The talking point that came out of Trump Tower in the wake of the revelation that Donald Trump didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 1995 was that he was a “genius” for being able to legally game the tax code so that he had no tax liability and that makes him just the right person to run the country.
Unfortunately the talking points were handed out to folks like Rudy Giuliani who immediately turned it into this:
Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman?
Yeah, that will go over great with the few women who were still in the Trump camp after last week’s rants about Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe, in which Mr. Trump alienated Latinas and people who don’t measure up to some perverted view of what an ideal weight is.
The “genius” line got repeated by Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) on Fox News, saying that the news proved what a good businessman Trump was and that it was “actually a very, very good story for Donald Trump.”
That’s kind of like saying that the sinking of the Titanic was actually great news for the White Star Line because now they could collect the insurance on the ship and they wouldn’t have to worry about where to moor it in New York.
I have to give the Trump people credit for being able to say that a real estate developer who lost almost a billion dollars in the middle of a boom economy on gambling casinos is a genius for hiring an accountant who knew how to work the tax code and the loopholes that exist for people in the economic stratosphere.
The justification they commonly use is that they are the ones risking so much — and creating so many jobs (and in Mr. Trump’s case not paying for them) — that they should be allowed to get a break. Tell that to the guy in Toledo who is trying to keep his business afloat. Mr. Trump may claim he’s lost a billion dollars, but I don’t see him chowing down on Top Ramen or driving a twenty-year old Corolla with bald tires and an oil leak.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) nails it:
Senate Republicans have put party so far ahead of country, they’ve endorsed a racist, incompetent failure who managed to lose a billion dollars in a boom year. Now they are helping Trump hide his tax returns and preventing the American people from knowing what individuals, businesses or foreign interests could have leverage over Trump.
If Mr. Trump had any political sense and any class at all, he would have taken this revelation and run with it as several other rich people have, including Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, and said, “Yes, I took advantage of the tax code, but it’s rigged for people like me and it shouldn’t be. We need to make it so that everyone pays their fair share.” Instead he sends out these wormtongued hypocrites to defend his pimpish lifestyle and change the subject to Bill Clinton’s infidelity. Now there’s a topic that Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, and campaign manager Steve Bannon — with twelve wives among them — can speak to.