Josh Barro sets out to spoil the fun!


Says Trump didn't lose that much money:
We'll have to admit we thought the same thing when we watched Joe and Mika clowning around this morning.

From 1985 through 1994, Donald J. Trump lost $1.17 billion? That's what the New York Times is reporting, the dither-rich duo said.

We'll have to admit we thought the same thing. How could Donald J. Trump have lost that much money? Where did he get the $1.17 billion in the first place?

Every good liberal will quickly intuit the Approved Tribal Answer—he must have borrowed the money from Dad. Unfortunately, Josh Barro, at New York magazine, says that ostrich won't fly:
BARRO (5/8/19): Now consider Donald Trump’s life in the period between 1985 and 1994... [T]his period ended with his near-financial ruin, so it is plausible his net worth was often in decline. But to the tune of much more than $1 billion? Where would he have gotten so much wealth to begin with?

We could start with “his father,” but Donald Trump’s inherited wealth, while substantial, isn’t nearly large enough to make this math pencil.
A previous Times investigation found Trump received at least $413 million in wealth transfers from his father, Fred, but that figure has been inflation-adjusted into 2018 dollars, while the $1.17 billion in losses are in nominal dollars for the years in which the losses were reported. In 2018 $413 million was equal to only $212 million in 1990. And because Fred Trump did not die until 1999, it is unlikely Donald Trump had already received the entirety of these wealth transfers by 1994, the end of the period these tax documents cover.

Maybe Donald Trump had massive income in the years before 1985, allowing him to build up a billion-plus-dollar fortune and then later lose it. But those were the early years of his real-estate career, when he took on smaller projects than the ones that later nearly ruined him, like the Trump Shuttle and the once-planned Television City development on the Upper West Side. Trump has long claimed to be a billionaire, but it’s unlikely those claims were true so far back in the past.

The likelier explanation is that Trump never lost close to a billion dollars in the Haig–Simons sense...
You can read the rest of Barro's piece, most of which you won't understand, especially the parts about Haig and Simons. Our summary, though, would be this:

Joe and Mika had no idea what they were yukking it up about. Truth to tell, no one at home could have explained this fandango either.

This is all tribal war. It's needed to keep selling newspapers and to keep attracting eyeballs to cable. But it truly is inane "fake news," and it will lure exactly no one to the anti-Trump side.

No one has the slightest idea how such arcane financial matters work; screeching about this latest "bombshell" is entertainment all the way down. Meanwhile, Trump's approvals seem to be inching up, despite our furious attempts to jail him; Gallup now has him two points ahead of Obama at a comparable point. Our dull-witted team just keeps insisting it's because they're all racists out there.

On cable, the children gambol and play with their utterly pointless 2020 polls. We're so old that we can remember that Trump couldn't win the last time!

We humans! We're just gossip and fiction, Harari has said. Plus a strong dose of intolerance!


  1. We have a white president, a member of a hugely outnumbered majority in this country, which has a history of violence. This country is post-racial, public schools are free, and access to higher education is easily available. No one need for any American to check his privilege in 2019. I won't be checking mine.

  2. Make a fortune, lose a fortune, make another fortune. Make yourself a celebrity. Make yourself, against all odds, the fucking president of the US of A.

    Did I tell you, pathetic dembots, that The Donald is one True American Hero?

    1. I see "Trump did it himself (don't blame me)" being the getaway car for Right-wingers. Let's make sure we slash the tires on the car, and rightfully lay the blame on the traitorous Right-wing.

  3. “You can read the rest of Barro's piece, most of which you won't understand, especially the parts about Haig and Simons.”

    The link to Barro’s piece that Somerby provides is invalid.

    “No one has the slightest idea how such arcane financial matters work”

    “Meanwhile, Trump's approvals seem to be inching up”

    Somerby’s argues that we won’t understand the crux of Barro’s argument, but we should believe him anyway. Also, arcane financial matters are hard, and “no one understands them”, excepting of course the rich tax cheats and their lawyers who know how to manipulate such “arcane” matters. Besides, Trump’s poll numbers are going up, so why bother trying to examine his tax records and his tax cheating or the cheating of any similarly privileged person, because the average gullible GOP dumbfuck is too stupid to understand or won’t care. As if that is a reason none of us should care.

