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Thursday, April 26, 2018
David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

Trump Tax Returns

What Trump Doesn’t Say About His Tax Plan

In a Tax Day essay under the byline of Donald Trump, the USA Today newspaper has allowed the 45th president to tell an utterly misleading story about the tax “reform” law he signed into law in December. The calculated deceptions in this piece matter a lot because the front page of that same newspaper declares “Exclusive: GOP banks on tax cuts to keep majority in Congress.”

April 19, 2018

Why The Stormy Daniels Case Matters

Further, the inept and dishonest way the White House and Trump’s personal lawyer have handled the matter underlines the many facts that establish this administration is a kakistocracy, a government of the venal, the corrupt and the incompetent. Instead of the best and the brightest, the Trump administration draws on the worst and the dullest.

March 15, 2018
Charles-Rettig

Trump’s Pick To Head IRS Is An Expert At Tax Avoidance

You might think that a former IRS executive or a prosecutor with experience in tax cases or a state tax administrator or another person whose job is to look out for the interests of the taxpayers generally, not individual taxpayers, would be a logical choice. Not in Trumpland.

February 12, 2018
Trump

Excerpt: It’s Even Worse Than You Think

As the 2016 presidential campaign began, Pulitzer-winning journalist David Cay Johnston wrote “21 Questions For Donald Trump” — a penetrating examination of the casino mogul’s shady past that became one of the most popular articles ever published by National Memo. In his new book It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What The Trump Administration Is […]

February 4, 2018
Apple

GOP Tax Plan Hides Trillions In Sweetheart Deals For Apple And Other Multinationals

Reprinted with permission from DCReport. James S. Henry, an economist and expert on global tax avoidance, reports that the new Trump tax law gives Apple and other multinational companies a sweetheart deal—several sweetheart deals, actually—that could total as much as $2.6 trillion. This is an important story that the mainstream news missed. We have it all […]

January 28, 2018
Donald Trump talking

Deducting A CEO’s Jet, But Not A Cop’s Uniform

Buried in the hastily drafted tax bill’s more than 500 pages are provisions eliminating “miscellaneous” deductions taken by almost 28 million taxpayers in 2015. Those are costs you bore to support your job or an investment you own or to pay a professional to prepare your income tax return.

December 22, 2017

A Tax Law For The Forbes 400

Buried in the in the two tax bills being rushed through Congress is a fleet of lucrative opportunities to escape taxes, though no one is talking about this costly and unnecessary problem. By the way, you won’t qualify for these tax favors unless you are mega-rich. The bills create tax avoidance yachts, not small sailboats or dinghies—and certainly not life rafts.

December 3, 2017

Why The House GOP Tax Bill Is For Idiots

The House tax bill is an all-out attack on the future prosperity of America, not that any of the major news organizations are telling you that in plain English. Lost in the dense bureaucratic language of modern news reports is the simple fact that the House bill takes from striving students so that the already rich and major corporations can have more.

November 20, 2017
aristocracy-1024x701

How Trump’s Tax Plan Would Create An Old-World Aristocracy

Bias for the super-rich, at the expense of everyone else, lies at the heart of the tax bill that Republicans hope to rush into law without public hearings. The most outrageous example of this is a plan to make sure that the richest of the rich never have to pay taxes on their investment gains.

November 9, 2017
Paul Ryan, Affordable Care Act

The GOP Is Proposing A 250 Percent Tax Hike On Millions Of Americans

Or to put it another way: The nice young couple who just opened their own independent coffee shop around the corner will likely be hit with a huge tax increase—as much as 250%—while the corporation that operates thousands of coffee shops all around the world is getting its taxes cut 43%.

November 4, 2017
Pamela Battle, 36, of Flint, Mich., is a low-income single mother of seven who says her entire household had been drinking the Flint water until earlier that week.

No, You Won’t Be Getting A $2,000 Child Tax Credit Check

What’s being proposed is a sleight of hand, or a tax unicorn. The child tax credit is there in the law books all right, but not in terms of money actually getting to parents. For people to actually qualify, there would have to be major changes to the tax-credit structure that are not included in the Republican plan. Indeed, without those changes, the full credit may not be collected by a single household.

