Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been extremely busy going after Republican rival Donald Trump on taxes after The New York Times revealed that Trump used a perfectly legal tax strategy to mitigate a large business loss by paying no taxes for several years back in the 1990s.
Big problem, though: It seems Hillary Clinton did the same thing, and much more recently.
“There it is. This bombshell report reveals the colossal nature of Donald Trump’s past business failures and just how long he may have avoided paying any federal income taxes whatsoever,” Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook said in a statement after the loss was announced.
“In one year, Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars. A billion. He stiffed small businesses, laid off workers, and walked away from hardworking communities.
“And how did it work out for him? He apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades — while tens of millions of working families paid theirs. He calls that ‘smart.’ (It’s also 100% legal, according to the US Tax Code and the IRS. Hillary obviously doesn’t know “legal” when it’s right in front of her. – Norm ‘n’ Al) Now that the gig is up, why doesn’t he go ahead and release his returns to show us all how ‘smart’ he really is?”
There are plenty of problems in that little flood of vitriol. To start with, the evidence that Trump avoided taxes since 1995 is practically nonexistent.
How he “stiffed small businesses, laid off workers, and walked away from hardworking communities” by dropping an unsustainable casino business remains unexplained; apparently, the Hillary campaign believed Trump ought to have kept losing money as a sort of public utility to keep people working. That augurs spectacularly for how Hillary Clinton plans to run our government, don’t you think?
As for a business loss turning Trump into a failure, isn’t this the same Clinton family that left the White House “almost broke?” (It sure is the same Clinton family which looted the White House of tens of thousands of dollars in furnishings and art when they left it, just because they thought they were entitled to a little extra loot. Remember, the C stands for much more than Clinton…it also stands for CROOK! -Norm ‘n’ Al)
Oh, and as for the moral nature of what Trump did, Hillary and Bill Clinton did exactly the same thing.
A look back at Hillary Clinton’s tax returns from 2015 (here), proudly displayed by the campaign proving she has nothing to hide – shows something awkward on page 17…
While not on the scale of Trump’s business “operating loss”, Hillary Clinton – like many wealthy individuals is taking advantage of a legal tax provision to use historical losses to avoid paying current taxes.
As Bloomberg notes, this federal tax break is among the wealthy’s most used avoidance schemes…
Those 1.1 million folks in the 1 percent, as measured by the TPC, have annual income that averages a little less than $700,000. The top one-tenth of that group, some 110,000 households, average about $3.6 million, according to Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the TPC.2
The middle of the pack, some 33 million people, have pretax income ranging from $45,000 to $80,000. The lowest one-fifth of taxpayers, a universe of about 47 million Americans, have income up to about $24,000.
Among the biggest of these givebacks, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service (well, really Congress), are capital gains and dividends—these are the biggest way the wealthiest benefit.
In the words of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, “this bombshell report reveals [Hillary Clinton’s] past business failures… and may show just how long [Hillary Clinton] may have avoided paying taxes.”
Finally, as we noted previously, the NYT itself is also perfectly happy to take advantage of US tax laws to minimize the amount of money it pays to the government: in 2014 the company got a tax refund of $3.6 million despite having a $29.9 million pretax profit, an effective negative tax rate for 2014, which it explained was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis