Clinton Proposes Standard Deduction for Small Business

While we wait for Donald Trump to flesh out his revised trickle-down tax plan so we can calculate the total damage, Hillary Clinton has offered a small-business-boosting plan that should includes one simple and very welcome tax reform plank: a standard deduction for small businesses.

This proposal will vastly simplify filing for small businesses and entrepreneurs—whether they’re running a business out of their own home, managing a shop on Main Street, or selling online through platforms like Etsy and eBay. Rather than having to track and file forms documenting their overhead costs—potentially including transportation, computer and phone use, maintaining an office, and more—a small business would be offered the option of taking a single, simple deduction. Hillary will ask her Treasury Department to bring together small business owners and leading experts to design this new standard deduction, including its limits and parameters, which existing expenses could voluntarily be replaced, and measures to prevent gaming and abuse—all to advance the goal of making it far easier for small businesses to file their taxes. This proposal would be focused on true small businesses, with restrictions preventing larger businesses or high-income taxpayers from claiming it. Small businesses could still opt to track and deduct their expenses individually, just like individual filers [Hillary Clinton campaign factsheet, posted 2016.08.23].

For individual filers, taking the standard deduction—$6,300 for singles, $9,300 for heads of household, $12,600 for married couples—reduces the risk of IRS audits, cuts the cost of professional tax prep by 42%, and eliminates the need to spend all year documenting expenses and donations. Small businesses would enjoy similar benefits. According to the National Small Business Association, 85% of small businesses pay for professional tax prep, and 46% pay more than $5,000 in administration costs on their federal taxes. NSBA’s survey finds small business owners believe income taxes pose their second-greatest administrative burden, behind only payroll taxes. A standard deduction for small business would significantly reduce those costs and give small businesses more time to do real business.

The Wall Street Journal offers pros that seem to outweigh cons. Filing becomes simpler, especially for self-employed filers like me, businesses still get to choose the better option for their bottom line, and the deduction can be targeted to small businesses by clear criteria of income and/or compliance cost. WSJ’s only cons aren’t negatives, but mere complaints that the standard deduction itself doesn’t lower rates or erase other tax code complications and may not provide much advantage for firms that have software that easily documents expenses.

Instead of issuing a top-down edict with some ad-libbed number, Clinton even promises a little participatory democracy, saying she’ll ask small business owners for input to help figure out just how big the standard deduction should be. Whatever the dollar figure and the income-eligibility limits, the standard deduction for small business is a smart and fair policy proposal, the kind we should be debating as we select our next President.

55 Responses to Clinton Proposes Standard Deduction for Small Business

  1. Don Coyote

    Due to the complexity of the US business tax code, I don’t see any advantage to a standard deduction for small businesses if the business still has to calculate it’s expenses and itemized deductibles in order to compare to the standard deduction to see which one provides greater savings. Where is the cost savings if the business still has to use an accountant for the calculation or if the individual’s investment of hours into his tax preparations?

  2. Horsehockey, Coyote. Give me a dollar figure for a standard deduction for small biz, say, $50K. I can look at last year’s tax return, compare the expenses I claimed and deducted last year with the new standard deduction Clinton offers and say without any professional help whether I should take the standard or keep itemizing. Individuals do the same thing: we have a general idea of how much we donate to charity, how much we spend on health costs, how much we spend on our mortgage. We can figure out pretty easily if those numbers are changing from year to year and make a reasonable comparison to the $12,600 the IRS offers us to simplify our taxes. The decision isn’t a down-to-the-penny call: if the tax difference between itemizing and taking the standard is ±$500 (or whatever my biz comfort zone is), we don’t fuss with it, because the itemizing advantage isn’t worth the extra effort.

    And remember the tax difference is only a percentage of the deduction difference, so that expands the margin where we don’t bother.

    The standard deduction won’t save every business money. But for the smallest businesses, for self-employed folks whose business expenses won’t come close to the standard deduction, the folks who could use a simpler tax code the most, this proposal has lots of upside and no downside.

  3. Troy Jones

    Hey, wait a minute. I thought regulations and paperwork didn’t cost anything to business.

    Seems like Clinton/Heidelberger are admitting it isn’t true or the proposal is a solution looking for a problem.

  4. Who said regulations didn’t cost anything? Everyone knows – or should know, that regulations come with a cost. However those costs are generally justified because the benefits of said regulations exceed the costs and burden of compliance.

