So, you’re still a Trump fan? You’ve now heard of the $2 Trillion COVID-19 U.S. stimulus package – right. You recall that there was a bit of a delay in getting it through in spite of general bipartisan support. Well, it’s 880 pages apparently and room was needed to help along the one percent club during this health crisis. Yes. While health professionals scrambled without sufficient PPE ( you will know the acronym now) to care for the overwhelming caseload, while masses digested news of job loss, and while families hunkered down in self-isolation, legislators were hard at work fine tuning an earmark to grant a new tax benefit for the richest one per cent of Americans.
You see, the way you grant benefits to the one per cent club is you change a tax provision. Those earning this kind of money have “multiple streams of income”. Tax rules typically have restrictions when it comes to amortization (depreciation). The U.S. tax code up until the corona virus stimulus package had a limit on the ability to deduct excess losses generated from amortization (depreciation) from real estate (buildings) against other forms of income. The limit was $500,000. This limit has been removed. Let’s think this through. For those real estate developers who are now going to encounter serious drops in market valuation, the probability of experiencing “recapture” on written down buildings in the future during an ultimate disposal is reduced (lesser capital gain or loss), but today they’ll get the benefit of reducing aggregate taxable income by utilizing unlimited excess losses. Actually, not only today but they’ve been granted retroactive treatment back to 2018 by amending their 2018 returns.
Now, do you want to cut Trump a little slack with his incoherent COVID-19 bafflegab when behind the scenes he was distracted on how to potentially profit from misery with an earmarked addendum to a stimulus package?
What would an honourable leader do if he wanted to grant such a benefit? He would float the topic to the public, debate it openly in parliament and grant it a vote within its own piece of legislation.
Credits to CNN and NY Times.