While I am an American, in many ways I don’t act like the typical citizen who feels his American citizenship entitles him to a life way beyond his means. In fact, when I was making it, I spent very little of the money I made – living with an almost incomprehensible frugality.
Enter PAUL MANAFORT, ex campaign head for the leader of the free world. He is exactly the opposite. Part of the reason he’s so fucked stems from living beyond his means – rather than below. Most people know this dude’s in trouble. But only a few who pay attention know exactly what he’s accused of. So here it is all broken down:
For more than a decade, Manafort derived his income from managing the political career of a pro-Putin Ukranian dictator. The money he earned on this gig was deposited in off shore accounts and not reported on his income tax. Despite, Manafort was not charged with tax fraud but rather, money laundering when he wired hunks of this cash to contractors who were renovating several real estate properties he owned. So regardless of the charge, PM essentially stashed cash overseas and moved the money around so he didn’t have to pay income tax on his earnings.
This isn’t a particularly unique scenario. Lots of people who earn cash devise ways to avoid paying taxes. Some are more elaborate than others. But the end result is the same. Then last week, Manafort crossed into a new realm. Because he is clearly such a conspicuous spender and up to his ass in debt despite all the money he earned and didn’t pay taxes on, he now has a whole new slew of federal charges directed at him.
When Manafort’s Ukranian dictator was ousted, Paul lost his income. Now you’d think that with all those millions he didn’t pay taxes on, he could rest easily. But no, that is not the American way. Americans just have to live above their means. It’s how the 2008 financial meltdown happened. And the ethos is still going strong if Paul Manafort is any indication.
Once his income dried up, Manafort allegedly provided a few lenders all manner of doctored and fraudulent documents in a fruitless attempt to borrow millions of dollars. Amazing, right? This moron makes millions…hides the cash from the IRS…and is somehow still fucked financially to the point that he lies to try and get his hands on some more cash.
Well…the banks see the bull shit and his attempt to borrow fails. He’s fucked. So Manafort changes strategy and offers his services to DONALD TRUMP as campaign manager free-of-charge. Ya know…like he’s got so much money he doesn’t need to get paid.
So how does that compute? Check it out. He gets the gig with Trump and suddenly, obtains a huge loan from a small bank in Chicago whereupon the bank’s chief officer begins calling the US Army and requesting information concerning a gig he’s allegedly anticipating – that of becoming Secretary of the US Army. Never mind that officers at the bank wondered why the hell the bank was accepting Manafort’s loan application.
It doesn’t take a detective to figure out what was going on here. It’s the American way – all part in parcel of a bull shit entitlement wherein unskilled labor feels a right to million dollar subprime loans – and hustlers like Paul Manafort find a way to live like a billionaire when alas, he’s only worth millions.
Bringing this all back to me, I have this to say. Because I lived (and live) substantially below my means, the legal problems I encountered were significantly mitigated by my frugal ways. I had the money to pay my back taxes plus penalties plus interest…and am now comfortably in retirement with no money problems save how to spend some of it. Had I lived that American way, I’d be in a huge scramble and lying awake at night scheming on ways to keep myself afloat. Which is why I never wanted to be flashy and foolish. So I wouldn’t have to worry about a mess of my own making born of my uncontrolled need to consume.