Hillary Clinton said Monday that Donald Trump’s use of the U.S. tax code in the 1990s is an example of the kind of “egregious corporate behavior” the Republican presidential nominee does nothing to address in his own tax plan.
At a Monday rally in Toledo, Clinton said the real estate billionaire’s business record and 1995 tax returns — revealed in a New York Times report over the weekend — puts him “in a category by himself.”
The paper reported that Trump may have avoided paying federal income tax for almost two decades, which Clinton said is an example of how many rich business leaders game the tax system to push losses from failed investments on to taxpayers.
“He didn’t lift a finger” to help employees or investors “while he was busy with his accountants to try and find out how he could keep living as a billionaire,” said Clinton. “Trump was taking from America with both hands and leaving the rest of us with the bill,” she said. He also refused to pay numerous contractors, “not because he couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them,” she said.
The Trump campaign argues the real estate mogul used tax provisions that were perfectly legal to offset his business losses. One Trump surrogate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, said it proves he’s a “genius” businessman who can fix what’s wrong with the current tax system because he’s used it to his own advantage.
“That is like letting the fox guard the hen house,” said Clinton.
Trump’s tax plan does not fix the tax provision he may have used to avoid paying federal income tax, the Democratic nominee argued. On the contrary, it would raise taxes for millions of middle-class families while cutting them further for billionaire’s like himself, she said.
“It’s Trump first, and everyone else last,” said Clinton. “There are lots of principled business leaders horrified by all of this,” she added, saying that's why not a single chief executive of a Fortune 100 company supports Trump’s campaign.
Clinton began her speech by laying out her plans to level the playing field for middle and lower income taxpayers.
She said Trump is just one example of how U.S. corporations take advantage of the tax system to the detriment of average Americans, pointing also to companies that have shipped jobs overseas.
“It is riddled with loopholes that let the rich get even richer and make income inequality even worse,” she said. “We have been moving off track for decades.”
“I know how hard this is, but I think we are on the cusp, if we win this election, to be able to get these things done,” she said. “Investing in America will pay off.”