    In some cases regulations don’t make sense and we should work to eliminate or streamline them. I can’t say if Clinton’s standard deduction idea would make sense, but it sounds like it would simplify the tax filing process for many small businesses which could be a net positive in many cases.

    That said, if we understand a relatively simply change such as this would result in a huge benefit for small businesses, we are essentially admitting that our current tax code is far too complex and far too burdensome for many taxpayers. I see that as the larger issue here, but I won’t go on record as saying I’m against a standard deduction because I do acknowledge it has the potential to help millions of small business owners.

  5. I wonder if bill gates and Donald trump’s tax lawyers and accounting fees year to year justify the tax savings to them and their families over generations?

    this is so complicated. I wonder if Hillary’s 40 plus years of experience in government are going to help the middle class? :)

  6. I wonder if republicans and climate denialists and religionists could elect another actor like Reagan who had a governorship bestowed upon him, or an incompetent son of a WWII pilot, CIA director, politician, VP, like bush jr?

  7. Troy, don’t play straw man. As Craig suggests, I have never said regulations don’t cost anything. I have rejected blanket opposition to regulation that constitutes GOP/AFP sloganeering. Zero regulation, like zero taxation, doesn’t work. Neither do 100% regulation and taxation. Obviously there is some optimal middle.

    On tax policy, we don’t go for the bare minimum regulation—everyone pays 10% of income in tax—because that would not capture wealth as fairly or effectively as a progressive income tax and because we recognize that a three-child married-couple household making $40K has more expenses that the state has an interest in supporting with tax credits than a single taxpayer making $40K. We recognize that businesses are different from families and warrant different treatment in the tax code. But businesses that are really just one guy making a living mowing lawns or writing freelance aren’t much different from individuals, and helping them out with a simpler tax code—specifically, an optional standard deduction—could make self-employed entrepreneurship more affordable.

    And I will gladly put on my free-market Libertarian hat and say the state has great interest in promoting self-employed entrepreneurship.

  8. I’m just sick of hearing, “our tax codes are too complex; so, we should reduce taxes.”

    No one, or liberal, in the history of America ever said anything to effect of, “regulations and/or paperwork don’t cost anything.” To believe otherwise is childish.

    Next thing we’ll hear is, “Hillary’s trying raise taxes by lowering them first. She’s trying to trick you, much like Obama who tried to take your guns away by taking all your bullets away. It’s a secret trick to fool you!”

    Conservatives need to FACE THE FACT that Liberals, often, try to lower taxes for certain groups. Liberals also recognize when regulations might have gone too far, and sometimes they fight to reduce needless regulation that stymies economic development. Conservatives, delusionally, think they are the only ones who care about these things.

  9. Troy’s struggling to find fault with Clinton’s proposal. I think he likes it. He’s also struggling to find anything good to say about the GOP Party nominee for President. I asked him days ago to give us some kind words about Trump, and he hasn’t come up with any yet. With this proposal of Hillary’s geared at winning over independents and Republicans Troy may end up a Hillary voter. It’s o.k. Troy.

  10. I don’t want to speak for Troy, but I doubt anything would bring him to support Hillary. At the end of the day she is still very much pro-choice, and I don’t think Troy could give her a free pass on that one issue regardless of anything else. He wouldn’t be alone there – and that is ok. People need to vote for the candidates who most closely align with their personal viewpoints.

    On a larger issue, this either/or logic is faulty. Nobody has to support Hillary just because they don’t like Trump, and nobody has to support Trump just because they don’t like Hillary. There are other options (Stein and Johnson for starters) but even if one lacks sufficient knowledge to know if a third party candidate is better suited they are free to do something. They can simply leave that option blank.

    I know, I know… voting is our “civic duty” and we need to be part of democracy. The thing is, if you really don’t like either candidate, you shouldn’t feel pressured to honor them with your vote. Abstaining from support on that particular race is perfectly acceptable and refusing to give support to either candidate is just as patriotic as is voting for one of them.

    Perhaps one day we will have an election where people don’t feel they are stuck picking the lesser or two evils, but if that is your mentality today then my advice is to do what you feel is right… and if that involves skipping a few boxes on the ballot nobody should feel ashamed for doing so.

