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Election 2016
Live-Blogging the Presidential Debate
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  • FriendlyGoat

    I wish Mrs. Clinton had seized on the opportunity to say that the American people would like to know what kind of federal taxes are paid on what Donald Trump pegged as a $694,000,000 income—–once he threw out that number. Donald really did nothing to persuade us that his most recent tax might be very low if not zero. Ordinary people are entitled to ask HOW a Republican can insist that high-end taxes are too high when the effective tax actually paid on hundreds of millions of dollars in the real estate development business might be nothing—-very possibly for years running. (The best evidence for this is that Trump has not contributed to his own foundation since 2008. Why would that be? Because he apparently does not need the deduction.)

    • Arkeygeezer

      He probably did not pay any personal income taxes, but the corporations he controlled paid a lot of corporate and withholding taxes. This is why most big and small businesses are incorporated rather than sole proprietorships. Trump seems to have followed all of the tax laws with the help of an army of tax attorneys and audits by the IRS every year. His tax returns must be very complicated and voluminous. If he releases them, it would only serve as spin fodder for the media even if he did follow the tax laws to the letter.

      Mrs. Clinton wants to raise corporate taxes to 65% rather than the current 15%. If elected, she’s going to put a lot of people out of business.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Where to start:
        1) The corporate income tax rate is 15% only on income up to $50,000. The top rate, where all large corporations reside is 35% and has been for a long time.
        2) Mrs. Clinton is absolutely NOT trying to raise this to 65%.
        3) Donald’s family companies are most likely not regular corporations for tax purposes anyway. When privately held, corporations are usually LLC’s to the world and Subchapter S for taxes, meaning the corporation does not pay tax at all. Its income is passed through to the small number of shareholders as income on their personal returns according to the percentage of shares they own. If Donald is paying no taxes on these, it is because they are showing losses instead of taxable income—–by creative use of deductions most people would call “loopholes”
        4) The point is that Donald is absolutely a counter-example to the general GOP argument that high-end taxes are too high. The voting public deserves to know this.

        • Arkeygeezer

          1. Sorry, I’m used to dealing with small business people.
          2. Thats not what she said last night.
          3. He made all financial disclosures required by law.
          4. That is your opinion. Obviously Donald does not share it. Whether it makes a difference in the election remains to be seen.

          • FriendlyGoat

            2) The only 65% I know of is Clinton’s suggested Estate Tax on passing down inheritances to heirs exceeding $500 million, all of which can always be avoided by choosing charity over passing to relatives.
            4) Yes, this and its ramifications are the top election issue—–whether people know it or not. (The Republican Party, itself, knows.)

          • Arkeygeezer

            That may be the top election issue for you, but the people may feel differently. We’ll see what the top election issues are when the votes are counted.

          • FriendlyGoat

            What the people vote on is NOT the point. They may like Donald’s brashness—–or they may like Hillary being female. But tax policy determines whether jobs go up or down—-and backwards to how most people think. It also determines in large part whether America goes into default. You won’t know what the top election issues are by polling people on why they voted this way or that. You will know by watching what Trump and a GOP Congress does to actually screw over the people who voted for them (if, of course, they win).

          • Anthony

            FG, you’re being both kind and patient; you know the fundamentals: http://www.vox.com/2016/9/19/12933072/far-right-white-riot-trump-brexit And Donald Trump is not an accident. Also (lists to the contrary and reliance thereof), when arguing with the “choir” reality (issues) is insignificant weighed against emotive justification. We can only hope bad behavior brings a bad consequence (nationally). To a large extent (like it or not), in the social world “appearance is usually far more important than reality.”

          • FriendlyGoat

            Too bad that in 1982, unlike Canada, America was not primarily busying itself with the adoption of an “AMERICAN Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.

          • Anthony

            It’s not too late! And what is that “basic commitment to tolerance and equality” (cherished Western values that shouldn’t be backed away from) if not a core American issue unyielding to xenophobia (in all its various guises).

