POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle
If you have not been following the news, here are the opening paragraphs of an article written by David A. Graham for The Atlantic and distributed with its Politics and Policy daily newsletter:
The Trump Team’s ‘Genius’ Spin on Unpaid Taxes
The idea that the Republican candidate showed his business acumen by avoiding tax obligations may resonate with many of his supporters.
What’s a presidential candidate to do when he’s caught red-handed—or, as the case might be, nearly $1 billion in the red?
Trump Tower had to reckon with that question this weekend, after The New York Times on Saturday night published a story suggesting that Donald Trump likely paid no taxes for nearly two decades, thanks to a $916 million loss in 1995. By Sunday morning, the campaign line was clear: This was purely evidence that Trump was a genius.
“The reality is, this is part of our tax code. The man’s a genius. He knows how to operate the tax code to the benefit of the people he’s serving,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“What it shows is what an absolute mess the federal tax code is and that’s why Donald Trump is the person best positioned to fix it,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Fox News Sunday.
Viewed from some angles, this spin is absurd. Nothing about Trump successfully negotiating the tax code to his advantage makes him more qualified to overhaul the code; in fact, he’d seem to have an incentive to keep it the way it is, and anyway, if the trick was so neat, isn’t his accountant the real genius who ought to be running for president?
But spinning Trump’s billion-dollar loss and potentially years-long tax break as genius is perhaps the only avenue open to the Trump campaign to preserve the perception that Trump is a brilliant businessman.
Graham’s complete article is available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/trump-no-income-tax-spin/502643/.