Rachel Maddow’s fake news reveal unearthed the shocking revelation that President Donald Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 – a massive blow to the Democrats’ campaign talking point that Trump didn’t pay any taxes. It is truly ironic that Maddow of all people would be the one to cause Democrats to eat their words.
Here are nine times Democrats claimed Trump paid no taxes.
1. Hillary Clinton. At the first 2016 general election debate, Clinton criticized Trump for not releasing his tax returns, speculating that Trump didn’t “want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.”
Trump responded, “That makes me smart,” giving legs to Clinton’s talking point, but ultimately Clinton was inadvertently proven wrong by Maddow.
2. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). “When Hillary said you haven’t been paying taxes, he [Trump] said, ‘That makes me smart,'” Kaine said at the lone 2016 vice-president debate. “So it’s smart not to pay for our military. It’s smart not to pay for veterans. It’s smart not to pay for teachers. And I guess all of us who do pay for those things, I guess we’re stupid.”
3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “The last time Donald Trump’s taxes were made public, it turned out that Donald Trump paid nothing in federal taxes,” Warren said in a MoveOn.org vide. “Zero, zero taxes before. For all we know, he’s paying zero taxes today.”
4. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “Trump goes around and says ‘Hey, I’m worth billions, I’m a successful businessman, but I don’t pay any taxes,” Sanders said on CNN’s State Of The Union in October. “But you, you make 15 bucks an hour, you pay the taxes, not me. That is why people are angry and want real change in this country.”
Sanders may not technically be a Democrat but he caucuses with them and ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016; therefore he qualifies for this list.
5. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “The revelation that came out yesterday that he took a billion dollar loss and didn’t have to pay corporate taxes for 18 years,” DeGette said on an October Fox News appearance. “While it might be legal, I don’t think it’s going to sit well with those millions of Americans who have been having to pay taxes for all of these years.”
DeGette would likely claim that her use of the term “corporate taxes” makes her statement justified; however, her statement following that phrase about how most Americans who do pay taxes would be miffed by it Trump not paying taxes is a clear implication that Trump either paid little in taxes or none at all. But since Trump paid $38.5 million in taxes in 2005, DeGette’s statement is clearly not correct.
6. Howard Dean.
Trump’s 1995 taxes show a $916 million loss, suggesting he could have paid no federal taxes for up to 18 years https://t.co/R6eOpVx1wJ
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) October 2, 2016
7. Chris Matthews. Matthews, the former Tip O’Neill aide and Jimmy Carter speechwriter, ranted on MSNBC on Thursday: (emphasis bolded)
“President Trump wouldn’t release his tax returns during his campaign, but political pressure’s building for the president to just that, at least turn it over to the Intelligence Committee so they can look at it. We’re going to talk about that, and a lot more in ‘Hardball.’ By the way, he’s not going to give away those tax returns. We can pound on that door, and pound on that door, and he ain’t giving them away, because there’s a lot in there he doesn’t want us to know, like how about not paying taxes?”
Ironically, Matthews has had some tax problems of his own.
8. Robert Reich. Bill Clinton’s former Labor Department Secretary wrote an October Huffington Post piece titled, “The Real Scandal Of Trump Paying No Taxes.” In the piece, he wrote that tax write-offs “could have allowed him [Trump] to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for 18 years.”
Reich argued that this highlighted a rigged system for the wealthy. But this argument failed in light of Trump’s 2005 tax returns.
9. The New York Times editorial board. The Times‘s editorial board – which hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 – speculated in September that Trump won’t release his tax returns because he “pays little or no tax”:
Many voters were shocked when Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, disclosed that he paid an average of just 14 percent of his income in taxes. Mr. Trump might pay even less, perhaps even zero. Real estate developers like Mr. Trump can take advantage of numerous deductions, credits and other tax loopholes that allow them to minimize how much tax they owe. In fact, Mr. Trump has boasted about avoiding taxes, telling George Stephanopoulos of ABC in May, “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.”
Tax records from New York City also show that Mr. Trump has, as recently as this year, received a property tax credit that is available only to families earning less than $500,000 a year. His campaign has said that the credit was issued in error. But he has received the same credit in the past. It also appears that Mr. Trump paid little or no personal income taxes in some years in the early 1990s and late 1970s, according to news accounts based on documents from gambling regulators in New Jersey.