Donald Trump's Tax Returns Helps the New York Times Understand How Income Tax Works

This is ignorance dressed up as a gobsmacking news discovery:


From the article:

President Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005, according to forms made public on Tuesday night: a rare glimpse at documents that he had refused to disclose since becoming a candidate for the nation’s highest office.

Mr. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent, according to forms disclosed on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. By claiming losses, Mr. Trump apparently saved millions of dollars in taxes that he would otherwise have owed.

Uhhhh… yeah. And? You can actually say that about any deduction you take. For instance:

By claiming is wife and children as dependents and a home mortgage interest deduction, streiff apparently saved tens of dollars in taxes that he would otherwise have owed.

See how that works.

Ironically, the Times tries to use this story to paper over a fatuous bit of yellow journalism it engaged in during the election. Back in October they ran a story headlined Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades, The Times Found.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

The $916 million loss certainly could have eliminated any federal income taxes Mr. Trump otherwise would have owed on the $50,000 to $100,000 he was paid for each episode of “The Apprentice,” or the roughly $45 million he was paid between 1995 and 2009 when he was chairman or chief executive of the publicly traded company he created to assume ownership of his troubled Atlantic City casinos. Ordinary investors in the new company, meanwhile, saw the value of their shares plunge to 17 cents from $35.50, while scores of contractors went unpaid for work on Mr. Trump’s casinos and casino bondholders received pennies on the dollar.


This is how that story is treated today:

In October, The Times published three pages of Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns, which showed a $916 million deduction that could have allowed him to legally avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years. The forms disclosed on Tuesday do not say whether the $103 million in losses were left over from that 1995 loss.

From the way the New York Times is reacting to the idea that losses can be used to offset income one would think they were some of those radical anti-income tax flat tax proponents.


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