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‘I don’t see GM walking away’ from its deal with Nikola: Wolfpack Research Founder [Video]




‘I don’t see GM walking away’ from its deal with Nikola: Wolfpack Research Founder [Video]

Dan David, Wolfpack Research Founder, joins The Final Round to discuss the latest news on Nikola as it faces an investigation from the SEC due to allegations of fraud from Hindenburg Research and what all this could mean for the company that only recently saw an IPO in June.


Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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SNL’s 10 best political sketches




SNL’s 10 best political sketches
‘With the hair, and the wall… Whenever I get in a bad mood I just picture his big orange Umpa Lumpa face and piss my pants.

On October 3, just like in the 45 seasons before it, SNL will return for its 46th go, live from New York. That’s just about the only thing that’s stayed the same.

A pandemic, protests, climate change, and an incendiary election are rocking the country. That means lots of material for SNL’s performers and musical acts, who take pride in reflecting, and usually roasting, the news of the moment. Here are some of the most iconic political moments from SNL.

Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh (2018)

One can only imagine SNL’s incoming takes on the Supreme Court in 2020, now that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death is roiling Washington. Before that, there was the Kavanaugh spectacle. Amid the #MeToo movement, and facing detailed allegations of sexual assault from a former classmate, the now-Justice Kavanaugh delivered a tearful, table-thumping performance denying the allegations. In a cold opening, Matt Dimon portrayed the wholeprocess as a fratty farce. “I’m not backing down, you sons of bitches!” Damon vows, “I don’t know the meaning of the word stop!”

Melissa McCarthy’s “Spicey” Sean Spicer (2017)

One of Trump administration’s first public moves was to have then press secretary Sean Spicer make exaggerated claims about Trump’s inauguration crowd size, backed up by “alternative facts.” It was the perfect setup for Melissa McCarthy’s version where a miffed Spicer bristled with rage, ate an entire pack of gum in one bite, and bludgeoned a reporter with the press room lectern. Some speculate the portrayal doomed Spicer’s short tenure in his TV-loving boss’s White house.

A Roast at the Correspondents’ Dinner (2011)

He wasn’t on the SNL stage at the time, but Seth Meyers, then head writer and Weekend Update anchor, delivered a blistering roast of Donald Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Mr Trump was then more of a cultural punchline than a serious contender. “Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican,” Meyers said, “which is surprising since I just assumed he was running as a joke.” The burns were so bad some believe they encouraged Trump to get more serious about making a name in politics.

Tina Fey’s Dead-On Sarah Palin (2008)

Tina Fey’s turn as a hokey, disastrously ill-informed Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential race was so iconic it has likely overtaken many people’s memory of the actual candidate. Fey’s jab at the former Alaska governor’s inexperience in foreign policy— “I can see Russia from my house!”—was so convincing many people now falsely believe Palin said it herself. The portrayal was so uncanny that political scientists have even studied the “Fey effect” on voters that year.

Will Ferrell’s “Axis of Evil” as George Bush (2002)

Sometimes, you can just tell a performer is having fun. Will Ferrell clearly loved impersonating George W Bush—he eventually made a Tony-nominated play out of his performance called You’re Welcome America—including his memorable spoof of Bush’s post-9/11 foreign policy “Axis of Evil.” Ferrell’s version of the axis included “Iran, Iraq, and one of them Koreas.”

Making New York Laugh Again (2001)

Barely two weeks after the Twin Towers fell, SNL had the monumental task of making New York, and the world, laugh again during a moment of deep grief. “Can we be funny?” asked showrunner Lorne Michaels in the opening. “Why start now?” said Mayor Rudy Giuliani, surrounded by 9/11 first responders. This moment, sad and silly, capped off an episode that deftly balanced humor and mourning.

Sinéad O’Connor Tears Up a Picture of the Pope (1992)

Long before Spotlight and other media brought clergy sex abuse to the mainstream consciousness, Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II before a stunned audience during her performance on SNL. It prompted waves of hate mail and public backlash from stars ranging from Sinatra to Madonna. Partly due to misunderstood public protests like this, O’Connor has retreated from the public eye.

Dana Carvey’s Bush Sr.

