Be careful what you wish for goes the old admonition.
The New York Times front-paged a story on three pages (illegally obtained) of Donald Trump’s taxes, suggesting that Trump used the tax code to escape paying taxes. The Clinton campaign (aka central HQ at the Clinton campaign as opposed to its media arm at the Times) jumped in to say this with a Hillary tweet:
Trump “apparently got to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades — while tens of millions of working families paid theirs.”
Ahhhh. But wait. Now we find out this, courtesy of the financial blog Zero Hedge:
Clinton Campaign Admits Hillary Used Same Tax Avoidance “Scheme” As Trump
Yes, you read that right. By putting up Hillary’s taxes on her website, the Clinton campaign admitted a very interesting fact if one takes a look at page 17 of Hillary’s 2015 tax filing. Reporter Tyler Durden wrote up his scoop this way:
Well this is a little awkward. With the leaked 1995 Trump tax returns ‘scandal’ focused on the billionaire’s yuuge “net operating loss” and how it might have ‘legally’ enabled him to pay no taxes for years, we now discover none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton utilized a $700,000 “loss” to avoid paying some taxes in 2015.
Yes, you read that right. Hillary Clinton cheated, to borrow her own language, “millions of working families” who pay taxes by using precisely the same tax code loophole as Trump to keep from paying a higher tax bill in 2015. Durden continues (bold and underlined print in the original):
While not on the scale of Trump’s business ‘operating loss’, Hillary Clinton — like many ‘wealthy’ individuals is taking advantage of a legal scheme to use historical losses to avoid paying current taxes.
As Bloomberg notes, this federal tax break is among the wealthy’s most used avoidance schemes…
Those 1.1 million folks in the 1 percent, as measured by the TPC, have annual income that averages a little less than $700,000. The top one-tenth of that group, some 110,000 households, average about $3.6 million, according to Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the TPC.2
The middle of the pack, some 33 million people, have pretax income ranging from $45,000 to $80,000. The lowest one-fifth of taxpayers, a universe of about 47 million Americans, have income up to about $24,000.
Among the biggest of these givebacks, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service (well, really Congress), are capital gains and dividends — these are the biggest way the wealthiest benefit.
In the words of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, ‘this bombshell report reveals [Hillary Clinton’s] past business failures… and may show just how long [Hillary Clinton] may have avoided paying taxes.’”
So Hillary Clinton — how awkward indeed — has used exactly the same tax rules as Trump is alleged to have used, and used them successfully to avoid paying her federal taxes.
But there’s more in this exploding minefield of a story that the Times has stepped into. Get a load of this from Forbes in January of 2016, hat tip to Breitbart, bold print supplied:
New York Times Hypocrisy On Corporate Taxes Reaches Record High
Forbes contributor Jeffrey Dorfman reveals:
The New York Times just ran an op-ed by their editorial board decrying corporate inversions on the grounds that taking advantage of the tax code is somehow unpatriotic.
The particular case that got the ire of The New York Times was Johnson Controls, the Milwaukee-based auto parts maker, selling itself to Ireland-domiciled Tyco International which will save it at least $150 million annually in U.S. taxes. The Times should be the last organization to criticize others for benefiting from the tax code.…
Apparently, The New York Times believes companies should take no actions in order to lower their tax rates.…
However, I do not need to lecture The New York Times on that topic because it knows that lesson well. After all, the newspaper of record has its headquarters in a building built on land seized by the government under the power of eminent domain from ten different owners, some of whom did not want to sell, implying that the government exercise of power saved the developer money. In addition to that benefit, The New York Times also received $26 million in tax breaks in exchange for keeping jobs in New York City.
More recently, for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again.
So. What do we have here?
What we have are Hillary Clinton and the New York Times both trying to make a big deal out of Trump’s using the existing tax code — quite legally — to lessen his tax bill. Except, alas and anon, we now find out that both Hillary and the Times have done exactly the same thing!
Mama Mia! Grand Canyon-sized hypocrisy from Hillary and the Times. You can’t make this stuff up — even when you expect exactly this kind of wildly hypocritical behavior from both.