The blockbuster story in the New York Times confirms (to a large extent), the two main reasons we speculated about when we originally published this piece as to why Trump is dead set on forever concealing his taxes:
- He probably didn’t pay any income tax for a bunch of years. The Times’ story says he paid no personal income tax between 1989-1995.
- He isn’t nearly as rich as he says he is.According to the Times, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s “Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer”.
The Times has several other interesting details in its very comprehensive analysis. A chunk of the money Trump did make during this time was from pretending to be a corporate raider: spreading rumors that he was going to buy a certain company, and then selling his stock in it when the price went up as a result. But the Times says Wall Street caught on before long. One of the only real killings Trump made during those years was from the sale of a New York hotel.
Trump doesn’t deny the story in early morning Tweets, though he calls it “a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job.” He contends in the 80s and 90s “almost all” real estate developers generated massive losses for tax purposes: “it was sport”, the President Tweets.
The Times’ data does not cover returns for the years leading up to his Presidency, which is what the Treasury and Justice Departments are denying to House Democrats right now.
Also, none of that disqualifies anybody from getting elected President, as long as they have the votes. So, amazing, amazing work by the Times, which has done a better job than anybody digging into Trump’s finances. But unfortunately, all the story ultimately proves is that Trump lies. A lot. Huge lies. Then again, we already knew that…