The charismatic fellow Republican Ronald Reagan provided plenty of material for SNL, but the show initially had a harder time with George HW Bush, who didn’t have the same kind of flair. That is, until Dana Carvey started impersonating him as equal parts dork and patriarch. The impression was so good Bush and Carvey eventually became friends.

Eddy Murphy’s “White Like Me” (1984)

SNL doesn’t just train its fire on presidential politics. One of the show’s boldest ever sketches, “White Like Me,” featured Eddy Murphy in full white-face makeup, satirising the deep racial inequality of cities like New York in the 1980s. It’s a painful laugh since it’s still so relevant today.

Dan Aykroyd’s Book-Hawking Nixon (1978)

Following Richard Nixon’s resignation, Dan Aykroyd’s played him as an unrepentant salesman in this 1978 cold open, where an awkward and defensive Nixon laments that in Washington, people “Don’t buy books by crooks.” Wait until he hears about 2020.


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‘Lost Lincoln’ premieres, ‘SNL’ returns, Mariah Carey releases memoir, BLACKPINK drops new album [Video]




'Lost Lincoln' premieres, 'SNL' returns, Mariah Carey releases memoir, BLACKPINK drops new album [Video]

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Sept. 28 – Oct. 4, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)

Though late President Abraham Lincoln is one of the most celebrated leaders in the history of the United States, historians are aware of just 130 images of him. This special, the premiere of Discovery’s new series Undiscovered, examines whether there are actually 131. 

A professional authenticator, Dr. Whitny Braun, leads an investigation into an image allegedly taken of Lincoln on April 14, 1865, immediately after he’d been shot by John Wilkes Booth while watching a stage production of “My American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The image they’re examining, with opinions from Lincoln experts plus facial recognition software and other modern tools, allegedly captures the 16th president on his deathbed and was secretly snapped just after the shooting. The audience follows Braun as she visits locations including the theater, the Peterson boarding house where the ailing president was taken, the National Archives and even Lincoln’s hometown of Sinking Spring Farm, Ky. 

If the photo turns out to be the real deal, it will be huge news in the world of historians. Even today, more than 150 years after his assassination, Lincoln continues to be so beloved that he’s frequently depicted in pop culture, as seen in last month’s Bill & Ted Face the Music. — Raechal Shewfelt

The Lost Lincoln airs Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

Sadly there’s never been a time when the lifelong cause of Congressman John Lewis has not been timely or topical, but it’s impossible to watch Dawn Porter’s insightful and inspiring new documentary on him, John Lewis: Good Trouble, and not relate it to the civil unrest we’re experiencing in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The late Civil Rights icon and peace activist long preached the notion of “good trouble,” and as Porter told Yahoo Entertainment, despite some protests turning unruly, that term still very much applies to what Black Lives Matter activists and supporters are engaging in today. Good Trouble offers an essential look at the history-changing practices and unstoppable spirit of the American hero, who died in July of this year at the age of 80. Check out an exclusive clip of Hillary Clinton paying tribute to Lewis from the documentary’s home video release above. — Kevin Polowy

John Lewis: Good Trouble is available Tuesday, Sept. 29 on DVD or digital on Amazon.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Not Ready for Primetime Players will return to Studio 8H at NBC’s 30 Rock headquarters. (They last performed there on March 7, although they did gift audiences with three episodes filmed at their homes back in April and May.) After such a long absence, the returning cast members — Kate McKinnon, Keenan Thompson and all the rest — have a lot of current events to catch up on. For starters, they haven’t broadcast a new show since former Vice President Joe Biden officially clinched the Democratic nomination for president. Funny man Jim Carrey will join them in Season 46 to take on the role of Biden full-time. (He replaces Jason Sudeikis, who portrayed Biden during the primaries.)

It hasn’t been announced yet whether Maya Rudolph, fresh off her Emmy win for playing Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, last season, will reprise that role. Although, it would be surprising if she didn’t. We also don’t have official confirmation that McKinnon will play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg again following Ginsburg’s recent death, but thankfully SNL creator Lorne Michaels has given fans hope. The lineup for the first week, host Chris Rock and musical guest Megan Thee Stallion, is locked in. — R.S.

