By Alysha Conner
The New York Times’s report detailing Donald Trump’s tax-return data gave Joe Biden the golden opportunity to put Trump on the defensive during the first presidential debate Tuesday evening.
“Show us your tax returns,” said Biden, repeatedly, during the debate.
When Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the debate moderator,asked Trump if the newspaper’s information was factual, he seemingly deflected the question.
Instead, Trump claimed that he would unveil his tax returns “as soon as it’s finished.”
According to The Times, Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. Both of which were vital years for the U.S. presidential election.
The average American household paid $8,367 in federal income tax in 2016, on an average earnings figure of $64,175, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Trump has refused to answer questions regarding his tax returns and criticized the Times for reporting “totally fake news” on Sunday.
During Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump mentioned that he “did not want to pay taxes” before his presidency.
Trump also implied that as a private developer, he had worked the tax laws to his advantage.
“Like every other private business person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws, and that’s what it is,” said Trump.
As a rebuttal, Biden debated the notion that Trump is manipulating the tax laws.
“The tax code that put him in a position where he pays less tax than a school teacher is because he said he’s smart because he can take advantage of the tax code. And he does take advantage of the tax code,” said Biden.
Just hours before the debate, Biden strategically released his financial disclosures and the last three years of his tax returns. Kamala Harris also disclosed her 2019 tax returns alongside Biden.
The number one question that people are wondering is, ‘Will this finally prompt Trump to release his tax returns?’
But, for now, this question will remain unanswered.
The report in The Times also revealed that Trump did not pay federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years from 2000 to 2015, “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”
For example, Trump National Doral Miami, Trump’s largest golf resort, seemingly acquired $162.3 million in losses since he purchased it in 2012.
The famed Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., has reportedly lost $55 million since its opening in 2016 as well.
Before his presidency, Trump was recognized as a successful self-made billionaire and property mogul.
But, according to The Times, Trump’s financial reports “portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.”