  11. The cost of the software is kind of spendy. It would be a very good thing to eliminate the tax preparers.

  12. Troy Jones


    The devil is in the details. There was something similar to this prior to TEFRA which was passed in 1984 which was a bi-partisan bill drafted primarily by Tip O’Neill’s house and Reagan’s Treasury and the Dem. Dan Rostenkowski’s motive of its elimination was fairness while Republican’s called it a stealth tax increase on small business. I reserve judgment.

    Regarding Trump, I support him primarily because I think his policies will be better for economic growth which is the most effective welfare program there is, better understanding of the existential threat from radical Islam. I will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances as I think she is the most corrupt and dishonest politician in the US since Huey Long.

    Craig, I have no problem measuring the merits of ideas/policies regardless of who advocates them. For instance, I’ve been advocating a return of Glass-Steagal since the financial crash which is long before Sanders got on board and was opposed by most Republicans in Congress.

  13. bearcreekbat

    Cory, your mention of your “free-market Libertarian hat” reminds me of a quote about taxes, regulations and government spending purportedly from from Hubert Humphrey, offered at a Beadle County Democrats Dinner back in the 70’s:

    “When it helps me, it is a vitally needed federal expenditure. When it helps you, it is creeping European socialism.”

  14. Troy: “Regarding Trump, I support him primarily because I think his policies will be better for economic growth which is the most effective welfare program there is”

    I learn something every day – and today I learned that Trump has actual “policies” that have anything to do with economic growth.

    Regardless if you agree with Trump’s “policies”, I cannot, by any measure, understand how someone can simply ignore his xenophobic, racist, and sexist mentality which has been shown time and time again via his own statements. Is the teachings of Christianity lead someone to believe none of this matters, then my upbringing in the church was full of even more lies than I realized.

  15. bearcreekbat

    Troy, I am a bit surprised at your reasoning for rejecting Hillary, especially when you compare her to Huey Long, calling her “the most corrupt and dishonest politician in the US since Huey Long.” But then I checked Wikipedia’s piece about Long to find the parallel and sure enough I learned that during Long’s

    “years in power, great strides were made in infrastructure, education and health care. Long was also notable among southern politicians for avoiding race baiting, and attempting to improve the lot of poor blacks as well as poor whites.”

    I fully trust and support Hillary based on her long history of focusing on helping people in need, similar to what is reported about Long’s legacy. I am still surprised that you prefer someone like Trump who appears to only care about himself and his brand, especially given your strong commitment to the teachings of Christ.

  16. Troy Jones


    No politician is perfect and they all require us to decide priorities. A year ago when the race was 17 Republicans and 5 Democrats, in this order, my bottom three were:

    20 Trump
    21 Sanders
    22 Clinton

    I am not ignoring what Trump has said but neither am I ignoring what I’ve always thought of Hillary- she is at her core dishonest. I’m not enamored with the choices being presented.

  17. Darin Larson

    Troy Jones says: “I will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances as I think she is the most corrupt and dishonest politician in the US since Huey Long.”

    You are worried about corruption and dishonesty in Clinton when your Republican nominee, The Mouth, has made a living out of discriminating against minorities, not paying his blue collar contractors, making insider deals with politicians, getting his New Jersey tax bill reduced by $25 million, declaring bankruptcy and leaving others holding the bag for his debts, threatening to declare bankruptcy so that creditors would write down his debt, buying politicians like dime-store lollipops, and bragging about his corruption and influence buying.

    Then there are his immense character flaws as evidenced by him changing his positions almost daily to pander to one group or another, lying about seemingly every issue that he speaks about, claiming he knows more about ISIS than our US military generals, claiming he has sacrificed as much as a Goldstar family because he worked hard, avoiding military service during Vietnam based on his health when he was a young man while he is in perfect health now at age 70, equating his sexual exploits in the age of HIV as his own personal Vietnam, objectifying women and demeaning any woman that stands up to him, fomenting race-based hatred while claiming not to know what David Duke and the KKK stand for. Need I go on?

    Finding fault with Clinton’s character while overlooking the mountain of much more damning character flaws that Trump possesses is astounding to me. That is why I don’t think you are being honest, Troy. You are perfectly willing to overlook the character flaws of the shadiest, most dishonest person to be nominated for president in the modern era if Trump says he will pursue your misguided policies and obstruct the progressive agenda. The worst things you say about Clinton pale in comparison with the reality of Trump’s character flaws.