Saturday Night Live Season 46 premieres Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

WATCH IT: The Black-ish election special gets our vote

Nearly four years ago, Black-ish addressed the results of the 2016 presidential election with the critically praised episode “Lemons,” which opened with a monologue from patriarch Dre (Anthony Anderson) trying to grapple with the implications of Donald Trump’s victory. This time around, the ABC sitcom is getting an early lead by airing a two-part, one-hour election special directed by Oscar winner Matthew Cherry of Hair Love. Politics always gets the Johnson family animated, but this time it’s literal; part of the special will be in cartoon form. The episodes will also see Dre getting involved in local politics, while oldest son Junior (Marcus Scribner) has his first voting experience. — Erin Donnelly

The two-part Black-ish election special airs Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. on ABC.

READ IT: Mariah Carey’s autobiography will have you feeling emotions

One of the greatest and most gossiped about pop divas of all time is finally setting the record straight and telling her own story — and, as she promised us in an interview last year, “You’re not ready!” Co-written with Michael Angela Davis, The Meaning of Mariah Carey shares Mimi’s “improbable and inspiring journey of survival and resilience as she struggles through complex issues of race, identity, class, childhood and family trauma during her meteoric rise to music superstardom.” We already can’t wait for this page-turner to be made into its own Oscar-winning biopic. — Lyndsey Parker

The Meaning of Mariah Carey arrives at bookstores, including Amazon, Tuesday, Sept. 29.

STREAM IT: The Boys in the Band brings Broadway to your living room

If you missed the Tony-winning revival of The Boys in the Band when it played Broadway back in 2018, the entire cast, plus director Joe Mantello, preserved their work onscreen with a cinematic version executive produced by Ryan Murphy. Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto are among the actors who reprise their stage roles in Matt Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 play, which was one of the first theatrical works to feature openly gay characters. Rather than update the sometimes dated text, Mantello uses it as a chance to dig deeper into the precarious public space that gay men occupied in the pre-Stonewall days, as well as the prejudices that existed between those who remained closeted and those who chose — or were forced — to come out. With Broadway closed until 2021 at the earliest, The Boys in the Band at least provides a simulation of the theatrical experience. — Ethan Alter

The Boys on the Band premieres Wednesday, Sept. 30 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Queen + Adam Lambert’s show must go on

2018 was a huge comeback year for Queen, thanks to their Oscar-winning biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and residency in Vegas. And 2019 was just as phenomenal, with sold-out stadium shows around the globe and a TV special on ABC/Netflix. However, 2020 has been challenging, with tour dates canceled due to coronavirus concerns and guitarist Brian May dealing with multiple health scares. But the resilient “Don’t Stop Me Now” rockers are soldiering on with their first concert album to feature Lambert on lead vocals, Live Around the World. The disc compiles 20 epic performances, ranging from Queen + Adam Lambert’s first major tour dates in 2014 (including “Love Kills,” which made its public debut on a Yahoo livestream!) right up to their Live Aid reenactment for Australian fire relief earlier this year. — L.P.

Download/stream Live Around the World on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: CNN turns its focus to First Ladies

Former House of Cards actress Robin Wright narrates this six-episode series profiling some of the most fascinating women who have ever lived in the White House. Each and every one of them — Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Jackie Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson — also transformed the role, whether it was by becoming more involved with politics than the first ladies who came before them, like Roosevelt and Clinton, or serving as the model of strength and grace as Kennedy did after her husband’s assassination. 

Of course, the show is packed with vintage photos, news footage and interviews with historians, authors and former colleagues of the women. In the episode on Roosevelt, her granddaughter, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, tells the filmmakers, “I think you can describe her as a person who didn’t do what was expected of her. I guess that’s the way heroes are made.” — R.S.

First Ladies airs Sunday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. on CNN.

