Someone obtained Donald Trump’s tax returns illegally. Either someone at the IRS and/or the New York Times pulled some shenanigans and got their hands on the tax documents of a private citizen without his permission.
They are saying that Donald Trump did not pay his federal taxes, that he didn’t pay his “fair share,” and so on. I am not a tax expert. I am not an accountant. I am not a journalist. But I’ve had it explained to me so that I understand it enough to explain it to you. Back in the mid-1990’s, Donald Trump lost almost $1B of his own money in a business venture. The tax laws allowed Trump to claim this as a capital loss. Doing this enables the taxpayer to reduce his taxable income during succeeding years until the loss is completely used up. Trump did this to reduce his tax burden for several years after the initial loss. It is perfectly legal. And Hillary Clinton did the same thing on at least one of her more recent returns, although for a far lesser amount. Again, taking a capital loss is perfectly legal under our tax code. And nobody is accusing Donald Trump of doing anything illegal, only asserting that he didn’t pay his taxes, even though Donald Trump has paid every dime he’s owed to the IRS. He’s been audited for the last 15 years. I guarantee you if his taxes were in arrears, the IRS would have nailed him by now.
So let me encapsulate. The NYT illegally obtained the tax documents of a private U.S. citizen (Donald Trump). His political opponent, Hillary Clinton, is peddling those illegally-obtained documents for political gain. Both the media and HRC have found no illegal activity by Donald Trump. HRC used the same “loophole” Donald Trump used. Yet Donald Trump is the bad guy. This is a perfect microcosm of the deceit and corruption that is American politics in 2016.
If you don’t like the fact that a rich guy like Donald Trump is able to use existing tax laws to reduce his tax burden, then don’t blame Trump. Every year, I take every deduction I can find so I can pay as little income tax as the law will allow. I guarantee you that every politician and media operative trying to scapegoat Trump does the same. Do you honestly believe the money-obsessed Clintons pay so much as a dollar over the minimum? If you have a problem with all this, then let’s change the tax code. For the last 20 years, various Republicans have proposed scrapping our convoluted tax code for a much simpler one. Democrats won’t hear of it. Politicians like Hillary Clinton are completely responsible for everything that’s in the tax code. Donald Trump is not a chump for taking advantage of the law to pay as little as he owes. In fact, he’s rather smart and shrewd. So who would you rather have as president: a shrewd businessman who leverages the tax laws to pay as little as he legally owes, or an entrenched politician who helped write the convoluted tax system that we all seem to find so revolting?