The problem with the New York Times story on Donald Trump's taxes

I’ve read the New York Times’ ”bombshell” story three times now, and I’m still not entirely sure what all the fuss is about — at least not if the case being made against Donald Trump is “he paid no taxes for a while!” rather than “he’s not the entrepreneurial genius he says he is.”

For a start, I’m extremely uncomfortable with the anonymity that the Times afforded its sources. Is this how we are going to proceed from now on? Don’t misunderstand me: I am as bothered as anybody else by Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns — and not only because I think that presidential candidates should do so, but because Trump has reneged on a promise that he would. But if the new rule is that any refusal to do so will be met by leaks . . . well, that’s a dangerous path, especially given that the leak could plausibly have come from anywhere, including the IRS.

As for the details in the leak, I must confess to being wholly unimpressed. As far as I can see, Trump did nothing legally or morally wrong, which means that the best case against him is that his not paying taxes is a political problem for his campaign. Insofar as this case rests upon the billion dollar loss per se, I get it; Trump does like to say that he’s a business genius, and he’s quite obviously not.