Liberal America lit up with excitement Saturday when The New York Times dropped an allegedly blockbuster report about White House senior adviser Jared Kushner that may have proved that, like every other American, he uses deductions and loopholes to save money on his taxes.
“[F]or several years running, Mr. Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser — appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes, according to confidential financial documents reviewed by The New York Times,” the left-wing news purveyor breathlessly reported.
The key word there is “appears.” The documents were provided to the Times by “a person who has had financial dealings with Mr. Kushner and his family.” It remains unclear whether the documents are even legitimate (or whether the “person” even exists).
And assuming the documents are legitimate, the question then becomes how did the “person” obtain them? Illegally perhaps? Moreover, was it even legal for said “person” to share the White House adviser’s confidential records with the Times?
No matter, though, because all the demonstrably partisan outlet seemed to be interesting in doing was proving that the president’s son-in-law is somehow cheating the American people.
“His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner, according to the documents,” the Times reported.
“But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money. The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year.”
It’s a common, legal practice for real estate owners and developers to deduct their properties’ depreciation from their taxes, but this fact hasn’t stopped a litany of Democrat operatives from rushing to their keyboards to demonize the president’s son-in-law:
Wealthy folk like Jared Kushner get to take massive tax breaks. Everyone else actually pays taxes.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 13, 2018
Why do I pay taxes when Jared Kushner does not?
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) October 13, 2018
Like father in law like son in law: Jared Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Income Taxes for Years, Documents Show https://t.co/t07SDl9PrD
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 13, 2018
Jared Kushner has a net worth of almost $324 million, and his company has been profitable. But Kushner, who is President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes for several years running. https://t.co/2GCYwrdWD4
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 13, 2018
Jared Kushner has made hundreds of millions over the last decade and routinely paid zero federal taxes.
It’s illegal to steal a candy bar.
This is (probably) legal theft https://t.co/qbJ2h6mfzD
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 13, 2018
First of all, there’s no such thing as “legal theft.” Secondly, notice the repeated use of the adverb “likely” and the verb “appears.” These terms were employed because the Times had made it clear in its report that nearly everything it was writing was pure speculation.
“[A]ssuming the documents accurately reflect information from his tax returns, Mr. Kushner appeared to have paid little or no federal income taxes during at least five of the past eight years,” the Times reported, citing its “expert” sources.
When used by the media, the verb assuming basically means, “We don’t know if this is true, but if it is true, then this is what it means.” Long story short, the Times has nothing on Kushner, save for some sketchy documents that may not and are probably not even be legitimate.
When asked about these documents, a spokesperson for Kushner’s attorney said he wouldn’t respond to meaningless assumptions drawn from documents that were “obtained in violation of the law and standard business confidentiality agreements.”
“However, always following the advice of numerous attorneys and accountants, Mr. Kushner properly filed and paid all taxes due under the law and regulations,” the spokesperson reportedly added.
The reaction on social media from other Americans who also enjoy holding on to as much of their own hard-earned money as possible can best be summed up in two words: “So what!?”
So he used the tax code ? Ok that’s news ?
— trev (@angrytrevor2) October 13, 2018
Make money work smarter not harder , what’s the problem ?
— Mark ransom (@Markransom17) October 13, 2018
Uhm – wouldn’t that just be standard depreciation (as well as expenses for repair, management, and loan fees)?
I own a rental property that has a mortgage on it. Interest on loan, depreciation of asset, expenses for repair/upkeep, and fee I pay to property manager all deductible
— Hootyman (@TheHootyman) October 13, 2018
It’s called Depreciation, dickheads.
— BrickBoyBob (@BrickBoyBob) October 13, 2018
So… what’s the big deal? No one cares.
— Michelle ?s Chauncy? (@tailsxphile) October 13, 2018
And in one case, the response was a little more biting:
Oh look – guess which newspaper declared “negative tax paid” despite making millions in profit… pic.twitter.com/XpW2MYoO7R
— Hootyman (@TheHootyman) October 13, 2018