by Jenn Carter
The entire liberal media is hysterically hyping a New York Times “bombshell” on Donald Trump’s taxes, declaring it a scandal that massive tax losses were reported by Trump when he was running a major real estate development company in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Times claims that it legally obtained from unidentified sources “printouts from Mr. Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994.”
The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.
The Times reporter breathlessly tweeted it out:
And conservative Twitter yawned right back at her:
The New York Times get its hands on Trump’s tax returns from the mid-80s to the mid-90s and…Trump was hemorrhaging money, not paying taxes, and selling himself as a real estate guru.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) May 7, 2019
In other words, exactly what anyone with a clue thought. https://t.co/Sc7LpoxrLM
Trump lost over one billion dollars on his business between 1985-1994.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) May 8, 2019
Considering he bankrupted four casinos, this should come as a surprise to no one. https://t.co/eGEESXgyzq
WOW that means Hillary is president right?— Dan Goldwasser (@dgoldwas) May 7, 2019
Literally breaking news. From over a quarter century ago.— Gianni Vitrano (@SicilianoUno) May 7, 2019
He’s really the only person qualified to run trillion dollar deficits— Mike Stern (@mls1776) May 7, 2019
I was promised Russians and all I got were tax figures.— I'm To Blame (@im2blame4) May 7, 2019
And was this really a “secret”?
Surely the NY Times has a legit bombshell, yes? I mean Trump never told us about all his massive losses! Right?
If he had, as Joe Scarborough insists, he “would never have been elected”!
In fact, Trump did exactly that…
Um, this is not a secret. He wrote a whole book about how much money he lost during that time.— Frank Hart (@FrankHartII) May 7, 2019
Nah. Who coulda thunk it? pic.twitter.com/CiUeOORvcb— Loren Cosby (@LorenCosby) May 8, 2019
And in that book, Trump detailed almost exactly what the Times “exposed” in their “bombshell”…only 22 years later.
Here’s what Trump wrote in 1997:
One day, while walking down Fifth Avenue, hand in hand with Marla, I pointed across the street to a man holding a cup and with a Seeing Eye dog. I asked, “Do you know who that is?”
Marla said to me: “Yes, Donald. He’s a beggar. Isn’t it too bad? He looks so sad!”
I said, “You’re right. He’s a beggar, but he’s worth about $900 million more than me.” She looked at me and said, “What do you mean, Donald? How could he possibly be worth $900 million more than you?”
I said, “Let’s assume he’s worth nothing (only from the standpoint of dollars)–I’m worth minus $900 million.”
Trump attributes his huge losses to changes to federal tax law that disincentivized investing in the kinds of properties he owned. By the early 1990s, Trump’s holdings were hemorrhaging cash. At one point, it got so bad Trump said many of his properties were “worthless.”
Trump’s losses came during an epic real estate crash that bankrupted dozens of billion-dollar investment companies, and handed nearly a trillion dollars in losses to Japanese mega-funds.
As John Carney reminds us:
Apartment rental prices fell by 15 percent during the slump that had begun in 1988. The prices of co-ops and condos were down by nearly twice that much. Manhattan homes fell by 32.9 percent between 1989 and 1996, according to a study by the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy. In Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen — that westside stretch where Trump had invested so much in a plan to turn an old railyard into a new neighborhood — home prices fell 40.4 percent.
The giant Canadian real estate company Olympia & York had declared bankruptcy. At one point, it had been the largest landlord in New York. By 1992, it had fired its bankers from J.P. Morgan and hired Felix G. Rohatyn, the guy who had saved New York City itself from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1970s. In the end, it would be swallowed up by its creditors, vanishing into the ash heap of history.
What is miraculous is that, unlike Olympia or the Japanese, Trump did come back, stronger than ever, renegotiating his mortgages and bonds, holding on to nearly all of his properties until the huge upturn in the late 1990s erased his $1 billion in debt into, according to Forbes, a $3.5 billion surplus within just 12 years. And Trump successfully rode out the 2008 crash that wrecked huge firms from Lehman Brothers to Washington Mutual.
And that remarkable story is still being written.
In other breaking news: Trump turned those losses into billions of gains.— 2of5 (@rlscottrl) May 7, 2019
Still more breaking news: He went on to become president.
Sorry, NY Times Trump-haters…