In an analysis for the Washington Post this Monday, Aaron Blake writes that while the New York Times' bombshell report on President Trump's tax history answers a lot of questions, it's still less than surprising. After all, Trump once said during a previous presidential debate that paying low income taxes makes him a "smart" businessman.
Trump has made similar comments on other occasions. "Trump has at times tried to argue that however much he might exploit the tax system, it merely shows how broken the system is," Blake writes. "Whether that’s an argument voters buy after the Times’s report shows just how much Trump has sought to exploit that system, we’ll have to see."
At the same time, Trump's own rhetoric about how he's smart enough to game the tax system is hypocritical considering his past comments about political rivals and their tax histories, as evidenced by old tweets resurfaced by Twitter users showing Trump slamming Barack Obama for paying too little in taxes. Trump has also promised to raise taxes on the wealthy, but has never followed up on his promise.
"We now know that Trump most often hasn’t paid much of anything in taxes, which probably says something about why he has yet to deliver on his promise of releasing his returns," Blake writes. "Trump has set himself up in certain ways for this day by casting this as a problem with the tax code and that not paying taxes is justifiable because the government will 'squander' it."
Read the full analysis over at The Washington Post.