Clinton on Trump Taxes

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There’s a bit of contradiction in Mrs. Clinton’s comments about Mr. Trump’s tax proposal. She alleges (probably correctly) that he pays no federal income tax.  But she criticizes his tax proposals claiming in part that those proposals will benefit his family.  How can someone who pays no taxes benefit from a tax cut for the rich?  He can’t.  But, never, fear, there is a bit of nuance.  Keep reading to learn about Mrs. Clinton on Trump taxes.

Clinton and Trump at the First Debate Clinton on Trump Taxes

Clinton and Trump at the First Debate

Does Donald Trump Pay Taxes? Here’s What We Know

Apologies to the New York Times for stealing that lede.  Here’s what they said about the debate last night:

Hillary Clinton was waiting for this one on Monday night: a line of questioning about Donald J. Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns.

And she pounced, listing off theories of why Mr. Trump would not do so.

Perhaps he did not want to reveal foreign business interests. Maybe he had not been so charitable or was not as wealthy as he claimed. But it was another possibility – that Mr. Trump had not been paying income taxes — that set off a curious response from him that sounded a lot like an admission.

“That makes me smart,” Mr. Trump said when Mrs. Clinton brought up how he had paid no taxes more than two decades ago.

When she suggested a short time later that Mr. Trump was still paying no federal taxes and had not done so for many years, Mr. Trump offered another retort: “It would be squandered, too, believe me.”

US Magazine Gives the Counterpoint

US Magazine online includes this crucial point:

Clinton said she supports the bringing back of jobs from overseas, but points to Trump’s proposals as full of loopholes specifically aimed to benefit his family and his business.

And the Synthesis

There is one part of Mr. Trump’s tax proposal that would benefit his family (although not him personally).  Eliminating the death tax would probably save his heirs a few bucks.  But the only way they can benefit is from his demise.  Difficult to argue that he is personally benefitting from this proposal.

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About Tony Lima

Retired after teaching economics at California State Univ., East Bay (Hayward, CA). Ph.D., economics, Stanford. Also taught MBA finance at the California University of Management and Technology. Occasionally take on a consulting project if it's interesting. Other interests include wine and technology.