    You are seeking moral refuge for your vote for Trump by claiming Clinton is dishonest. That is like joining the KKK in the 60’s because MLK was a plagiarist.

  18. Troy Jones

    I’d take all this “moral outrage” about Trump serious if I even remotely saw any angst regarding Hillary’s dishonesty. I have admitted I probably would have preferred Webb, O’Malley, Biden and Chafee over Trump because of I’m severely bothered by some of Trump’s positions and statements.

    And, I find your lecture I’m not “being honest” hilarious as I see nothing but a total dismissal of any issue with regard to her honesty. The recent information of her selling access to the State Department for donations to her husband should give anyone who considered integrity a value pause. I’ve seen no such pause by most on this blog.

  19. Clinton is as crooked as they come, and I am pretty sure everyone knows it. On the other hand, people who highly value integrity will probably not vote for Trump either.

  20. Troy, that is nonsence about the access. I believed it myself until I actually got off my arse and researched it. Perhaps you may consider the same if you want to be taken seriously. I supported Bernie and still support his ideas. I will vote for Clinton and the down ticket as Trump and the rest of his supporters are a clear and present danger to all that I value in a democracy.

  21. Troy Jones


    With all due respect, during the primary, you were one of the few who more than once raised questions about Hillary’s integrity. Now you are just dismissing news that should at least give one pause even if one wasn’t originally skeptical of her truthfulness.

  22. Darin Larson

    “The recent information of her selling access to the State Department for donations to her husband should give anyone who considered integrity a value pause.”

    Troy, you don’t address any of the plethora of issues concerning Trump’s scheming, lying, and legalized stealing, not to mention his race-baiting, misogyny, narcissism and discrimination. Oh well!

    You can’t bring yourself to condemn Trump for his actions, but I will address your concern about Clinton. I will admit that the access to Clinton by big donors to the Clinton Foundation is not good public policy. However, we all know that money in politics buys access and I defy you to claim that Clinton is worse than any other major politician. There is also no evidence that the Foundation financially benefited Bill or Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, the Clintons contributed millions of dollars to the Foundation for the good works that it does around the world. Bill Clinton’s speaking fees were enormous, but he was a well-connected ex-President who is very popular around the world. There is no evidence of quid pro quo’s by the Clinton State Department in exchange for speaking fees for Bill Clinton and since the Foundation does not pay the Clinton’s any fees or salaries there is no money flowing to them from the Foundation. There is nothing illegal here. The irony is that the Clinton Foundation through its Clinton Global Initiative has a done more charitable work in one year than Trump has accomplished in a lifetime.

    By the way, when can we see Trump’s tax returns so we can see what kind of charitable donations he was making through the years? You don’t think he is hiding his lack of charitable contributions while at the same time lambasting the Clinton’s for their charitable foundation do you? We have the Clinton’s tax returns for the last 25 years. We have none of Trump’s tax returns.

  23. Troy Jones


    You are hilarious. I admit Trump has said things, done things, and advocates things I strongly disagree with. Your response to anything which is “not good public policy.” At the very least is shows absolute bad judgment and when overlayed with everything else it is something more than bad judgment.

    But after the admission, you defend it by “nothing illegal” when we are talking about moral character. Most of what Trump has done or said isn’t illegal either but you don’t give him the same defense. And, on top of all that you then argue “the ends justify the means” with regard to all the good you believe the CBI has done vs what Trump hasn’t done with regard to charity. BTW, anything the CBI has done was done with other people’s money while at the same time were “dead broke” when they left the White House and did nothing but work for the government or a charity are now worth over $100 million.

    It’s all textbook moral relativism which makes you wholly disingenuous and non credible to make a single statement about my moral judgment.

  24. I supported Bernie in the primary. Though I prefer Hillary’s centrist politics I found her lacking in the truthfulness department and excessive in the arrogance department.

    Now, I am proud to join with all of the high-profile Republicans who for the first time will vote for a Democrat for President, and the national security experts of both parties, who have come forward to support Hillary because Trump is simply unprepared to be President, unfit temperamentally, and downright dangerous to world stability. The list of Republicans for Hillary will continue to grow, and grow, and grow. Not because they like her or trust her, but because Trump is so ignorant and dangerous – and also less trustworthy.

  25. “I’m severely bothered by some of Trump’s positions and statements.”

