The disclosure of information from the 1995 state tax return of Donald Trump filled the papers, Internet and airwaves for the past two days.
Seems like he had a massive tax loss 21 years ago. Just to say again, 21 years ago. I almost feel sorry for someone who has a loss of this magnitude. It happens and if such losses continue a business usually goes under or has its credits line dry up.
I have read a few articles on this, listened to the pundits and political hacks for both side. What strikes me is the ignorance of the reporters, analyst and gurus. There is a fairly wide misunderstanding of the tax system, how it is designed and the underlying tenants. This is particularly true on the subject of the long-standing rules of depreciation and net operating loss (NOL, as it is known)
I am also surprised this same group makes speculative conclusions and premises’ based on events that may or may not have occurred since 1995. It would seem-if the New York Times- is to be believed, Mr. Trump may not have paid a dime in taxes for as much as the last 15 years. Of course, there is no basis to conclude this or direct the reader to this opinion. It is just part of a daily smear campaign. Not that it is not a legitimate story but I fail to see the same, if any, vigor in pursuing the corrupt and distrustful conduct of the Clintons. Trump is also to blame by allowing the focus to always be about him.
Mr. Trump has not been accused of anything illegal, violating any tax laws. He is accused of gaming the system and not contributing to the welfare of the country. Part true, part not true. The net operation losses he claimed are no different than massive losses from America’s corporate elite. Blue chip mammoth companies frequently report huge losses. Remember pre-bailout General Motors? However, to the liberal elite, he has committed some moral crime, probably the same crime liberal high net worth individuals commit based on the advice and clever tax planning of their advisors.
Mr. Trump is not going to be President. His loss will be for a lot of reasons but probably not for his tax returns. The whole story is a charade and a mean, uninformed one at that.