In taking that $915 million loss in 1995, and carrying it forward to shelter future income, Donald Trump did nothing wrong. By both his family and his business, he did everything right.
In a famous 1947 dissent, Judge Learned Hand wrote:
“[T]here is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. … Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”
This writer’s father spent his career as a tax accountant who studied tax codes and utilized every permissible deduction to keep his clients’ tax bills as low as legally possible.