I’m still trying to understand this one, so bear with me for just a moment.
The New York Times has uncovered information that reveals a big business loss for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. He declared a loss of about $916 million in 1995, caused by the wreckage of some business ventures.
The loss allowed Trump, according to the Times, to avoid paying federal income taxes for the next 18 years. The Trump campaign hasn’t confirmed or denied the veracity of the report.
So … is this a case of Trump gaming the federal tax system? Or is it smart business practice, as his supporters are now insisting?
Rudy Guiliani, one of Trump’s key advisers, defends the GOP nominee’s tax-paying record.
It’s a complicated story, full of economic nuance and wheeling/dealing with which I am patently unfamiliar. As the Times reported: “Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.”
It’s not yet clear, of course, whether Trump actually did avoid paying income taxes over the course of nearly two decades. My achy old bones tell me he probably took full advantage of tax law to dodge the tax burden.
After all, he did tell Hillary Rodham Clinton during their first presidential debate this past week that it would be “smart” of him to avoid paying taxes.
OK, then. Let’s see those tax returns so we can determine for ourselves who’s telling the truth.