Everybody's lurking for the weekend...

In Sunday's presidential debate, Donald Trump finally confirmed what everyone had assumed all along: Of course he doesn't pay federal income taxes, because he's a genius and you aren't. Anderson Cooper asked Trump if a report in last week's New York Times was correct, and that he'd used a $916 million loss listed on tax returns from 1995 to avoid paying income taxes:

Cooper: Did you use that $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years?

Trump: Of course I do. Of course I do. And so do all of her donors, or most of her donors. I know many of her donors. Her donors took massive tax write-offs [...] [A] lot of my write-off was depreciation and other things that Hillary as a senator allowed. And she'll always allow it, because the people that give her all this money, they want it. That's why.

Ever the spoilsport, Salon points out Hillary Clinton "served as a senator from New York from 2001 to 2008 — years after Trump exploited tax loopholes to claim a massive loss." But Trump's likely exploitation of One Weird Trick is definitely Hillary Clinton's fault, because why didn't she stop him before she even got into the Senate, huh? We won't know for certain which particular accounting tricks Trump's accountant exploited unless he releases his tax returns, which is about as likely as his planned expulsion of two million "criminal immigrants" in the first hour of his presidency. But if it's the One Weird Trick Business Insider covered, Clinton did indeed join a bipartisan Senate vote of 85 to 9 to close that "double dip" loophole in 2002.

Trump went on to claim, "See, I understand the tax code better than anybody that's ever run for president," which makes him the perfect person to keep himself from ever avoiding so much tax again -- and if you're keeping track of Trump lies, we should probably note that Trump's former tax attorney, Jack Mitnick, was all over cable teevee last week explaining that Trump didn't understand diddly about the tax code, or Mitnick's own clever (but undisclosed under client privilege) maneuvering on Trump's taxes:

Mitnick, however, told the TODAY show Tuesday that Trump was "not at all" involved in the 1995 filing.

"He was interested in the bottom line, not the detail," Mitnick said. "Staff under my supervision did his returns -- he had no involvement in the preparation."

Oh, please, you say tomato, I say I'm the greatest master of tax evasion ever. It all resulted in Trump paying no taxes. So if Trump wisely hired Mitnick, that means Trump owned Mitnick's mastery of the tax code, right?

Anderson Cooper attempted to follow up, but Trump, having finished explaining what a genius he was, at least by proxy, was finished with giving You People information that's none of your goddamn business:

Cooper: So can you -- can you say how many years you have avoided paying personal federal income taxes?

Trump: No, but I pay tax, and I pay federal tax, too.

Ultimately, though, it really is all Hillary Clinton's fault, as Trump proved when he badgered her a few minutes later for her failure as a senator to eliminate the carried interest provision, which is one way businesses write off their losses. Clinton said she had indeed tried to reform carried interest, but Trump, utterly unaware of how American Government works, was pretty sure she could have made it go away if she'd been gooder at Senatoring:

Trump: Why didn't you do it? Why didn't you do it? [...]

Clinton: Because I was a senator with a Republican president.

Trump: Oh, really?

Clinton: I will be the president and we will get it done. That's exactly right.

Trump: You could have done it, if you were an effective -- if you were an effective senator, you could have done it. If you were an effective senator, you could have done it. But you were not an effective senator. [...]

Clinton: You know, under our Constitution, presidents have something called veto power.

We wouldn't actually want Donald Trump to be a senator, but we would enjoy seeing him strapped into a Senate Simulator, where his task would be to push through a bill -- any old bill, just sitting there on Capitol Hill -- that's opposed by a president and virtually all of the opposing party.

In fact, if we could simply hook Donald Trump up to a virtual reality simulator where he thinks he's president, we'd be good with that, too. It worked in Star Trek, after all.

[WaPo debate transcript / NYT / Business Insider / Salon / NBC News / Memory Alpha]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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