HEAR IT: BLACKPINK is in your area

Unstoppable K-pop sensations BLACKPINK became the breakout stars of Coachella 2019, highest-charting female Korean act on the Billboard Hot 100, most-followed girl group on Spotify and most-subscribed music group, female act and Asian act on YouTube — all before even putting out a full-length album in the Korean language. (One Japanese album, BLACKPINK in Your Area, did come out in 2018.) Now they’re releasing what is being touted as their official debut, The Album. The much-anticipated record comes fresh off their Chromatica collaboration “Sour Candy” with Lady Gaga and their smash single “Ice Cream” with Selena Gomez, and BLACKPINK are getting more than just a taste of sweet success. — L.P.

Download/stream The Album on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Save Yourselves! has one of the year’s most clever movie premises

You would be excused if at any point over the past six months, you decided to go off the grid and take a breather from the hellscape that is the 2020 daily news cycle. But as the indie comedy Save Yourselves! reminds us, somehow things could be even worse. Sunita Mani and John Reynolds play a Brooklyn couple who decides to unplug from technology and reconnect with each other at an upstate cabin, only to return to reality and find the planet is under attack by extraterrestrial forces. The film, which debuted to kudos at the Sundance Film Festival, has one of the most clever movie premises of the year, and it’s executed pretty damn well, too. We actually do recommend trying this at home. — K.P.

Save Yourselves! opens in theaters Friday, Oct. 2; check Fandango for ticket and showtime information.

EAT IT: Grab your sugar Buddy and enjoy General Mills’s new Elf cereal

We all know that Buddy the Elf would eat spaghetti and syrup for pretty much every meal. But for those of us who don’t have that kind of sugar metabolism, General Mills has gifted us with a way to start our days off with a sweet start. Inspired by Jon Favreau and Will Ferrell’s contemporary Christmas classic, Elf Cereal blends sweetened corn puffs with holiday tree marshmallows for a crunchy, chewy bite. The company is also bringing back another seasonal favorite, Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch, the holiday answer to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Mix them together for a cookie-and-marshmallow meal that would make any elf’s heart beat faster. — E.A.

Elf Cereal and Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch will be available at grocery stores nationwide this holiday season.

HEAR & READ IT: Lana Del Rey is a poet, and she knows it

The torch singer has always had a way with words and imagery, and now she’s taking her art to the next level with a spoken-word recording and companion hardcover book, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass. The project’s 14 poems, which are accompanied by music from frequent Del Rey collaborator Jack Antonoff, are, as Lana explains in a statement, “eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are and for that reason I’m proud of them, especially because the spirit in which they were written was very authentic.” — L.P.

Download/stream Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass on Apple Books.

WATCH IT: Drive into Halloween with Hocus Pocus and other family favorites at the Disney+ Drive-In Festival

The Sanderson Sisters are back on the big screen in a week of presentations (Oct. 5-12) at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. While two original movies, The Right Stuff and Clouds, are invitation-only events, most of the festival is open to the public — and free! The lineup includes showings of favorites Hocus Pocus, Coco and Tangled. Action fans will appreciate the screenings of Captain Marvel and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. (You can finally see the famous “I am your father” moment as it was meant to be seen!) There’s also a sing-along screening of The Sound of Music to commemorate the Julie Andrews film’s 55th anniversary. Tickets are required — and will undoubtedly go fast. — R.S.

Registration for the Disney+ Drive-In Festival opens Monday, Sept. 28.

STREAM IT: We still like the The Social Network on its 10th anniversary

Facebook may have fallen from grace in the public’s eyes, but David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s dramatization of the social media giant’s early years remains a cinematic favorite a decade later. The unlikely team-up of the Fight Club auteur and The West Wing wordsmith resulted in a positively symphonic collaboration of image and dialogue (further aided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s spellbinding score), and awarded Jesse Eisenberg the defining role of his career as Mark Zuckerberg. Although Sorkin plays fast and loose with the historical record, The Social Network accurately captures the idealistic promise of a platform like Facebook, as well as the way that idealism is corrupted when money gets involved. It’s also a potent reminder of how Fincher’s meticulous filmmaking methods can coax awards-level performances out of novice actors like Justin Timberlake. — E.A.

The Social Network is currently streaming on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Mel C is back to spice up your life

The artist formerly and occasionally still known as Sporty Spice is all grown up on the dancey yet confessional Melanie C, which is packed with girl-powered (or more like woman-powered) anthems like “In and Out of Love,” “Blame It on Me” and “Who I Am.” This is the work of a seasoned pop icon who clearly knows who she is — and knows what she wants, what she really, really wants. — L.P.

