Trump Tax Rate Actually Three Times Higher Than Media Reported

March 17th, 2017 2:34 PM

The liberal media just can’t seem to get anything right -- even math.

Journalists were eager to follow in the wake of Rachel Maddow tax fiasco. ABC and CBS evening news shows reported that Trump paid an effective tax rate of about 25 percent in 2005. But, as The Federalist’s Sean Davis noted, this is flat out wrong. Trump’s effective tax rate for 2005 was 79 percent. That’s more than three times higher than reported.

It seems journalists were both inconsistent in how they treated Trump vs. Obama and lacked a basic understanding of how paying taxes works.

When ABC computed Barack Obama’s effective tax rate, based on his 2015 tax return, the network arrived at an 18.7 percent rate. It was a simple calculation of “taxes paid” ($81,472) divided by “adjusted gross income” ($436,065).

With Donald Trump’s 2005 leaked tax return, they followed Rachel Maddow’s cue arriving at 25 percent. They took his “taxes paid” ($38.4 million) and divided it by “earnings before losses” ($151 million).  

But Trump declared $103 million as losses. So, his “Adjusted Gross Income” was actually $48.6 million. If ABC analyzed Trump’s return the same way as Obama’s, reporters would have taken Trump’s “taxes paid” and divided it by “Adjusted Gross Income.”

This would have yielded an effective tax rate of 79 percent.


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Davis tweeted a picture of Trump’s and Obama’s tax returns side by side.



Not only was ABC wrong, but the network took it a step further and criticized Trump’s tax contribution saying “some top earners pay a 35 percent rate. Trump's? 25 percent.”

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ABC added that Trump “would have paid about $7 million more were it not for the alternative minimum tax, which is designed to make the rich pay their fair share and which president trump promised to abolish.”

The revelation of Trump’s 2005 return came March 14, in a highly anticipated report from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that even Stephen Colbert mocked.

ABC and CBS did not compare this new information of Trump’s tax return to other presidents or candidates. According to National Review’s Jim Geraghty, Socialist Bernie Sanders only paid an effective tax rate of 13.5 percent in 2015.