    And it continues to be fascinating how Trump keeps managing to succeed at tax fraud, at forcing the entire GOP to close ranks behind him, how a Republican machine politician like Barr goes to great lengths to protect this man. Not bad for a “mentally ill” person like Trump, eh, Bob?

    1. The link to Barro's piece that Somerby provides is invalid.


  4. “Where did he get the $1.17 billion in the first place?”

    The Times story is pretty clear. The losses, reported over the years 1985-1994, were business losses, and added up to $1.17 billion, according to the tax transcripts obtained by the Times.

    1. Suppose you have a net worth of $200 million and you borrow $1 billion in mortgages. Now, suppose your property takes a loss of $1.1 billion. You now have a tax loss of $1.1 billion, even though your net worth was only $200 million.

    2. Trump has a negative net worth. Both financially, and as a human being.

  5. I would not permit without a resentful protest an expression of doubt as to my good and regular standing in the best and most respectable circle of fishermen.
    I am as jealous as a man can be of the fair fame of the fraternity; and I am unyielding in my insistence upon the exclusion of the unworthy from its membership. I also accept without demur all the traditions of the order, provided that they have been always in the keeping of the faithful, and carefully protected against all discrediting incidents.

    In addition to all this, my faculty of credence has been so cultivated and strengthened that I yield without question implicit and unquestioning belief to every fishing story—provided always that it is told by a fisherman of good repute, and on his own responsibility.

    This is especially a matter of loyalty and principle with me, for I am not only convinced that the usefulness and perhaps the perpetuity of the order of Free and Accepted Fishermen depends upon a bland and trustful credulity in the intercourse of its members with each other, but I have constantly in mind the golden rule of our craft, which commands us to believe as we would be believed

    1. This is some kind of trolling.

      1. Not me.

      2. From The Saturday Evening Post 9/24/1904 article "On Some Fishing Pretenses and Affectations" by "former President" Grover Cleveland.

  6. Listened to the digest of the story on NPR. There's no great mystery here. Trump had $1.17bil of business losses. Where did he get the money? It was obviously borrowed. He has been deducting these losses off his income ever since. He has declared a number of bankruptcies; I don't know if the article answers the question of how these bankruptcies intersect with his business losses.

    He has been a conman and a faux businessman for decades. In short, he is a great American, someone that we deserve as president.

    1. Poor black and Hispanic Americans deserve jobs to take them out of poverty. Working Americans deserve raises that exceed inflation. People who live in dangerous neighborhoods deserve to be less victimized by crime. Trump may be an awful person, but his policies have has achieved these things.

    2. Great. Poor blacks have jobs at Wendy's and Burger King. What a victory.

    3. What Trump policy has achieved positive outcomes for any entity other than the super rich and corporations (positive being a relative term here as those benefits accrued by the wealthy and corps are actually detrimental to their character, I would say soul but who are we kidding)?

      Please provide direct evidence showing cause and effect - listing positive trends does not count as evidence and actually shows these are long term trends unrelated to Trump.

    4. "shows these are long term trends unrelated to Trump"

      Dear dembot. During the reign of Barry The Demigod, the economy was running on fed printing money and giving it away, mostly to multinationals.

      Nearly $5 trillion printed.

      And then, around the end of Barry The Demigod's reign, it stopped cold. Fed's balance sheet is going down now, and fed's interest rate is going up.

      So, that's your cause-effect, dembot, right here.

    5. Trump Wants Obama-Style Monetary Policy

      President Trump wants the Federal Reserve to relaunch Obama-era monetary stimulus. That means inflation.

      Trump started ratcheting up criticism of Federal Reserve monetary policy months ago. As the stock market plummeted last fall, the president blasted the central bank for gradually hiking rates in the preceding months. Trump said, “The problem I have is with the Fed. The Fed is going wild. They’re raising interest rates and it’s ridiculous.” He also said the Fed is “going loco.” A short time later, the president doubled down, saying “I’m paying interest at a high rate because of our Fed. And I’d like our Fed not to be so aggressive because I think they’re making a big mistake.”

      Trump got his wish in January when the Fed put the brakes on interest rate normalization. The Fed turned even more dovish during the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting, saying it plans on ending efforts to reduce its balance sheet.

