The New York Times dropped a bombshell by reporting that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump might have avoided paying any federal taxes for 18 years using a loophole that benefits wealthy families: by declaring nearly a billion dollar loss.
The business mogul declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns and received large tax benefits from financial deals that went bad in the early 1990s.
"This is a perfectly legal application of the tax code. And he would have been a fool not to take advantage of it," former New York City mayor and Trump crony Rudy Giuliani proudly told ABC's “This Week.”
By refusing to release his taxes, Trump has become the first major party presidential candidate to do so in four decades. In addition, without the documents there is no way to determine if his campaign’s claims about its financial spending and charitable donations are true.
And that refusal is fomenting additional suspicion that the truth is even worse than what The New York Times reported — or else the Trump campaign would've denounced the stories with facts and proof, not meaningless statements.
As Ezra Klein wrote in Vox, "Trump is making clear that whatever is really in his tax returns would be devastating to his campaign."
Interestingly, where Trump has possibly saved millions in tax dollars, he has frequently criticized others for not paying their taxes.
From lambasting President Barack Obama to bemoaning Americans who don’t contribute “despite crippling government debt,” here a few times the former reality TV star blasted others for something he is most probably himself guilty of doing.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst