How the Massachusetts delegation responded to the New York Times report on Donald Trump’s finances

"This is about more than one man's personal tax scams."

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a news conference at the White House, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks during a news conference Sunday at the White House. –Carolyn Kaster / AP

Elected officials from Massachusetts didn’t react with much surprise to The New York Times report Sunday night on President Donald Trump’s finances and tax history.

Still, the state’s all-Democratic delegation said the revelations were striking.

Based on tax return data examined by the Times, Trump paid zero federal income taxes in 11 of the past 18 years. And in 2016 and 2017,  the Republican president and self-described billionaire paid only $750 — far less than the amount paid by average income earners, not to mention his wealthy peers.

“This reporting shines a stark light on the vastly different experience people with power and influence have when interacting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) than the average American taxpayer does,” said Rep. Richard Neal, the 1st District congressman and chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which is engaged in an ongoing lawsuit to obtain Trump’s tax records.

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“It appears that the President has gamed the tax code to his advantage and used legal fights to delay or avoid paying what he owes,” Neal said.

Despite his image as a successful businessman, Trump was able to avoid paying taxes by declaring huge financial losses from his eponymous real estate company’s hotels and resorts, which he financed with income earned from being the celebrity host of “The Apprentice” and related licensing deals. According to the Times, even as president, Trump continues to face financial pressure and is on the hook for more than $300 million in loans that will come due within the next four years.

He reportedly was still able to fund a lavish lifestyle by claiming questionable tax deductions — including $70,000 in hairstyling for television — and remains in an ongoing battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that could ultimately cost him more than $100 million.

Multiple members of the Massachusetts delegation responded, simply, that the reporting shows that Trump is a “fraud.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, however, said it is “about more than one man’s personal tax scams.”

“Donald Trump is a liar, a cheater, and a crooked businessman, yes,” Warren tweeted Sunday night. “But he’s also taking advantage of a broken, corrupt, and unequal system that’s built for people like him to do what he did.”

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In a previous tweet, Warren said that Trump “knows better than anyone that there’s one set of rules for the wealthy and giant corporations and another for hardworking Americans.”

“And instead of using his power to fix it, he’s taken advantage of it at every turn,” she added.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Ed Markey

Rep. Richard Neal

Rep. Jim McGovern

Rep. Lori Trahan

Rep. Joe Kennedy III

Rep. Katherine Clark

Rep. Seth Moulton

Rep. Ayanna Pressley

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