          • Arkeygeezer

            Methinks the Donald got our goat.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Naaaaahhhhhh!

  • JR

    I was going to say that the solution is OBVIOUSLY confiscatory levels of taxation above a certain arbitrary level, but I was beat to it. I will be quicker on the draw next time, FG.

    • FriendlyGoat

      I think we need to talk about what might or might not be above zero before we get over-wrought about “confiscatory”.

      • JR

        Why pussyfoot around? It’s time to go all out and confiscate and redistribute wealth, especially of those we disagree with politically. That will show them!!!

        • FriendlyGoat

          I’m backing away to let you make that argument these days. You’re good at it.

          • JR

            Oh, I know. I can’t wait to redistribute your wealth. I’m going to be really good at this, I can just tell.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yep.

  • Arkeygeezer

    I thought Trump did fairly well considering the fact that he was debating both the Democratic nominee and the Moderator of the debate. The problem with Trump is that he keeps on winning despite opposition from the Democrats, neverTrump Republicans, the Washington establishment, Academia, and the media. That appears to be dumbfounding to TAI as well.

    • Anthony

      As we’re referencing a high end information site (TAI), permit an observation: People can literally see what they want to see – especially if there’s room for a little ambiguity. Moreover (unless we’re referencing science), It’s always possible to question methods, find an alternative interpretation of what your eyes witnessed, and, if all else fails,question the integrity/motivation/ideology of the transmitters. So, what may come across as “dumbfounding” to one may just be difference in self-serving reasoning.

      • Arkeygeezer

        I watched the debate on C-Span so I would not be exposed to all of the spin from the talking heads. I really don’t need a pundit to tell me I heard something different than what I heard.

        • Anthony

          Concur and C-Span like PBS attempts to provide more direct media experience – less control over our sensory intake. Still, we must remain aware of self-serving bias too (as none of us are totally immune). As an aside: a friend years ago informed me “when someone shows you who they are that’s who they are no matter what you heard”.

    • Andrew Allison

      It’s really quite remarkable how the punditariate keeps telling us how poorly Trump is doing while the polls tell a quite different story. The title of https://nypost.com/2016/09/26/the-best-debate-takes-come-from-inside-the-bar/ is self-explanatory.

  • Kevin

    Interesting commentary, but largely beside the point.

    Very curious to know how it actually played among persuadable voters. WRM tried to look at it this way which was helpful.

  • Proud Skeptic

    Never expected Trump to do well. That said…the results of the debate are all over the place. Trump may not win but Hillary could certainly lose.

  • lukelea

    Trump will need to do better next time, that is for sure. We’ll see if he can learn from his mistakes. I thought his demeanor in particular was un-Presidential. Too much pursing of lips and scrunching up his eyes.

    And instead of extended rebuttals of Hillary’s attacks on him — his four bankruptcies, claims he did not always pay his sub-contracters full price, etc. — he should counter with Hillary’s far more serious bankruptcies: in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc..

    As for his calling “women” fat slobs, etc., he should make the obvious point that it was only particular women (Rosie O’Donel for instance) not women in general, whereas Hillary described half of the public who currently support him “a basket of deplorables” and the other half as, in effect, pathetic losers.

    As for Hillary accusing Trump of racial discrimination as a landlord because of an incident that occurred almost half a century ago when his father still ran the company, Trump should make the obvious point that it is Hillary who is always playing the race card; even more to the point, Trump’s proposals to curb mass low-skilled immigration and start restricting trade with low-wage countries like China would actually benefit low-skilled blacks and Hispanics more than any other groups in society. Hillary has nothing comparable to offer.

    About Hillary’s assertion of “systemic racism” in the criminal justice system, Heather MacDonald had this to say: https://goo.gl/1licSb

    Trump holds the best cards it seems to me. He just needs to learn how to play them.

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