      But Trump wants more than just a pause in rate hikes. He wants rate cuts and a new round of quantitative easing – in other words, monetary-printing stimulus like Obama got.

      During an interview Friday, the president once again complained about the Fed’s 2018 interest rate increases, saying “they really slowed us down.” Trump went on to demand stimulus and called on the Fed to resume Obama-era QE.

      Well, I personally think the Fed should drop rates. I think they really slowed us down. There’s no inflation. I would say in terms of quantitative tightening, it should actually now be quantitative easing. Very little if any inflation. And I think they should drop rates, and they should get rid of quantitative tightening. You would see a rocket ship. Despite that, we’re doing very well.”

      In simplest terms, Trump wants the Fed to create more money out of thin air to stimulate the economy just like it did at the height of the Great Recession.

      It's OK, no one listens to the dumb fuck.

    6. @3:15 AM You don't see the difference between a honest, responsible job at Wendy's or Burger King vs. living on welfare or as a criminal or in some other non-productive way. Sadly, you have a lot of company. IMHO that attitude has done enormous harm to the underclass. If you're working at Wendy's, you're a part of our society. Having learned good work habits, you can move up in the world. And, you're a good model for your children.

    7. Why, thanks for confirming my point, dembot, albeit from an ORNAGEMANBAD source.

      Like I said: in the decade of 2008-2017 the economy ran on printing money and nothing else.

      And since 2017 it's been running on bringing investments back, from abroad.

      IOW, under the current monetary conditions, the "Obama economy" would've been far down the toilet.

    8. Mao, we seem to be printing more money than ever now. What evidence is there that the giant tax cut is the reason for the uptick in the stock market and more jobs and wage increases (and how many of them are good jobs as opposed to fast food type ones?) - as opposed to "running on bringing investments back?" To what extent is what you claim based on evidence as opposed to BS?

    9. It's right there, in your 9:50 AM quote, Hillary. Sadly, you are unable to understand...

    10. See the links above, @7:33 AM. QE3 is finished, and the fed-mandated interest rate is up.

    11. And the ginormous corporate tax cuts going to your elite benefactors have all mostly gone towards stock buybacks. The offshore money repatriated is a small fraction of the wild assed predictions. Good job Mao, Vlad will give you an extra bottle of Vodka this month.

    12. Calm down, Hillary.

    13. Ivanka I looked at the 2 links - what do they prove? They're are still printing money in spite of 3% growth, more than ever. When Clinton was prez, the budget was balanced (albeit mostly due to a stock bubble). They raised interest rates to 2.25% - so what? I don't get the sense you have much interest in being objective.

    14. Hey, dittohead Limpdick, thanks for the year old article.

      Look everyone, Mao "fanfare for the common man" Cheng Ji reads

      Investor's Business Daily

      Tell Rush "anal cyst" Limpdick we're all thinking about him.

    15. Calm down Hillary, everyone already knows Mao loves the Establishment Elite. In Mao's defense, the Establishment Elite have promised to tousle Mao's hair and tell him what a good boy he is. Someday.

    16. @David: What policies? Name one. To elucidate: Trump is a conman. Period. That's his essence. There are no policies. There're cantankerous twitter storms devoid of any sense. Again, he's the president we deserve.

      Trump is the gag reflex of the American electorate. He represents the decrepit, abject cynicism of our political system. In that sense, Bob is right in his blogging.

      But as far as policies, there's absolutely nothing.

    17. "Poor black and Hispanic Americans deserve jobs to take them out of poverty."

      I, too, support a $25/ hour minimum wage. You'd have to be a real piece of shit not to.

    18. "What policies? Name one"

      Hmm. Certainly there are many. It's odd that you failed to notice even a single one. Have you noticed the ongoing trade war with China, for example?

      "Trump is a conman. Period."

      Meh. Obama is a conman. If Trump was a conman, he would be making Obama-like speeches of the "why can't we all get along" variety, while bombing the middle east and signing regional trade agreements for the banksters. Admired by the NYTimes, WaPo, and CNN. That's what conmen presidents do.

    19. Trade with China is policy? What has that amounted to?

      Obama never said "why can't we all get along". Trump, on the other hand, did remark about "fine people on both sides". See if you can place that asinine uttering.

