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Thomas Gallatin / October 3, 2018

NYT Launches Anti-Trump Hit Piece Over His Taxes

This is yet another obvious political ploy designed to pressure Trump into releasing his tax returns.

On Tuesday, The New York Times published an article accusing President Donald Trump of having “engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from his father.” The obviously anti-Trump hit piece claimed that Trump and his siblings used “dubious” tax methods and even “outright fraud” to greatly increase the money they received from their parents’ real-estate empire. But this is a prime example of fake news.

A lawyer for Trump, Charles J. Harder, blasted the Times, saying, “[The] allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory. There was no fraud or tax evasion by anyone. The facts upon which The Times bases its false allegations are extremely inaccurate.” He further explained, “President Trump had virtually no involvement whatsoever with these matters. The affairs were handled by other Trump family members who were not experts themselves and therefore relied entirely upon the aforementioned licensed professionals to ensure full compliance with the law.” In fact, the Times tacitly acknowledges that the Internal Revenue Service was fully aware of the Trumps’ actions and evidently had no objections at the time — because the Trump family accountants followed the law.

Trump quickly responded to the Times, declaring, “The Failing New York Times did something I have never seen done before. They used the concept of ‘time value of money’ in doing a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me. Added up, this means that 97% of their stories on me are bad. Never recovered from bad election call!”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also derided the Times’ story as a “misleading attack against the Trump family” and noted that “decades ago the IRS reviewed and signed off on these transactions.”

There are a couple of points to be made here. First, the voluminous tax code has all kinds of “loopholes” that afford (especially wealthy) people avenues by which to lower their tax burden. It’s not illegal to take those deductions; it’s simply smart decision-making. So if leftists don’t want people using these tax breaks then they should work to change the tax laws; don’t blame people for legally seeking to keep more of their hard-earned money. The fairest income tax would be a flat tax, and arguably more fair still would be a national sales tax, a.k.a. The Fair Tax. But neither will ever happen because too many lawmakers depend upon advocating for special tax breaks to curry favor with their constituents.

Second, the primary reason for this anti-Trump hit piece is to re-inject one of the Democrats’ favorite talking points into the midterms: crying about Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. Indeed, the Times explains that these “findings raise new questions about Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns, breaking with decades of practice by past presidents.” Democrats want his tax returns so as to cook up more allegations of potential instances of tax fraud by Trump. Never mind the fact that the IRS audits Trump every year. Once again, this is yet another example of the Left’s game of declaring that mere accusations create the cloud of credible suspicion, which therefore demands an investigation. This story is nothing more than another political ploy designed to pressure Trump into releasing his tax returns.

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