Trump’s Taxes, Supreme Court Fight, Biden on Drugs? Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Author: Greg Valliere
September 28, 2020
LAST NIGHT’S REPORT on Donald Trump’s taxes didn’t disclose much that wasn’t known or suspected — he pays virtually no taxes, his companies hemorrhage money, he gets huge write-offs for employing family members as “consultants,” etc. No real surprises there.
THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORT — with a promise of more to come — didn’t touch the one angle that could have affected the election: Trump’s financial ties with Russian oligarchs, who — many suspect — bailed him out when his casinos were staggering.
TRUMP NATURALLY CALLED THE MAMMOTH TIMES REPORT “fake news” designed to influence the election, and that will be enough for his fanatic base. Perhaps some undecided voters will ask why they pay taxes and Trump probably doesn’t; perhaps some voters will wonder whether Trump is really a good businessman, but we don’t think this will change many opinions — the electorate largely has made up its mind.
WHAT HURTS TRUMP is that the furor over his taxes will gobble up the news cycle today and deflect some of the positive spin he enjoyed as Amy Coney Barrett appears headed for confirmation before the election. Still another lost day for Trump. Is the Times attempting to affect the outcome of the election? Of course.
THE DEMOCRATS, MEANHILE, HAVE A DIANNE FEINSTEIN PROBLEM: The ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t been shy about calling out Barrett’s evangelical Catholicism, which is exactly what the White House wants — a religious attack on Barrett that will anger Catholic voters.
SOME DEMOCRATS HAVE DROPPED HINTS that Feinstein, 87, might want to step aside for Kamala Harris, another committee member. If Barrett is virtually certain to win confirmation, why make this a religious fight?
JOE BIDEN, A DEVOUT CATHOLIC, doesn’t want to focus on religion or abortion; he will emphasize that Obamacare could be struck down by the high court. Trump recently signed a meaningless executive order pledging to retain the pre-existing conditions portion of the law, but Biden knows that white women focus on health care more than any other issue.
WITH ALL THIS DRAMA, the one stable aspect of the campaign is the polls, which haven’t really budged since late August, when Trump enjoyed a modest bump. Several high-profile polls this weekend gave Biden a 6-to-10 point lead nationwide, with somewhat smaller margins in key states. The election is still Biden’s to lose.
BY TOMORROW, THE FIRST DEBATE will dominate the news. Trump is asserting that Biden is taking performance enhancing drugs that will help the former vice president tomorrow night, while the bigger story is debate preparation — intense for Biden, sporadic for Trump. Incumbent presidents often have a weak first debate, but Trump cannot afford a shaky performance, which could put Biden’s lead out of reach.
IF THERE’S A THEME IN ALL OF THIS, it’s that Trump’s flailing precludes him from staying on message. He throws out accusations about Biden taking drugs or pocketing a billion dollars from China, and loses time as the media rises to the bait. And now there’s the issue of Trump’s taxes and huge business losses, still another distraction for a president who doesn’t need any more.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2021 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.