashed them.”Then she pivoted to humanising talk of her home life. “The president has asked me to become the ninth justice and, as it happens, I’m used to being in a group of nine: my family.”Her husband, Jesse, and seven children, two of whom were adopted from Haiti, were sitting in the front row.“While I am a judge, I’m better known back home as a room parent, carpool driver and birthday party planner. When schools went remote last spring, I tried on another hat: Jesse and I became co-principals of the Barrett e-learning academy.”There was an echo, perhaps, of the moment Ginsburg told her Senate confirmation hearing that she had “read briefing books, opinion books, law reviews, but there is no book in the world that means as much” as one from her grandson.Barrett continued: “I couldn’t manage this very full life without the unwavering support of my husband, Jesse. At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners. As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work. To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook.”Another reminder of Ginsburg, known to be a terrible cook.Barrett fits perfectly with the claim of women who work at the White House and who told the Republican convention that Trump is, contrary to public perception, a champion of working mothers.It was an impressive attempt to scramble assumptions and entangle progressives in arguments over the meaning of feminism. Conservatives, who have thrown in their lot with Trump because of judges as much as anything, were jubilant.Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted: “Wow. I had high expectations and I was so impressed by how charming and lovely Amy Coney Barrett is in person. She knocked it out of the park!”But after Republicans’ refusal to grant Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s nominee to the court, a hearing in 2016, Democrats intend to fight with everything they’ve got.Trump said confidently: “Her qualifications are unsurpassed and her record is beyond reproach. This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation, should be very easy. Good luck. It’s gonna be very quick. I’ll sure it’ll be extremely noncontroversial. We said that the last time, didn’t we?”The quip was a bleak reminder of the ferocious battle over Trump’s previous nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, accused of sexual assault as a teenager. This confirmation process is likely to be even more divisive.The president urged Democrats to provide “a respectful and dignified hearing” and the media to refrain from “personal or partisan attacks” – an audacious request from the creator of labels such as “Crooked Hillary” and “Sleepy Joe”.Trump’s wife, Melania, watched from the front row, with Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, and Attorney General Bill Barr. Scalia’s widow was also present, as was his son, Eugene Scalia, the labor secretary.“His judicial philosophy is mine too,” Barrett said of her mentor. “A judge must apply the law as written. Judges are not policymakers.”Scalia’s death in 2016 set in train events that some now see unfolding with tragic inevitability, possibly all the way to Scalia’s disciple sitting on the supreme court and ruling on this year’s election.For democracy, murder most foul.

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