Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has admitted greatly benefiting from “unfair” US tax laws, saying that he used them “brilliantly” to his advantage, but promising to change them if he becomes the President.
“The unfairness of the tax laws is unbelievable, it’s something I’ve been talking about for a long time, despite frankly being a big beneficiary of the laws,” Efe news quoted Trump as saying on Monday.
“I’m working for you now, I’m not working for Trump,” he said — a statement that brought cheers from the crowd at a campaign rally in Pueblo, Colorado.
According to the billionaire, because of his past experience with using the tax laws to his benefit, he understands the complex system better than anybody else and is the only person who can “fix” it, promising to do exactly that, although not specifying exactly what he would do in that regard.
In his first remarks after revelations about his tax history were published by The New York Times on Saturday, the magnate said that he had “brilliantly” used the US tax laws to legally pay as little in federal taxes as possible.
“As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit, and to the benefit of my company and my employees,” Trump said.
“I have often said on the campaign trail, that I have a fiduciary responsibility to pay no more tax than legally required — or, put another way, to pay as little tax as legally possible.”
Trump waited two days to speak about the report, in which the paper said on Saturday that the mogul may have legally avoided paying federal taxes for 18 years thanks to declaring a huge business loss of $915.7 million in 1995.
“The media is now obsessed with an alleged tax violation from the 1990s, at the end of one of the most brutal economic downturns in our country’s history,” Trump said.
“The conditions facing real estate developers in that early ’90s period were almost as bad as the Great Depression of 1929 and far worse than the Great Recession of 2008 — not even close,” he said.
The mogul said that he used the tax laws to get out of the crisis his businesses were suffering at that time, something that many people had been able to do.
He said at the Monday rally that he pays a lot of money in other taxes, specifying: “I face enormous taxes — city, state, sales, excise, employee, federal, VAT, different countries.”
The magnate compared himself to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton saying that she “hasn’t made an honest dollar in her entire life — all she does is take from you, from our country, and peddles influence to donors, special interests and foreign actors”.
“While I made my money as a highly-successful private businessman following the law,” Trump said, adding that “Clinton made her money as a corrupt public official breaking the law and putting her government office up for sale”.