Apparently Donald Trump, or his company, or some executive or other of it, might become the subject of criminal charges. Which tells us an interesting thing about American politics, doesn’t it?
That interesting thing being that the Blob – or the Deep State or, heck, just call it the Democratic Party – thinks that he’s still viable as a political force. For if they didn’t think this then they’d not be pursuing in quite the way they are.
Further, we can conclude that the media – which is largely indistinguishable from the Democratic Party – also think he’s viable still given the way they’re writing this story up.
Donald Trump is facing a potentially crippling financial and political blow as state prosecutors consider filing criminal charges against his family business this week.
Prosecutors in New York could soon bring an indictment against the Trump Organization related to the taxation of lucrative perks that it gave to top executives, such as use of apartments, cars and school tuition.
The 45th president is not expected to be personally charged but the legal drama could bankrupt his company by damaging its relationships with banks and other business partners, as well as clouding his political comeback.
You cannot be serious.
So, the underlying allegation is that perks of management were incorrectly taxed. Hmm, well, OK, this is somewhere between naughty and usual. Views on this have changed in recent decades, indeed it was a major part of the 1986 tax changes. Insist that all these side perks – country club memberships, free apartments, cars and drivers, jet flights – get taxed as actual income to the recipients. This is one reason why CEO – and C Suite – pay has soared since then, precisely because what was before uncounted and untaxed is now counted and taxed. So, rationally, the recipients are saying that “I’ll have the cash, thanks” so as to be able to maximise their personal utility.
This is not some invention of mine BTW, this is directly from Jamie Galbraith, the technical lead on those tax reforms in 1986. This was one of the points of what was done. Make compensation, not just wages, taxable.
OK, so, yes, all such perks should be taxed. And if they haven’t been then sure, go git’em.
But to say this is something that is going to cripple the Trump real estate empire? Kill a political career – well, presumably, that last is the hope of those bigging up the investigation.
And seriously, who thinks that a bank isn’t going to finance a building because the COO didn’t pay income tax on the school fees for his grandchildren?
Another way of putting this is who thinks that the finances of the Clinton Foundation would withstand this sort of scrutiny? Quite, so it is reasonable to assume a certain amount of party political in this. And given that, that some at least do think Trump is viable – otherwise there wouldn’t be so much effort, would there?