Download/stream Melanie C on Apple Music.

PLAY IT: Hasbro’s Star Wars: Mission Fleet toys are perfect for your young Padawans

While serious toy collectors gravitate towards Hasbro’s Black Series line of Star Wars action figures and accessories, younger fans just want a Millennium Falcon they can rip out of the box and fly around. Enter Star Wars: Mission Fleet, a kid-friendly collection of vehicles and 2.5-inch replicas of popular characters that are built to be played with. The Original Trilogy is represented by the Falcon, Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing and Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, but the line also includes characters from The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian — including, of course, Baby Yoda — that today’s kids have grown up with. That’s Hasbro’s way of ensuring that the Force will be with us… always. — E.A.

Hasbro’s Star Wars: Mission Fleet toys are available at Amazon and Walmart.

HEAR IT: The Jaded Hearts Club is open for business

What started off as a lark, with famous friends getting together to crank out Beatles covers at parties as “Dr. Pepper’s Jaded Hearts Club Band,” has turned into a bonafide supergroup, the Jaded Hearts Club. Featuring Muse’s Matt Bellamy, Blur’s Graham Coxon, Jet’s Nic Cester, Miles Kane of the Rascals and Last Shadow Puppets, the Zutons’ Sean Payne and veteran British guitarist Jamie Davis, the band’s raucous debut album is a loving tribute to Northern Soul. You’ve Always Been Here sounds like a Cavern Club-era classic — and it’s certainly nothing to be jaded about. — L.P.

Download/stream You’ve Always Been Here on Apple Music.

PLAY IT: You don’t have to be in the office to enjoy The Office Space Game

Nostalgic for your office after months of working from home? Break out The Office Space Game, which recreates the hilarious drudgery of cubicle life as immortalized in Mike Judge’s 1999 comedy classic. Designed to be played by 2-10 “co-workers,” the gameplay involves completing stealth missions, from stealing Milton’s red stapler to “accidentally” losing your phone, all while dodging accountability from your boss over those missing TPS reports. Didn’t you get the memo? The Office Space Game is more fun than a morning commute. — E.A.

The Office Space Game is available on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Women-in-rock pioneers Ace of Cups finally realize their dreams

Ace of Cups were the first all-female band in the ‘60s San Francisco scene, sharing the stage with Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, the Band, Janis Joplin and Grateful Dead — but they never got the chance to record their own music at the time, due to sexism in the industry. Now in their seventies, these pioneering women finally released their debut studio album in 2018, and this week they’re back with the fittingly titled sophomore LP Sing Your Dreams. The record features collaborations with Jackson Browne, Sheila E., Wavy Gravy, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna and David Freiberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service, plus a reworking of Keb’ Mo’s “Put a Woman in Charge” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. — L.P.

Download/stream Sing Your Dreams on Apple Music.

— Video produced by Gisselle Bances


Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Trump went even further than other uber-rich to shrink taxes




Trump went even further than other uber-rich to shrink taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tax-avoidance strategies that President Donald Trump capitalized on to shrink his tax bill to essentially zero are surprisingly common among major real estate developers and other uber-wealthy Americans.

Yet Trump characteristically pushed those strategies to the limit — perhaps to the breaking point.

So say tax experts in the wake of a New York Times report Sunday that found that Trump paid only $750 in taxes in both 2016 and 2017 — and none at all in 11 of the 18 years that the newspaper examined.

“The things that Trump did are typical of wealthy businesspeople and particularly wealthy real estate developers,’’ said Steve Wamhoff, director of federal tax policy at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Still, Wamhoff noted, Trump claims “the special breaks and loopholes that are available in the tax code and sometimes just takes them to a whole new level.”

Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow and tax analyst at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, suggested that given all the tax breaks available to him, it wasn’t surprising that Trump paid so little in taxes.

But, Hanlon added, “it’s still pretty shocking to see it.”

U.S. tax law has long been kind to big real estate developers. It allows them myriad legal loopholes and breaks that can significantly shrink their tax bills. The law became even more beneficial to them after Trump’s Republican allies in Congress pushed through his $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which took effect in 2018.

