Trump is the first major party presidential candidate since Richard Nixon to refuse to release any of his tax records. Now we know why he will not cough them up:
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.
Trump boasts about how smart he is when it comes to not paying taxes. If he could have avoided paying them for 18 years, it is a sure bet that the feds did not get a penny out of him.
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.
Many people were hurt badly by Trump’s failures, in particular the contractors he evaded paying and bondholders who received pennies on the dollar. Not The Donald himself though. For him, failure is a tax dodge. As his fellow New York elitist Leona Helmsley famously sniffed, “Only the little people pay taxes.”
Here’s how the NY Times got ahold of the tax documents:
The documents consisted of three pages from what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The pages were mailed last month to Susanne Craig, a reporter at The Times who has written about Mr. Trump’s finances. The documents were the first page of a New York State resident income tax return, the first page of a New Jersey nonresident tax return and the first page of a Connecticut nonresident tax return. Each page bore the names and Social Security numbers of Mr. Trump and Marla Maples, his wife at the time. Only the New Jersey form had what appeared to be their signatures.
The three documents arrived by mail at The Times with a postmark indicating they had been sent from New York City. The return address claimed the envelope had been sent from Trump Tower.
Given Trump’s enthusiasm for torture “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” I hate to think what employees are going through at Trump Tower as he attempts to smoke out the leaker.
Trump’s public response has been to threaten to sue (of course), and to issue a goofy statement that blathers about media bias and Shrillary’s emails, but does not confirm or deny that the documents are legitimate. It does mention that Trump “has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”
Trump’s supporters will bark that no laws were broken. Maybe not, in the technical sense. But politics has unwritten laws. A Big Government guy who has expressed a willingness to raise taxes, who shouts that he would spend twice as much as Shrillary on infrastructure boondoggles, and who has steadfastly refused to address the need to rein in the explosive growth of the welfare state, but who instead has been offering new entitlements that taxpayers will be expected to shoulder, is obligated by these laws to pay taxes himself.
Otherwise, his candidacy doesn’t pass the laugh test. Admittedly, flunking this test on a regular basis has never hurt Trump before, but considering how many months per year most of us work to pay our taxes, this time might be different.
On a tip from Torcer. Hat tip: The Right Scoop.