Trump Towers, a few years ago

“Kids we need to need to plan.”

“What’s up?”

“It’s about depreciation.”

You love depreciation!

“I do, but at some point it’s going to catch up with us.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you know how the tax code allows us to keep two separate sets of books, one for the banks and another for the IRS?”

“You’ve said that before, but I’ve never really understood how it works.”

“Well the banks value our properties at their current worth, and the IRS looks at the value of the properties at cost minus depreciation. That difference means that we can borrow against the full value of the properties, and write-off the interest and the depreciation against income for tax purposes. If we keep buying properties and writing off the depreciation plus the interest, we don’t pay tax on the difference in the values, until we sell them.”

“Well that’s simple then. Don’t sell them!”

“It also happens when I die!”

“What happens then?”

“The IRS takes all the depreciation written off over the years as income.”

“How much does it come to?”

“A lot!”

“So we’ll just sell a few of the properties to pay the taxes.”

“After you pay off the mortgages, there still won’t be enough cash.”

“So what do we do?”

“We need to change the tax code, especially the part that covers estate duty.”

“The politicians will never agree to that! Not even the Republicans.”

“There are a number of politicians who are very concerned about the complexity of the tax code. The person at the head of that queue is Paul Ryan. Even The Economist says that the tax code needs reform. We just need to make sure that the estate duty is done away with, or at least significantly reduced.”

“And how are you going to convince them to do that?”

“I’m going to become the next President!”

More at:
26 U.S. Code § 6103 – Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information
Donald Trump’s Deep Love Of Tax Depreciation – An Affair To Remember
Donald Trump’s Possible $0 Tax Bill – That’s Why People Do Commercial Real Estate Development
Fixing the Broken Tax Code
Fixing the tax sieve
How Donald Trump Uses the Tax Code in Ways You Can’t
Ok, so where are the tax returns
Simpler, fairer, possible
Trump owes us his tax returns now more than ever
What is Depreciation, and Why Was it Mentioned in Sunday Night’s Debate?

Guessing who is the most unpredictable is not a good idea

The fear that nuclear capability will get into terrorist hands is real.

While the worlds has focussed on Iran, North Korea has proven it’s nuclear skill, and is now developing credible submarine capabilities to deliver their warheads to America’s mainland.

Diplomacy does not work in the absence of sane dialogue.

Relying on the dysfunctional United Nations is not an option. Neither is a preemptive strike. Making the submarine threat disappear has been suggested.

None of the options are good. Finding the right solution will take wisdom.

Good luck with that.

More at:
Evil genius
North Korea Developing Ballistic-Missile Submarine, Seoul Says
Pentagon Warns North Korea Over Its Latest Threat to Test a Long-Range Missile

The first big test

Donald Trump’s first big test will be his choices for the cabinet posts.

After he offended Mexicans, the British, Muslims, the Chinese, Koreans, Europeans, and the Japanese, the person that he chooses as America’s top diplomat will need to be an accomplished professional, capable of repairing the almost irreparable damage.

That choice will tell the world whether the shock of the election justifies their concern.

More at:
Donald Trump Announces Presidential Bid By Trashing Mexico, Mexicans
Donald Trump calls profiling Muslims ‘common sense’
Donald Trump Mocks Asians With Broken-English Accent During Campaign Rally In Iowa
Donald Trump on North Korea going to war: ‘Good luck, enjoy yourself folks’
Donald Trump’s Asia Policy Would be a Disaster
Japan and South Korea hit back at Trump’s nuclear comments
Trump rips U.S. defense of Japan as one-sided, too expensive
U.K. Parliament debate: Donald Trump gets pummeled by the British
Why should America defend Europeans who won’t defend themselves?

Ok, so where are the tax returns

Donald, now that’s there’s no longer a reason to withhold them, let’s see those tax returns.

We know about the losses that you made in the 90’s where you compromised your creditors, but took full value on the tax write-offs. We know that you write off the value of your properties, even while they increase in value. All of that’s legal, but it’s still tax avoidance.

It will be interesting to see how you lead an administration that must fix the tax avoidance problem, as an admitted master of that scourge. Can you turn on your kind?