    Yea you are…. so bothered you are still going to vote for him. Must not bother you too much.

    “The recent information of her selling access to the State Department for donations to her husband”

    Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t seen any information showing that Clinton somehow offered favors or made decisions that would have benefitted any of these donors. She may have offered her own time to meet with individuals, but is that a crime? Is there reason to believe that many of these people would have already received her time without a donation? Any information showing that she refused access to individuals who didn’t donate?

    Keep in mind what the Clinton Foundation does. It is not a personal slush fund for her to use to pay her mortgage or to buy new shoes and if there is information out there that shows funds donated to the foundation have been used improperly I’ve yet to see it.

    That said, I’m not naïve. Politicians run campaigns on funding, and we know to some degree funding buys access. If you feel this is limited to only the Clinton family you’re being dishonest. Back scratching happens at all levels across all parties and I’m not going to suggest it automatically calls someone’s integrity into question. We have to judge each case upon its own merits and ensure improper conduct is brought to light.

    Regarding “Hillary’s dishonesty” or her being the most corrupt politician is simply unrealistic. What significant incidents of dishonesty do you find yourself able to fall back upon? That she was incorrect about some of the details surrounding her email server? That she claimed she was fired upon when overseas when it turned out it wasn’t accurate? I won’t insult anyone by saying Clinton never lies – all people do – but we need to differentiate between a blatant dishonest statement vs. one which was believed to be true and later shown to be inaccurate or incorrect.

    If Clinton is the most corrupt and dishonest politician in your mind, it means you are ignoring events like Watergate, Iran-Contra, or an administration purposefully misleading Congress and the American people as to the offensive capabilities of a nation in order to garner support for a war. So when we talk about “moral outrage” let’s keep things in perspective.

    The “Hillary Clinton is dishonest” isn’t an argument which is based in fact or history – at least the argument that she is anymore dishonest than any other politician who has been in the public eye for the past four decades and has been investigated for the same events time and time again by those who seek to discredit her (yet oddly, they have never found a single item to criminally charge her with nor have they even found items worthy of ethics charges). It is an argument which has been generated as part of a larger narrative. This is why when you press people for specifics they suddenly become quiet or they start claiming Clinton co-founded ISIS or that she was personally responsible for Benghazi.

    I’m quite certain if Clinton were a Republican, not only would her actions be deemed non-controversial… but she would probably be loved and admired on levels which exceed Sarah Palin. As an added bonus, the Democrats wouldn’t waste millions of taxpayer dollars trying to investigate her for actions which could only have been prevented via a time machine.

  26. Troy Jones


    Lying isn’t always a crime. The lack of being charged with a crime doesn’t make her truthful.

    Frankly you protest to much. You should just admit she is a liar and it doesn’t matter to you.

  27. Darin Larson

    Troy says:

    “But after the admission, you defend it by “nothing illegal” when we are talking about moral character. Most of what Trump has done or said isn’t illegal either but you don’t give him the same defense.”

    Trump discriminated against African-Americans by refusing to rent his apartments and condos to them. That is illegal. Discriminating on the basis of religion as Trump has proposed is illegal. Shutting down the freedom of the press as Trump has proposed is illegal.

    Trump has illegally refused to pay contractors that have done work for his companies and then used his enormous wealth and fleet of lawyers to force the small contractors and tradespeople to accept cents or dimes on the dollar. Trump illegally set up a fraudulent University that promised things that it never delivered and he is currently being sued for fraud and racketeering.

    Trump has said as president he would violate the Geneva convention concerning the torturing of prisoners. That is illegal. Need I go on?

    Craig has expressed my sentiments well!

    Concerning political access: the next time that Governor Daugaard’s office returns my phone call will be the first time.

  28. Darin Larson

    Troy says: “And, on top of all that you then argue “the ends justify the means” with regard to all the good you believe the CBI has done vs what Trump hasn’t done with regard to charity.”

    Huh?, I didn’t argue that the end justified the means. I argued that the Foundation was a charitable endeavor which is a concept that Trump is not familiar with. I argued that there was nothing wrong with the contributions to the Foundation or the use of the Foundation funds. The end is justified and the means are justified. It is not moral relativism.

  29. Darin Larson

    Troy, when will you address the substance of what Craig and I said?

    It seems like every argument that we have on here, you are making accusations of one thing or another without backing up your statements with facts.

