The New York Times published an investigative piece after getting their hands on Trump’s tax returns from 1985 to 1994, finding he lost money in business every year, sometimes more than any other American taxpayer, and it added up to almost $1.2 billion over that ten year period. Fox News went into overdrive, coming up with many fanciful excuses for it.
We’ll start with the three-headed halfwit known as Fox and Friends, who went for the “hey, not every investment is gonna be a winner” argument.
KILMEADE: For you or I, maybe buying a summer home is a big move, or maybe even a trailer. But for Donald Trump, he says I got some money but I want to really expand my empire. I want to take chances. That’s what he’s done through his entire life as a personality, as a host, as a businessman. And guess what? Not all of us win on everything we buy.
But to lose on every business for ten straight years? The self-declared business genius doesn’t seem like much of a genius.
Sean Hannity tried a similar one, saying “We all knew that — what happened in New Jersey in the casino business, yeah, it kind of went south, businesses fail every day.” Yeah, and then he stuck investors with billions of dollars in worthless bonds. That doesn’t make him a genius, it makes him a fraud.
Former Bush speechwriter Marc Theissen went with “hey, that’s what good accountants do.”
Two, I always thought that the reason why Donald Trump doesn’t want his taxes released is nothing to do with any corruption or illegality, it’s because they’re going to show he’s not as rich as he says he is because when you do your taxes your incentive is to minimize your income as much as possible to pay the least amount of taxes. So Donald Trump has the best accountants in the world, they’re going to organize his finances in a way to minimize his income.
And that’s one big problem, because Michael Cohen has revealed documents that show Trump has deliberately made his income and wealth as low as possible for tax purposes, but as high as possible for banks when he wants money from them. He often has valued the same asset or business at one low value for the IRS and one high value for banks, at the exact same time. That’s called tax fraud and bank fraud.
Newt Gingrich tried to argue that this is an argument for Trump’s tax cuts because lower taxes means less incentive to downplay one’s income for the IRS:
But this is actually an argument for the Trump tax cuts. When you lower taxes, there is less reason to have shelters. And when you lower taxes, there is less reason to create losses for tax purposes. So in a very real way, the Trump tax cuts are vindicated by the New York Times story.
Oh, of course. It’s not like rich people aren’t going to do everything they can to pay lower taxes even if their tax rate is dropped or anything. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge over the Bowling Green massacre to sell you.