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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Conservative media are attempting to deflect attention from the revelation that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump took a $916 million loss in 1995 that might have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years by saying that that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton did “the same thing” by claiming a “$700,000 loss” on their 2015 tax return. The claim, which originated with a pseudonymous Reddit poster and has already spread to Fox News, fails to note that while the Clintons’ 2015 return shows that they did have a roughly $700,000 capital loss carried over from a prior year, that loss originates with the financial crash of 2008, and they received only a $3,000 deduction for those losses and paid $3.2 million in federal income taxes in 2015.

The New York Times reported October 1 that after declaring “a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns,” Trump may have “legally avoid[ed] paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years,” according to tax documents the paper obtained. Utilizing “tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers,” writes theTimes, Trump could have used the massive “financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s” to “cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.” The Trump campaign has struggled to explain the revelation, but it has not denied the suggestion that Trump avoided paying nearly two decades of federal income tax.

Last night, Reddit commenter “TheGoldenDon” claimed on the pro-Trump Reddit page “The_Donald” that “Hillary Clinton recorded a $700k loss to avoid paying taxes in 2015.” The post included an image from the Clintons’ return which shows that the Clintons had a net long-term capital loss of $699,540 carried over from a prior tax year. The image was picked up by the conservative blog Zero Hedge, which stated that the returns show that Hillary Clinton “Used Same Tax Avoidance ‘Scheme’ As Trump.”

The claim rocketed through the conservative media and has been repeatedly cited on this morning’s Fox & Friends, where co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed that the “$700,000 loss” shows that “Hillary did the same thing” as Trump.

In fact, as the next page of the tax returns show, while the Clintons claimed a $700,000 capital loss carried over from a prior year, they could take a deduction for only of $3,000 for that loss:

The first page of the tax return confirms that the Clintons received a $3,000 deduction for their capital loss:

The next page confirms that they paid $3,236,975 in federal income tax that year.

The Clintons claimed a $726,721 capital loss on their 2008 tax returns — likely as a result of the financial crash — and have carried forward the loss and claimed a $3,000 deduction in each subsequent year. The campaign says they have paid an effective federal tax rate of between 25 percent and 38.2 percent every year since 2001.

This data is available because the Clintons have released decades of tax returns, while Trump has shunned more than 50 years of precedent by refusing to release any tax information.

Reprinted by permission of Media Matters for America

IMAGE: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is accompanied by her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, as she speaks to supporters at her final 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary night rally in Hooksett, New Hampshire.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

47 Responses to Today’s Big Lie: The Clintons ‘Avoided Taxes Just Like Trump’ (No, They Didn’t)

  1. Stupid misleading line of bulldookie. The Clintons, just like every other American forced to file their taxes each year, do everything legal to lower, if not pay zero (in some cases actually getting money) taxes. The whole issue is totally hypocritical and the only losers that don’t see it DON’T WORK and are living on welfare.

    Maybe one should ask how the Clintons, being “dead broke” when they left the Whitehouse, managed to become worth 100 million bucks or so, without building anything, without having any employees in any legitimate business’s, without having any legitimate business’s and still made hundreds of millions of dollars. Heck, I’m jealous. They made it in speaking fees. I guess they have a lot to promise the big banks and Wall Street, who paid those crazy speaking fees.

    And most of you don’t think Hitlary is bought and paid for……idiots.

    • What’s wrong with you, TinyJapaneseManInALizardSuit?
      It’s no mystery where the Clintons’ income comes from — it’s a matter of public record! There ARE disclosure forms and tax records, y’know. Plus, they have federal and/or state pension income from prior public service, book royalties from several different titles, ordinary investment income, etc.,.
      They just didn’t earn it by bilking other people — like Trump does. I guess that makes you mad, huh?

    • The reptile, Godzilla, has been awakened from his usual slumber belching fire, but saying nothing. Back to your lair, please. And pleasant nightmares.
      If you think your feeble, futile attempt will white-wash Trump and convince others, you are more delusional than you can imagine.

    • Typical false equivalence.
      Alas, you don’t get to claim the Clinton’s are bought and paid for without evidence of who paid them AND Trump releasing his tax returns so we can all see who has bought and paid for him.

      You also appear to not understand how name recognition and speaking fees work. You may as well wonder (stupidly) how David Beckham made hundreds of millions “without having any employees in any legitimate businesses”.

    • They have been picked on by scandal-makers for decades and never, never has a financial or political charge held up under scrutiny.

      Stop. Lying.

          • Thank God! I also think she will win but although I will feel some relief that such a clueless buffoon will not be in the driver’s seat I won’t be celebrating her win. She’s as much a demagogue as him, just a heck of a lot smarter.

          • Of course with such a low bar we can only hope she’ll exceed our expectations. Not to mention her appointments to the Supreme Court should yield better rulings for disenfranchised voters & women

    • Well Godzilla you are WRONG AGAIN. Even when my Corporation has a losing year, I still pay federal taxes. You don’t know that, because you don’t live in the United States. Shouldn’t your mascot be a frog instead of a gorilla? And what, you think there is a republican on the block that hasn’t been bought? You mooncalf.

