Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.


A Tale of Trump’s Taxes

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Obama Administration

Today in Trump News, the NY Times somehow got its hands on a copy of part of Trump’s tax returns from 1995 that show some, um, losses.

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Most people, I suspect, would consider losing nearly a billion dollars in one year an indication that one is something of a screw-up. But not Trump and the Trumpettes.

Trump and his surrogates, meanwhile, tried Sunday to turn the story into an asset, saying that reports he avoided paying taxes for years prove his business acumen and deep knowledge of the tax system.

“He’s a genius at how to take advantage of legal remedies that can help your company survive and grow,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on ABC’s This Week.  “I want a man who’s a genius at figuring out how to take this country, that’s moving in the wrong direction.”

Christie told Fox News Sunday that it was a “very, very good story” for Trump, and noted that “he’s already promised in his tax plan to change many of these special interest loopholes and get rid of them, so you don’t have this kind of situation.”

Yes, losing a billion dollars is genius. What else can one say? Meanwhile, the Washington Post has a story up about Trump having another public meltdown yesterday after this news broke. A couple of highlights:

He told the crowd to get a group of friends together on Election Day, vote and then go to “certain areas” and “watch” the voters there. “I hear too many bad stories, and we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about,” Trump said. “So, go and vote and then go check out areas because a lot of bad things happen, and we don’t want to lose for that reason.” …

… “Hillary Clinton’s only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself,” Trump said. “I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth.”

The crowd gasped and many shouted: “Ohhhhh!”

Trump shrugged.

“And really, folks,” Trump continued, “really, why should she be? Right? Why should she be?”

Back to the Times — publishing a tax return without authorization to do so is against the law, and the Times may end up paying a penalty for it. But I’m sure the Times editors knew this and decided the benefits outweighed the costs. That was gutsy of them. Credit where credit is due.

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