The New York Times claimed on Sunday that the front page of Trump’s state income tax returns filed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in 1995 prove that the man came close to being a tax cheat:
Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.
The mainstream media trumpeted the storyline incessantly without mentioning simple truths buried in the Times’ report: The hit piece was based on just three pages of the voluminous tax returns Trump filed in that year; his taxable income in future years is unknown; tax experts consulted by the Times “said nothing in [those pages from 1995] suggested any wrongdoing”; that donations Trump might have made to charity in 1995 are unknown; that nothing provided by those three front pages “suggest that Mr. Trump was insolvent or effectively bankrupt in 1995”; and that “Mr. Trump’s use of net operating losses was no different from that of … other wealthy [taxpayers].”
What was missing from the Times’ hypocritical attack on Trump was that the Times has been losing print subscribers and advertising revenue in the millions over the past several years and writing off those losses. In May the paper admitted that its $14 million loss for the first quarter of 2016 was “roughly the same as in the first quarter of 2015.” It further admitted that, despite investing heavily in digital technology, its revenues from those offerings represent less than 15 percent of the paper’s total income. Also missing was its plan to close its print production facilities located in Paris, France, which will, according to the paper’s own announcement, cost “up to 70 jobs.”
In addition the Times failed to mention that Trump’s Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, took a $700,000 deduction on her 2015 federal income tax return almost identical to the one that the Times thinks Trump took in 1995. The Clintons’ 2015 Form 1040 is available online here. Note page 17, Schedule D: Capital Gains and Losses, Line 15: Net long-term capital gain or (loss): -$699,540.
In addition to that failure to inform, the Times omitted any reference to the fact that half of Americans filing income tax returns pay no income taxes. Finally, the “paper of record” didn’t mention all the taxes that Trump and his companies DO pay, and have paid, over the years: payroll taxes, property taxes, inventory taxes, import taxes, unemployment insurance premiums, and so on. Nor was there any mention of all the jobs he created building his empire, each of which did generate income taxes for states and the federal government along the way.
Mike Adams, known to his readers as the Health Ranger at NaturalNews.com, summed up the Times’ failure to inform in its rush to judgment, seeking only to denigrate and castigate Trump for his success, with this:
Nowhere in all this does Donald Trump get credit for creating jobs, creating real wealth, and paying taxes during years of profit. In contrast, Hillary Clinton has been collecting tens of millions of dollars from foreign donors while selling government influence to the highest bidder (which is a felony crime, by the way).
From the cattle futures fiasco back in the 1980’s to her present day $300,000 “speech” gigs for wealthy banks, Hillary Clinton has never worked an honest day in her life, and she’s still collecting money by peddling government favors to foreign billionaires.
The fact that most of the Times’ storyline was manufactured out of just three pages of state income tax returns that Trump filed 20 years ago doesn’t matter. In the world informed by the Times, none of this is relevant. It doesn’t fit the liberal narrative: Trump is a tax cheat and must not be elected in November.
It’s just possible that the Times’ hypocrisy will be exposed and justice served. When experts at Lawnewz.com were consulted about the possibility that the Times obtained those copies illegally, it responded: “It doesn’t look like they did.… The only way the Times could possibly be in legal trouble is if it was later discovered that one of their reporters actively encouraged or helped a government employee to break the law.”
A graduate of an Ivy League school and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.