  30. Don Coyote

    @Troy: “I will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances as I think she is the most corrupt and dishonest politician in the US since Huey Long.”

    There’s no contest. The Clinton’s have Long beat by a mile.

  31. Here’s the difference between Hillary and Trump on charity: Hillary raises and donates millions to charitable causes without bragging about it. Trump brags about donating money to charity, then doesn’t actually follow through and donate the money. He gets very upset when anybody questions him about the money he pledged but didn’t donate.

    Here’s the difference between Hillary and Trump on money in politics: Hillary is very attentive to rich folks who donate, but there is no evidence that donations result in anything on the policy side – just access. Trump brags that he buys politicians, and gets very publicly snippy with the ones who don’t do his bidding after he donates to their campaigns.

    Troy is hoping that a President Trump will appoint some supreme court justices who will do away with abortion and gay marriage – even if he destroys the GOP Party, starts WWIII, and the Dems take a majority of the house and senate. Problem with that thought is that Trump is not really GOP. He’s not really an opponent of abortion and gay marriage, and he couldn’t give a rat’s @$$ who he ticked off on his way to armageddon. Sure, he’s unstable and unfit, but he’s not going to give the GOP Party establishment that he hates and that opposes him the supreme court they want.

  32. bearcreekbat

    Troy, I know from our past dialogues that you are a much more thoughtful and honest person than you are presenting yourself here in defending Trump and attacking Hillary. Craig and Darin have made valid points, yet you try to dissemble.

    First, the foundation. So we have a politician who forms and backs a foundation, not to line their pockets, but to actually help people in need. But you complain that this politician is willing to meet with and listen to big donors to the foundation, even though there is no evidence and no allegation based on evidence that such meetings gave some advantage to the donor.

    So does it look bad to you when you think that someone who donates large amounts of money to help poor people better their lives wants to meet with the foundation’s principals? What if the meeting is about how the foundation might be able to do an even better job addressing poverty – would you find that to be an inappropriate conflict of interest?

    I believe you know better. In that light, nothing you have said so far has convinced me that you actually believe Hillary is an evil or dishonest person. You may say she is, but you have repeatedly been unable to provide the evidence to support such a belief when asked.

    If you want to vote for a liar and a racist like Trump, then so be it. At least no one is yet calling Hillary a racist and she has won the PolitiFact analysis for truthfulness well over Trump and even ahead of Bernie. This suggests that honesty of the candidates may not be a particularly important factor in your personal calculus, just as a history of working to help the poor seems somewhat irrelevant in your calculations.

  33. In South Dakota, who really cares how you and Troy vote for prez. Your boy is gonna get more votes, that says a lot about you and this backwards state. You all support those that are to damn lazy to get a real job so they go to Washington to bitch and moan and work on their retirement and their tan, while not working to get anything done.

    Me, I like the idea of making paying my taxes easier.

  34. Darin Larson

    Ror, could not agree more!

  35. Troy Jones


    I haven’t defended Trump once. Not once.

    I’ve not once said I have expectations on policy with regard to Trump on the social issues or he will be good (or bad for that matter) for the “establishment” (whatever that is). My only expectation is I think he will be better on economic growth and the systemic radical Islamic threat.

    I’ve never said she is evil. I’ve admitted there were Dems running who I would have considered voting for over Trump (didn’t get time to really evaluate them as they dropped out too early but I did place them higher on my initial ranking of all candidates in both parties) and said I find Hillary so brazenly dishonest and corrupt, I can’t support her. Period. Its really that simple.

    I’ve chosen to narrow my choice to the only two candidates who have a chance at winning vs. taking the easy route (in my mind and for me) to make a protest vote.

  36. Roger Cornelius

    Troy contends that the Clinton’s are worth more than $100 million, while at the same time failing to make any mention of Trump’s adamant refusal to publish his tax returns.
    Why are republicans giving a pass to Trump on letting the public know about his finances? What is he hiding?
    Is there a link to his bed buddy Putin?

  37. Darin Larson

    “I haven’t defended Trump once. Not once.”

    So what? You are voting for him! What the heck does it mean that you are not defending someone, but you are voting for them?

  38. Troy Jones


    Yep. I don’t defend the indefensible. I’ve got two choices and I find greater fault with Hillary.


