News flash: Donald Trump does not try to pay more federal taxes than he owes.
The extension of the Clinton campaign, The New York Times, giddily — and maybe illegally but certainly without authorization — revealed a portion of Trump’s personal tax return from 1995, which showed him taking a $912 million loss.
If you do not understand taxes, you do not understand that this is a non-event. And Democrats count on voters not understanding these things.
Real estate was in a big downturn in the early ’90s and the FDIC was auctioning buildings. Trump lost money that year, which is not a news story. The story is that he came back and is now worth $3 to $7 billion.
In 2014, The New York Times itself had $1.5 billion in revenue, $92 million in income, and paid no taxes. In fact, the IRS cut the NY Times a check for $3.5 million that year. Liberal billionaires like George Soros and Warren Buffet have both taken roughly $1 billion losses in business and written them off over time.
In the hypocrisy category, guess who else has done this on their taxes? The Clintons.
Trump has been audited for the past 15 years. The real story is that the audits began about when he announced he was a Republican. Thanks to these audits, we know he has paid every dime in taxes that he owes.
Democrats try to conflate a tax loss carry forward, a standard and legal tax accounting practice, with Trump not paying his taxes. It’s the same lie the Democrats told about Mitt Romney not paying taxes. Yes, it’s underhanded and misleading, but this is how Democrats win. You can’t really expect them to win on their own ideas or results.
The real financial question is how the Clintons, life-long “public servants,” have become worth about $100 million — or more. They have not started a business that employs people. The only jobs they’ve created are for prosecutors, subpoena deliverymen and their defense attorneys.
Getting rich off the taxpayer is OK with Democrats as long as they act as if they feel bad about it. The Clinton Foundation is America’s largest personal 401K, a perpetual tax advantage for the Clinton family. There is no estate tax on it and no scrutiny. It collected “pay to play” money for a past president and a then-current Secretary of State who was also an all-but-assured future presidential candidate. The money was all tax deductible to donors, funneled through a non-U.S. bundler who didn’t fully disclose sources.
Democrats, who generally toe the party line without much thought or debate, are nervous. Moreover, they are about as comfortable with Hillary as their nominee as they would be with Anthony Weiner borrowing their smartphones.
Quick: Think of the biggest issue being debated in this campaign. The national debt? Crime? Our role in wars worldwide? The disaster that is ObamaCare?
No, we are talking about a "he said, she said," angry beauty pageant contestant who might have been called portly more than 20 years ago.
The Trump campaign wrestles with how much to remind folks about the Clintons going after the women who accused Bill of rape, aggressiveness and lying in the 1990s. Maybe they should counter with the line that "Few people understand our complex tax code, but everybody understands sex."
Both candidates are unlikable and tarnished. Neither will make our country proud. Therefore, the biggest issue facing Americans in this election is that one of these two will win.
Trump may be direct, crass and brag about his money like a rap star, but Hillary is just unlikable. Bill Clinton carried on for 30 years with “rodeo queens,” as Hillary called them. He has been impeached and disbarred; he has been accused of rape, lying and philandering.
Yet America still likes him much more than Hillary.
Ron Hart, a libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, is a frequent guest on CNN. Contact him at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.