      The sheer inanity of the belief that a consummate conman, who has devoted his entire life to self-promotion and fucking people over, would do something of value to benefit the population just blows me away.But again, Trump is the vomit that our failed political system has regurgitated.

    20. Yes, trade with China is policy. It amounts to pursuing national interests (or interests of the national bourgeoisie, if you prefer), at the expense of the institutions of global finance.

      "Obama never said "why can't we all get along""

      It's all he ever said. Starting from the Cairo speech. He's got the nobel peace prize, y'know.

      "The sheer inanity of the belief that a consummate conman, who has devoted his entire life to self-promotion and fucking people over, would do something of value to benefit the population just blows me away"

      Yeah? I don't know if anyone ever devoted their entire life to fucking people over; seems unlikely.

      Otherwise, what you're describing is commonly known as "ambition". I don't see a contradiction between personal ambitions and doing something of value. Quite the opposite, in fact: I'd expect a positive correlation. Depending on the external conditions, of course.

    21. "I don't know if anyone ever devoted their entire life to fucking people over; seems unlikely."

      Lucky bastard falls off the turnip truck in an area with no Republicans. I dream about that kind of life.

    22. Some here are very confused. Trump's China thing is not policy, Trump is winging it and it has been bad for Americans. Trump is a globalist, he has not been welcome to do business among national interests for decades and has been grasping at international interests to sustain his swindling.

      Obama's speeches were never about getting along, they were about justice, lordy this is trivial.

      Ambitions to help others has value, this has never been Trump's ambition, he wants something to ease the pain of being abandoned by his father in his youth - gold toilets, freedom to grab pussy, aggrandizement.

  7. I ask Trump supporters one question: Would you give your money to Trump to invest for you?

    1. I'd let Trump invest some of my money, but not all of it. Trump has done well on average, but in risky ways.

      BTW would you give your money to Barack Obama to invest for you?

    2. The Right-wing thinks Trump is a smart businessman.
      I'll ask again (because this is a media criticism site), "why the fuck would anyone in the media listen to anything a Right-winger says?"

    3. Again, Trump is not a "businessman". "Businessman" is a vacuous term to begin with. Trump, however, has taken it to another level of vapidity; he only pretends to be a "businessman". Hence his rabid insistence and prevarications to get himself on the Forbes list. He figured out that you pretend to be rich and business savvy, you can collect more money just based on that perception.

      If being a businessman is nothing, then Trump is a derivative of nothing.

    4. David, the racist prick, asks:

      BTW would you give your money to Barack Obama to invest for you?

      Why would you bring President Obama into this, Comrade, you treasonous bastard? Why would you ask that question?

      Has President Obama ever posed as the greatest, smartest businessman in the history of the universe? Has President Obama ever been sued for tax fraud, like Donald J Chickenshit has on several occasions.

      Secondly, Donald Trump is a tax cheat. He had two civil trials for income tax fraud, one by the State of New York and the other by the City of New York. In both cases he lost. In one of those trials, his own long-time tax attorney and accountant, Jack Mitnick, testified against him. Mitnick was shown the filed tax return, which was a photocopy, and testified, “That’s my signature on the return, but neither I nor my firm prepared that tax return.” That’s as good a badge of fraud as you’re ever going to find. It indicates that Donald Trump took the tax return that was prepared, changed it, and then with a photocopy machine put the signature of Jack Mitnick on it. Donald Trump is also a confessed sales tax cheat. Mayor Ed Koch of New York said he should have served 15 days in jail for his crime. Trump has a long history of hiding records from auditors, cheating governments, using two sets of numbers. So his tax returns are highly likely to show tax cheating.

      Has President Obama every had a "university" in his name shut down for fraud and had to pay a $30 million settlement to the persons he defrauded?

      Has President Obama ever had a "charity" in his name shut down for fraudulent practices in the state of New York and is now under criminal investigation?

      Has President Obama ever filed for bankruptcy even once, let alone six separate occasions?

      Has President Obama ever found himself unable to borrow money from a single bank in USA because of his history of screwing the lenders and welching on his repayment?

      I could go on and on, David, you fucking ignorant racist prick, but I have to get back to work, to pay the higher taxes Donald J Chickenshit imposed on me.

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