Only in a demented corner of America could a man who led his company to a $916 million loss be held up as an exemplar of business acumen. As the New York Times breathlessly reported over the weekend, Donald Trump in a 1995 NY State tax filing (which mirrors material reported to the IRS) claimed his vaunted business suffered a nine figure loss – allowing Mr. Genius to offset positive earnings for 18 years (15 forward, 3 backward) and rendering much of his subsequent multi-million dollar income tax-free.
(Coming soon from Trump University. Master Class: How to lose billions, sustain your arrogance, flummox asshole bankers, dupe the dupable, and still laugh at the IRS.)
Calling Donald an “absolute genius”, Rudy Giuliani extolled the orange man’s fi-douche-iary responsibility to his investors (read: his immediate family): “This is a perfectly legal application of the tax code, and he would have been a fool not to take advantage of it.” Hefty lapdog Chris Christie went on record to slobber, “There is no one who has shown more genius in their way to maneuver around the tax code.”
Getting the most out of the tax code is logical for anyone, but Bridgegate Christie and America’s Mayor seem to have whizzed right past the salient point that ‘ABSOLUTE GENIUS’ DONALD TRUMP LOST NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS IN ONE YEAR!
Just think, if Donald Trump had lost a few million more he’d be smarter than Stephen Hawking.
Every hard-working American who watches helplessly as his or her weekly salary is garnished immediately for federal, state and FICA taxes knows that the kinds of “genius” tax maneuvers made by the likes of Trump are outside their reach. In reality, companies and wealthy individuals across the fruited plain that routinely denounce a complicated tax code that supposedly stifles investment and innovation refuse to acknowledge that the code is the way it is because of their manipulation of it. Undoubtedly, more than 90 percent of the voluminous tax code rules exist because big business lobbied and paid Congress to put them there. Yes, it’s a rigged system … in favor of dudes like Trump.
As a self-proclaimed expert on U.S. tax laws, Trump is presenting himself as the best (only?) person who can fix it. After the Times’ revelation, I have to assume Trump’s use of the word “fix” is the same as it would be in discussing the outcome of a horse race.
Does anyone really think such sops as carried interest loopholes, real estate depreciation schedules, and laws that allow corporate behemoths like Apple to pretend the majority of their revenue flows through a pub in Ireland were enacted by Congress for the betterment of a guy working at Lowes (when he’s not driving for Uber on third shift)? It’s easy to understand how the strongest constituency for Trump is the uneducated – no one taught them how to question charlatans and sniff out Trump-branded snake-oil.
I would be surprised if those close to Trump hadn’t months ago expected a late-game revelation of his slimy tax practices. Perhaps a few tried to convince Genius Don to dribble out some numbers to placate the wolves, but in the end he knew it was better to try to run out the clock with bullshit about audits. If only the bad ole IRS would back off, he’d open the kimono on all Trump dealings back to when they were the Drumpfs.
Now, Trump’s handlers are predictably vilifying the Times for publishing a few pages of ’95 tax returns they received anonymously in the mail from some apparently disgusted and/or disgruntled insider. Lawsuits will be filed and subsequently dismissed without merit. Flaks will blame the leak on Hillary Clinton, or the Kenyan Secret Service, or Miss Universe – but it won’t help. But it may not hurt either. Millions of shlubs at the bottom of the rung who pay their taxes all year every year, and then spend hours of their own time in April reconciling a few hundred bucks prior to filing 1040s will exult the genius of Trump – oblivious to how their man has played them for fools.
(Sidebar: Our guess as to who leaked the tax returns is Marla Maples or someone on her staff at her behest.)