Friday, June 9, 2017

Bevin's House Of Cards

While the Trump regime continues to steal everything that isn't nailed down in DC, one of the big questions for the rest of us is "can anyone who isn't actually Donald Trump get away with Trump-like behavior these days" as a politician.  The answer here in Kentucky, at least for now, is yes.

In the final days of 2013, just after completing a prize-winning renovation of a 113-year-old mansion in the tony Louisville suburb of Anchorage, businessman Neil Ramsey sold the house and a surrounding 19-acre parcel to his limited liability company, The Anchorage LLC, for $3 million. 
Ramsey hoped to turn the historic home into a bed-and-breakfast, but that plan soon faded. A little more than three years later, The Anchorage LLC took a loss of perhaps more than $1 million when it sold the mansion and 10 of the 19 acres for $1.6 million to Anchorage Place LLC, a limited liability company owned by Gov. Matt Bevin. 
That transaction has since spawned two ethics complaints against Bevin, questioning whether the seemingly low sales price is tantamount to an improper gift to Bevin from a friend and political donor, but tax experts point to another possible benefit to Ramsey from the deal: a big tax break. 
“It would be a tax loss, which he could use to offset any capital gain income he had in that year,” said Jennifer Bird-Pollan, an associate professor of law at the University of Kentucky who specializes in tax law. 
In other words, Ramsey’s potential $1 million loss means the Internal Revenue Service will allow him to reduce his tax bill for 2017 by using that loss to offset his long-term capital gains — any profits he earns from selling assets in 2017 that he has owned for at least a year.

For example, if Ramsey sold stock at a profit of $1 million this year, he potentially could use the loss from the sale of the house to eliminate his tax bill on the stock sale. Under that scenario, if Ramsey were taxed at the top federal rate, he would potentially avoid paying $200,000 in federal taxes. 
“When they’re able to claim (the loss), it reduces their tax bill depending on what tax bracket they’re in,” said Jason Bailey, the executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. “And if you’re a higher income person, the benefit is even greater.”

Bevin gets a neat house, the guy selling it gets a huge tax break, and this is how things work now here in Kentucky, where if there's not a scandal involving a Republican in Frankfort, you're just not looking hard enough.

Will the GOP super-majority in the state legislature give a damn?


How The Comey Testimony Played In Cincy

CNN had a panel of Trump supporters from suburban Butler County north of Cincy to talk about what they thought of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony on Thursday.  Needless to say, they've all decided that the real villain here is anyone not named Donald Trump.

To try and better understand the public opinion dynamics over James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, CNN conducted an informal focus group in Fairfield, Ohio. 
“Butler County Ohio, north of Cincinnati, has been very kind to Republican presidential candidates over the years, since 2000 the Republican candidates won each time, including in 2016 with Donald Trump with sixty-one percent of the vote,” CNN national correspondent Gary Tuckman explained. 
Tuckman had nine Trump supporters watch the morning hearings with him at Rick’s Tavern and Grill and then return to answer questions about the former FBI Director’s testimony. 
“First thing i want to ask you, it is a crime when you testify before Congress to lie, it is perjury and you can to prison for it,” Tuckman began. “Raise your hand if you believe James Comey lied. Four of you believe he lied.” 
Then Tuckman inquired about the focus group participants’ view of Donald Trump.
Comey “says that Donald Trump quote told lies plain and simple,” Tuckman followed up. “Raise your hand if you believe that Donald Trump lied at all about the situation. None of you believe it.” 
The CNN journalist was baffled by results and followed up with direct questions of the voters. 
“Well, first of all, things can be distorted and appear like lies, and I think maybe the media might have be distorted some things and now we’re not getting both sides,” one of the Trump supporters rationalized. 
The final question had the most startling results. 
“Let me ask you, a show of hands, how many of you feel better about Donald Trump, your president, after this hearing?” 
All hands went up.

So yes, if you're wondering why Donald Trump will continue to get away with tweeting things like Comey committed perjury, it's the fact that tens of millions of Trump voters believe Comey committed perjury. They expect him to go to prison as a result.

The Trump regime got into power for a reason, folks.

Here endeth the lesson.


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