For months now, the issue of Donald Trump’s taxes has been a thorn in the side of the GOP nominee’s campaign.
While Trump has repeatedly said he won’t release his tax information until his federal audit is complete — something that many legal experts agree with — The New York Times acquired several decades-old pages of his tax forms, which it reported on over the weekend.
“Although Mr. Trump’s taxable income in subsequent years is as yet unknown, a $916 million loss in 1995 would have been large enough to wipe out more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years.”
As the Times notes, it remains unclear whether or not Trump paid income tax in the years that followed. Some argue this is proof that the GOP nominee is a “con man” who has “scammed” the government for years.
BOMBSHELL: Living off the American ppl, con-man Trump has scammed the govmnt by paying ZERO tax for nearly 2 decades https://t.co/Ip1oHNsMJ0
— Bill Madden (@activist360) October 2, 2016
Though the report has been hailed as a “bombshell” by Trump’s opponents and many in the media alike, it seems that plenty of Americans aren’t buying the hype.
It wasn’t just that everything that Trump did seems to have, in fact, been entirely legal under U.S. tax laws:
If someone shows Trump illegally didn't pay taxes, then that's a different thing. But if it was legal, there are far better Trump criticisms
— Matt Jones (@MattJonesRadio) October 2, 2016
But also why Trump, as a businessman, would have chosen to pay more in taxes than he had to:
@CNNPolitics "Legally" like every other businessman in the country who has a great accountant
— Scottie Pack ? (@brianknewhouse) October 3, 2016
For what it’s worth, Trump offered his own take on paying taxes more than a year ago, where he argued essentially the same thing:
“You know what, and I’ve said this many times, I pay as little as possible. I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons:
Number one, I’m a business man and that’s how you’re supposed to do it; you put the money back into your company and employees, but the other reason is I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money.”
It’s something that the Trump campaign doubled down on in a statement Saturday, noting that he has “a fiduciary responsibility to his business…to pay no more tax than legally required.”