    I’ve never clamored for anyone to release their tax returns. Trump has been audited by the IRS. I think tax returns are distractions and of only purient interest. And, I didn’t need Hillary’s tax returns to know Bill Clinton is the highest paid executive of a charity in the United States.

  39. Roger Cornelius

    I wasn’t aware that Bill Clinton was paid by the Clinton Foundation, what is your source for that, Troy?

    Of course Troy wouldn’t clamor for any politicians tax returns now that Trump is hiding his.

    If it is fair for Trump to demand President Obama’s birth certificate, it is fair that the electorate demand to see Trump’s tax returns.

  40. Darin Larson

    Troy, FYI, Bill Clinton is not paid by the Clinton Foundation.

    Troy, did you see where Trump quadrupled the rental charge to his campaign of office space that he owns after he started raising big sums of money for his campaign? Trump screws over his own campaign for profit. The Art of the Deal indeed.

  41. Mr. C, if you get a hold of some of those Trump yard signs that are paired with any of the crazies in district 30 would you save some for me?

  42. Roger Cornelius

    Trump campaign fund raising?

    Must be another lie, he has said repeatedly that he is so rich he will be self funding his campaign.

  43. Alas, even here, the scandal smoke squeezes out discussion of the actual policy Clinton offers.

    The standard deduction for small business takes some grit out of the system, allowing the smallest businesses to invest less time and money in tax prep and more in doing the work that inspires them and/or puts food on their tables and goods/services in customers’ hands. Free marketeers should love that, right? Have we found a downside yet to the standard deduction for small business?

  44. Gosh darn it, wrong article! [Dicta! I’ve moved your errant text over to the Sanford/Avera post! —CAH]

  45. Clinton at least has ideas on taxes. Trump’s idea on taxes is to hide them from your view. Republicans are not so curious about his returns because they know full well that he is joined at the hip with the Russians and the Chinese while declaring that publicly. He is leveraged financially with both nations. I do not know of any farmer, rancher or any other business person who can get tough with their banker and dictate policy to them. Clinton wants to make simplifying taxes, Trump wants to simply keep doing business with our adversaries. Make America grate our teeth again is really what this is all about. At least we do not have Cruz to contend with this election cycle. Dominionism and Trumpism are much the same, all bull puckey.

  46. Clinton and the Democrats put the light on a huge drug rip off that helped to lower the price from the gouge. If Clinton would not be so calculated and step out of the box to kick some ass, Democrats would win by a huge landslide. Americans all, regardless of party, are sick to death of the sorry way our congress has worked for the last 40 years, they want change they can see that will help them in their lives, not the same crap that the likes of Thune, NOem and the other guy dole out.

  47. I asked Troy what significant incidents of dishonesty he can pin on Clinton but all I hear are crickets. I hear accusations of her being the most dishonest and most corrupt, so one would think that would make it extremely easy to cite specific examples of such blatant dishonesty and corruption… but we don’t see it.

    This is just an example of people listening to the echo chamber of the right-wing and repeating what they have been told. Manufactured controversy at the highest levels – it seems to be what the GOP excels at.

    Meawhile we have Trump using campaign contributions to purchase $55,000 worth of his own books at full retail value not only to line his own pockets, but also to try to game the New York Times Bestsellers list. We also have him quadruppling the rent in his building once his campaign was paying the bills… again more money diverted into his pockets.

    We have known examples of him illegally forcing residents out of properties that he wished to redevelop. We have cases where he had his father illegally launder money through a Casino in order for him to prevent bankruptcy (note it didn’t work). We have cases of him bringing in illegal immigrants to work on his projects. We have proven cases where he refused to pay subcontractors or suppliers on his projects. We have the cases where he knowingly defrauded thousands of Trump University students out of millions of dollars in tuition. He illegally sought political donations from foreign leaders. He ignored anti-discrimination laws by banning minorities from a casino as a favor to a high roller.

    The list goes on and on – and these are all things which are documented many of which resulted in Trump paying fines and some others which are working their way through the court system.

    But Hillary is the dishonest and corrupt one because she had her own email server and she met with some of the same people who donated to the Clinton Foundation. Right.

  48. Troy Jones


    I wish I could remember why the House Democrats insisted on eliminating it in the mid-80’s. It wasn’t a bad reason as I remember not being “offended” even though I didn’t like how the elimination was an effective tax increase on the mom and pop’s. I have something fuzzy in my head but it is so fuzzy I could be confusing it with other issues.