November 2, 2017
Tax, Taxes, Donald Trump, Ethical Dilemma

Trump’s Tax Cut Will Fetch Him A Yuuuge Check

Based on public statements by Trump, his surrogates and top Republican tax writers on Capitol Hill, what is coming is a tax-cut plan for billionaires. The Trump tax plan focuses on cutting the taxes of those who are self-employed or who own businesses while sticking it to wage and salary workers, even those earning quite generous salaries.

October 26, 2017

9 Reasons Trump’s Tax Plan Will Hurt You

Donald Trump says his tax plan is “a revolutionary change, and the biggest winners will be the everyday American workers as jobs start pouring into our country, as companies start competing for American labor and as wages start going up at levels that you haven’t seen in many years.”

October 3, 2017
Women suffragette I voted stickers

On This Election Day, Americans Gathering At Suffragette Gravesites

Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx erected a board next to Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s gravestone where people could place “I voted” stickers.

November 8, 2016
Trump, Dictator, Media

The Trump Files: How His Huge Election Con Went Down

Trump has done a masterful job of selling an image contradicted by the public record including court and regulatory documents, his books and speeches, and more.

October 28, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump walks past a teleprompter as he departs after delivering a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, United States, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Trump Used His Aliases For Much More — And Worse — Than Gossip

But “John Barron” didn’t just puff Trump’s sexual boasting in the press. “Barron” was also menacing, as revealed in the following film clip about his abuse of Polish immigrant construction workers – and the attorney who tried to help them.

May 14, 2016
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts as he is introduced during a campaign event in Concord, North Carolina March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

The Art Of The Inside Deal: How Regulators Rescued Trump

It was the beginning of Trump having to relinquish his stakes in a host of enterprises—and by 1991 the Trump Taj Mahal was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the first of what would become four business bankruptcies. He later sold stock in his casinos, where investors not only lost their shirts, but during the fourth bankruptcy case creditors successfully demanded that Trump get lost. These days Trump licenses his name for much of his revenue.

April 28, 2016
Jane Sanders CNN

Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Goes Back On Disclosure Promise

The returns will be released, Jane suggested, when Hillary Clinton provides transcript of her lucrative speeches to Wall Street firms. Clinton should absolutely release the transcripts and she should have done so long ago, but the issues are not even close to parallel.

April 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders

Tax Transparency: After Expansive Vow, Sanders Releases Only 2014 Return

The failure to fulfill his promise to release returns back to 2007 — when Bernie Sanders was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Vermont — erodes the likelihood that other Presidential candidates this cycle and in the future will release their own complete returns

April 15, 2016

Tax Transparency: Jane Sanders Claims Returns Released In ‘Every Election’

Sanders had made available only his and wife Jane’s 2014 Form 1040, a summary lacking crucial details about their sources of income, deductions, and tax strategy.

April 13, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders holds a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington March 25, 2016. REUTERS/David Ryder - RTSCAI8

Why Hasn’t Bernie Sanders Released His Tax Returns? (Or Cruz Or Kasich, Either…)

What they made public was a mere summary known as IRS Form 1040. That form is no more a tax return than the Preamble is our Constitution.

April 1, 2016
9 key points about Donald Trump’s income taxes

9 Key Points About Trump’s Income Taxes (And Many More Questions)

I expect Trump’s tax returns to be extremely aggressive, but well within the boundaries set by Congress and without even a hint of criminal tax evasion. I also suspect Trump’s returns will show negative income. That’s right — negative.

February 26, 2016
U.S. Senator Cruz greets businessman Trump onstage as they address a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Kakistocracy

If we elect people who are nasty, brutish, incompetent or megalomaniacal we have no one to blame but ourselves.

February 12, 2016
Book review on Donald Trump’s Crippled America

Book Review: Trump’s Sloppy, Illogical ‘Crippled America’ Is A Jumble Of Contradictions

David Cay Johnston reviews Donald Trump’s latest release, which is less a book than it is “a jumble of contradictions and thoughts that have not yet reached the half-baked stage.”

November 7, 2015

Donald Trump — Man Of War

We should all give thanks to Donald Trump’s reality-TV-show run for the Republican presidential nomination because of what it reveals about his fan base.

August 22, 2015