The Times reviewed Trump’s tax returns for 2000 through 2017, so its report didn’t capture the impact of the 2018 law. But Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, said, “It is much easier now for a real estate developer to avoid taxes than it was five years ago.’’

Even before the 2018 law, developers could claim losses more quickly and easily than other businesses. They can also more easily delay or avoid reporting profits to the Internal Revenue Service. Even if they fall behind on their debts, they face fewer tax penalties than other investors do as long as their creditors forgive their debts.

Trump took full advantage of those tax breaks after failing to handle debts on his failing Atlantic City casinos in the 1990s and early 2000s. Even so, experts say it’s unclear whether all his actions were permissible.

“There are a lot of things that Trump has done that may exceed what is allowed by the law,” Wamhoff said.

Wamhoff noted that the IRS has raised questions about some of Trump’s claims — in particular, a whopping $72.9 million federal tax refund that he sought and received, as well as “business deductions for expenses that really look like personal expenses.’’

The Times reported, for example, that Trump has claimed a 200-acre family retreat in Bedford, New York, as an investment, thereby allowing him to write off property taxes. And he has used what the Times called “unexplained’’ consulting payments to shrinkhis business taxes. Trump even claimed $70,000 in hair styling expenses during his TV show “The Apprentice.’’

At the same time, said Sullivan at Tax Analysts, defining legitimate business expenses is a “murky’’ issue.

Hair styling is a clearly a personal matter for an everyday office worker. But for a television personality, it would be a legitimate business expense.

Experts note that such outsize tax advantages for the most privileged businesspeople have served to widen the nation’s economic inequality. Economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at the University of California, Berkeley, found that in 2018 billionaires faced a small burden than did the working class for the first time in 100 years: The richest 400 Americans paid an overall tax rate of 23%, including federal, state and local taxes, compared with 24.2% for the bottom 50% — and compared with Trump’s effective 0% federal income tax.

Wealthy families typically try to transfer some of their assets during their lifetime to ease the tax burden on their heirs, something they can do legally in a variety of ways. As assets go, real estate is one of the most flexible options.

That said, there’s a fine line between tax avoidance and abuse.

A key provision in the 2018 tax law delivered a steep tax break for a kind of business that is often set up by owners of profitable firms, including Trump and his family. The law allowed a 20% deduction against income taxes for businesses whose profits are taxed at the owner’s personal income rate. They are known as “pass-through” companies because their profits are passed through to the owner’s personal tax bucket.

Those businesses span a huge range, from the local florist and family-owned restaurant to law firms, hedge funds and privately held large firms like the Trump family’s property empire.

Trump himself has owned about 500 entities structured as pass-throughs, according to his lawyers. This has made the Trump Organization less a single business than a grab-bag of units drawing on the fancier parts of the tax code: Sole proprietorships and limited-liability partnerships.

Beyond wealthy individuals, the Trump tax law made it easier for big corporations, too, to avoid paying income taxes, now at a 21% rate. Despite reaping billions in profits, some of them receive tax rebates that exceed their income tax bills, thereby granting them effectively a negative tax rate. Some of the companies that have done this in recent years according to their public filings include Amazon, General Motors, IBM and Netflix.

Apple, the most valuable company in the world, has used the the tax code to avoid paying billions in U.S. taxes by deploying a complex setup involving subsidiaries in Ireland.

More recently, embedded in the $2.3 trillion pandemic rescue package speedily enacted in March is a tax break piggybacked onto the earlier break for “pass-through” companies. Experts say it helps mostly millionaires.

The new change in the tax code would deliver nearly 82% of its benefits to about 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1 million yearly, according to an estimate from nonpartisan congressional tax analysts. And it would cost U.S. taxpayers $86 billion this year by reducing tax revenue captured by the government, the Joint Committee on Taxation calculated earlier this year.

Proponents of the new tax break insisted it was needed relief for small businesses in dire cash-flow straits because of the virtual shutdown of the U.S. economy. Smaller pass-through companies, though, may not be as well-positioned as the giants to capitalize on the tax change.


Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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