Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump boasted during a Saturday campaign speech that he fully exploits the tax code to pay as little as possible to the government.
“I mean, I pay as little as possible. I use every single thing in the book. And I have great people,” the Republican presidential front-runner told supporters in Sioux Center, Iowa.
He contrasted his approach to how former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) addressed the tax issue during the 2012 presidential race.
Romney, who made millions in private equity, faced criticism during that race for supposedly paying a lower tax rate than members of the middle class. On Saturday, Trump mocked Romney for trying make it seem as if he paid more than he absolutely had to.
“Remember Romney when he said, ‘No, no. I paid. I paid.’ He was trying to build it up: ‘Oh yeah, I’ve paid,'” Trump said. In contrast, Trump said: “I pay as little as possible. It’s an expense, right? That’s the American way. I mean, do you want stupid people?”
Trump brought up the tax issue after saying his administration would “rein in some of these hedge fund guys” and do away with the so-called carried interest loophole that benefits them.
“Some of these Wall Street guys don’t want to talk to me anymore. But we’re taking away carried interest, which is a very big thing if you’re a Wall Street hedge fund guy,” Trump said.
“What’s going on on Wall Street is ridiculous,” he added. “Who knows it better than me? Who knows the system, who knows the tax code better than me?”
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