    What is fuzzily in my head are these two things:

    1) It created an incentive for commission sales employees to become independent contractors whereby the amount paid up to the standard deduction was tax-free and it was exempt from Social Security and Medicare as the contractor earned profits and not wages. Its possible subsequent changes in what constitutes a subcontractor makes this proposal less problematic.

    2) A significant over-riding principle of the Tax Equalization and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) was to eliminate loopholes and abuses. This is the bill which put limits on certain types of expenditures with regard to the deductibility (e.g. certain business development expenses like customer meals are deductible at 50%). It could be the standard deduction favored those businesses with a high revenue to expense ratio.

    I don’t throw these out to confuse but maybe someone else can confirm the rationale for its elimination 30 years ago. BTW, the elimination might have been warranted then when the business organization vehicle of choice were C & S corporations. It might be that the move to LLP’s and LLC’s makes the re-introduction reasonable (I don’t even know if this statement makes sense as I’m not a tax expert).

  49. Don Coyote

    cah: “I can look at last year’s tax return, compare the expenses I claimed and deducted last year with the new standard deduction Clinton offers and say without any professional help whether I should take the standard or keep itemizing. Individuals do the same thing: we have a general idea of how much we donate to charity, how much we spend on health costs, how much we spend on our mortgage.”

    But businesses aren’t individuals even if they are sole proprietorships. Individuals don’t have to keep books and report their profit/losses year to year. Individuals don’t have to demonstrate to the IRS that they are a legitimate business and not just a hobby. I don’t see how having a standard deduction for businesses will preclude them from having to fill out Form 1040, Schedule C – “Profit or Loss from Business” form. This is where the lion’s share of costs in time and money occurs. As a business, I don’t have the luxury of using last years numbers when filling this out for my small business.

  50. Unless your business has gross receipts of over one million, here is how it will work. Checkbook accounting and why that little memo deally is going to be important. If you invest in your business with necessary equipment, expense it up to a million bucks. The NFIB should be all over this with full support as should the Chamber of Commerce, this will help small business to not only save money, but to expand as well.

    “Allow 4 million small businesses with gross receipts under $1 million to take advantage of “checkbook accounting.” Hillary wants to make filing taxes for these small businesses as simple as maintaining a checkbook or printing a bank statement, eliminating all the paperwork involved in today’s more complex filing and recordkeeping requirements. She will also simplify accounting and tax filing and offer tax relief for small businesses with $25 million or less in gross receipts, by replacing complicated rules and letting businesses under this threshold choose the simpler “cash accounting” method.”

  51. David Bergan

    Hi Cory,

    You know I’m passionately in favor of less paperwork and nuisance when it comes to taxes, both individual and business. I’d rather pay a little more in taxes than deal with any hassle. In spirit, I’m behind this standard deduction idea.

    However, I doubt that my business will save any time from it. Sounds like the kind of thing that a Quickbooks update will take care of for me. Then maybe there’ll be a 2-minute conversation with my tax preparer about whether it’s in my interest to use it or not.

    Now, if Clinton could get rid of the hundreds of Box 6 1099s I have to mail out, that would be something! Uncle Sam wants me to report on every vision claim (and commission) I pay… just so they can keep tabs on my colleagues’ reported income. And up until 4 years ago, the IRS only allowed 1099s prepared by typewriter.

    Kind regards,

  52. Coyote, I was speaking as a business. The standard deduction would make the Dakota Free Press side of my tax return simpler. It would also likely save me money.

    David, maybe bookkeeping software makes the burden of calculating expenses for taxes less onerous. But a standard deduction would also reduce the audit burden: take the standard deduction, and the IRS should be less likely to flag your return, and if they do, you won’t have to document and justify every expense.

  53. By the way, the Tax Foundation says Clinton hasn’t given the details necessary to determine if the small biz standard deduction would be good policy, but the group does like Clinton’s proposals to allow immediate deduction of up to $1M in capital investments (instead of spreading out those deductions with complicated depreciation schedules), quadrupling the deduction for start-up expenses (giving new biz a break on up-front costs when they happen and when the biz budget is tightest), and allowing more businesses to use cash-flow accounting instead of accrual accounting (reporting expenses when they pay rather than when they purchase).

  54. David: you report vision claims on 1099s? Your tax problems are clearly greater than mine. :-)