  2. The problem with this claim is that the Clinton’s have released the tax returns they filed for the past several years, and there is no evidence of wrongdoing.
    In contrast, Trump hides his, and his line of defense against the tax return that was leaked to the press is not that the leaked document is false, but that it was illegal to release it to the press and make it public.

    • …which is not the case, as the IRS has repeatedly stated. If it wasn’t illegal for *them*, I think they would have done so themselves just to get him to shut *up* for a damn change.

      • The real problem for Trump is that the leaked document contradict his self-proclaimed claim of being a business genius, huge wealth, and his proposal on how to bring jobs back to the USA. If a man that has paid no taxes for 18 years did not hesitate to invest and run businesses in 12 different country, why would other entrepreneurs be persuaded to invest in the USA, instead of outsourcing, because if they do they would get a tax break. The greatest irony, when it comes to lowering taxes to encourage domestic investment, is that it is a carbon copy of what President Obama proposed…and the GOP controlled Congress rejected.

  3. What a cad, and a roomful of knaves Trump has in his employ. Rather than wash the mud and slime off, he puts on more with this juvenile attempt to clean himself by blaming someone else. Truly, a more pathetic and lamentable person, along with his merry knaves, has never thrust himself on the American scene as Trump and his dutiful lackeys have done.

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  5. The Clintons use a legitimate deduction to take $3,000 off their consistently hefty tax bill. Trump, super financial genius loses $1B, and uses it to take off the next eighteen years from paying federal income tax. Plus, we can see everything the Clintons did because they’ve released their taxes. We can only guess about Trump’s. Same. Thing. Both. Sides.

  6. Once again, the GOP “Truth Machine” selects what facts they need to support their idiocy and get exposed for it.

    • Not only the GOP “Truth Machine” are what they are, but also “The Morning Joe”. I watched them a bit this morning, Mika Brzezinski was totally misleading the viewers. She said what Trump did with not paying taxes for almost two decades is the same with Hillary receiving speech fees from Wall Street. No it is not Mika. We are talking about paying taxes. Hillary released their Tax Returns for 40 years and every reader were at liberty to go through them. Trump hasn’t released anything up to now and doesn’t intend to do so. Is that the same? Thanks to the good work of NYT that we know something about his so-called “genius dubious business” he has been engaged in. Without them we would be in darkness up to now.

    • If Mr. Gertz is going to write the Right Wing Media Lie of the Day, he will never lack for work but he will need to be selective if he’s to hold himself to one.

      More seriously, this is a prime example of how the RWMO works. A RW blog, or pseudo news source, announces a “scandal du jour”. Fox “News” picks it up. The Lamestream Media follows Fox’s lead. The “scandal” is endlessly repeated. And it becomes real.

      • Back in the dark ages when I was in college my journalism professor explained that to plant a story you put it into a small unreliable media outlet and then get a larger one to pick it up. Now you have the large outlet to use as your source. The right wing media has been doing this for years.

        • Agree entirely if you’ll allow me to add that when Fox goes with a story, the Lamestream Media will pick it up to avoid getting scooped.

  7. The other important bit of info released from Trump’s return lists his income: about $3.5MM. How is a $10B estate created on a $3.5million income? Heavy leverage – just claim the assets and ignore the liabilities.
    He doesn’t own the properties, the banks do. If the interest rate ticks up, Trump’s empire crashes, just like it did in the 1990s.

    • We won’t know until we see Trump’s tax returns (which we probably won’t ever see unless some anonymous person takes a chance on jail time to send them to a reporter), but it’s quite possible that if you take the fair market value of everything Trump owns, and subtract from that all the debts he owes, he might actually have a negative net worth, which would make him poorer than about 80 percent of Americans.

      • And Trump can’t have that of course, because his claim to fame is how rich he really is.
        Trump is a con artist.
        And the first rule of pulling a con is to know your mark.
        His mark are the Ameircans who support him and his lies, most morely educated Whites who wish and hope that some of his ‘reported riches’ falls on them.
        Trump afterall his said with his own mouth, I love my ‘poorly educated’.
        Many thought he was being cute, but this fool (or not) really meant it.
        Since this tax return reportedly came from Trump Tower, could it be possible that someone inside is purposely leaking info that would damage him?
        Could it be possible that Trump like John McCain when he brought in Sarah Palin, is trying to find away NOT to win this election?
        If Trump has not been paying taxes for almost 20 years, then that time is slowly coming to an end.
        He and his kids have been told that should he win, his holding would have to be put in a blind trust, so that means his kids nor he would have control of it, which means they couldn’t manipulate it. Someone else would be in charge and they would know and be privvy to its worth.
        I can’t help but think that Trump is going to try and claim his campaign as a loss if he hopefully loses, even as he has gotten over a reported $1 billion in free advertisment from the media. I see how they dowplay what he has reportedly gotten from supporters for the most part.
        Would he try and use the $400,000 a president earns as a loss against what he would earn as a businessman on his taxes?
        Does he keep two books concerning his owning? One that he shows the public and one that show his true worth?
        Has anyone in the government really done a complete audit of him as he claims he is now in the process of doing?
        I don’t know, but I smell a rat.

    • Trump always brags about how he likes to use OPM – other people’s money like he did with the Trump Foundation. It turns out that the $916 billion loss is likely another example of Trump using OPM to benefit himself. A substantial portion of the $916 billion loss likely represents loans taken on his assets. Therefore the ones suffering the loss are actually the lenders. However, the tax laws permit Trump to claim them as a loss.

    • I bet after the election if he doesn’t win, it will crash, unless of course Putin is there to rescue the Trumpf. As much as he is losing right now, he won’t be able to recover. I don’t like to bring ill thoughts to anyone, but this guy deserves to knocked off that pedestal, he has postured himself on.

  8. Two things I have noticed:
    First If Trump does something stupid his followers try to say that Clinton did the same or worse. They can’t defend Trump so all they can do is attack Clinton.
    Second is none of Trumps followers have a problem with Trump losing almost a billion dollars in one year. He tries to blame it on the economy but in fact it was just bad management on his part. He managed to lose big money in a growing market.

    Now Trump has a billion dollars tax write off and he used it to pay no taxes doesn’t that mean he has made less the a billion dollars taxable income in the last twenty years? In this case that would mean either he was worth a lot more in 1995 then anyone know about or he is lying about his wealth today.

  9. This “Lyin King Trumpski” never admits he is wrong, never accepts responsibility for his actions so I wonder did someone else come in and have intimate relations with his wives to produce those kids? Because he apparently doesn’t perform or do, or say anything.

  10. I’m sorry but I don’t see a box on the Clinton return that says “I think I’m not paying enough taxes on my hundred million plus wealth can I please pay more?”

    Trump’s not an idiot. He hires coast and tax attorneys to minimize his tax liabilities just like the Clintons and everyone else that can afford it.

    I sold a bunch of property a couple years ago. Made sure the sales fell in the right years to minimize my tax liability. Paid less than ten percent of seven figure cash flow in taxes. Perfectly legally.

    Cause I’m smart.

    Criticizing trump because he manages his money and taxes well is just stupid. Maybe that why the idiots running the federal government-people like hillary- give so much away.

    Maybe it’s time for someone whose actually smart with money to take over.

    • He’s not smart with money, he’s a conman. Also, the job of the President isn’t to “be good with money”, it’s to be the executive leader of the country – a position for which Trump is manifestly unqualified for.

      I hope that helps!

    • You actually believe that someone who lost $900,000,000 in one year, during a boom period, in the casino business, is “smart with money”? This guy is an incompetent loser who inherited millions from daddy, lost it all at least twice, had to be bailed out over and over again, and put four gambling corporations into bankruptcy while also bankrupting Trump Air, Trump Plaza Hotel, Trump Steaks, Trump “university,” etc.

      And you think he’s “smart with money.”

      Tell you what: why don’t you invest your windfall from selling property with the Trump organization. Put your money where your mouth is. See what return you get.

  11. The Clintons released 39 years of returns months ago and nobody could find a thing out of whack. We sure would have heard about an anomaly by now.

  12. The article says Trump “legally avoided” so whats the problem? Case closed!

    Clintons, and you and anyone and Trump, uses Form 1040 which plainly allows deductions like loss-carryover. Its not a trick or a loophole, its the damn law! What are people bitching about, that Clintons loss-carryover was smaller than Trumps and so Trump is a liar and a thief and a scoundrel? Pardon me?

    In the debate, Hillary remarked that Trump should have paid more tax because it helps people, and this was repeated by her VP in the respective debate yesterday. Pence replied, dont you ever take deductions? So lets get this straight, its ok for liberals to take deductions but its not for conservatives?

    Really, is that all youve got?

    • Hey “Box,” does Donald Trump support our troops? Really? He says he does, but I guess it’s only lip service. Does Donald Trump support our vets? Same answer! No, not really. It appears that none of his wealth has supported the services that have allowed this self-proclaimed “genius” to gain his wealth.

      The Prime Minister of Great Britain famously said, “It’s only fair that those with the broadest shoulders carry more of the load.”

      I have never begrudged or complained about the taxes I pay; I count them as “dues to the country club” of this great nation. They pay for all of the benefits we enjoy as citizens; clean air, clean water, lots of home-grown food, protection given by dedicated police and fire departments, safe roads and bridges. The list goes on and on. How anyone can complain is beyond me. As for those who take pride in trying (and sometimes succeeding) in avoiding their fair share of our responsibilities, I think they should be ashamed.

      And now one of these “shirkers” would like my vote?

      As my dearly-departed dad would say, “He’s got two chances; slim and fat.”

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