So, if you want to figure out how much Trump cheated on his tax returns, you can go three different ways. You can download the 6,000 pages of his returns and then wade through them page after page. You can also download and examine the analysis of his returns as published by House Ways & Means. Or you can quickly read one of the many Fake News articles about his returns that have appeared over the last few days.
I did all three, and like everything else which is said or published about Trump, I ended up thinking that of course he’s a liar and a blowhard, but so what?
Let’s not forget that this is a guy (read: Donald Trump) who has earned a lot more money by doing reality TV than he ever earned from selling shirts, after-shave lotion or steaks. And reality TV is about as real as the 2024 Presidential campaign that Trump announced last month.
Yesterday or maybe the day before I saw the umpteenth ‘opinion’ piece in the Fake News about how Trump still represents a 'threat.' He's going to win the election, then he's going to get rid of Civil Service and give Marjorie Taylor Greene, his Vice President, authority to staff every Federal agency from the ground up.
In the process, the second Trump Administration will ‘terminate’ various parts of the Constitution, declare the EPA and the CDC to be shut down, and require that every, single bed in every, single military barracks be covered with a Mike Lindell pillow and sheet.
Lindell, of course, was named by Trump to be both the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State. This way he can get his pillows into all those foreign markets like China which have done such a great job promoting the Trump brand.
The problem with trying to figure out whether Trump’s tax returns are good or bad is that the information needed to make such a judgement isn’t there. Trump escaped tax liabilities by allegedly losing money on many of his partnerships and using those losses to offset other revenues which created payments, such as interest, which could be tracked. But these returns don’t reveal details about how his various business ventures managed to rack up more than $35 million in losses in 2019. For that information you would have to look at the books and tax returns for each individual business, which are not attached to his personal tax return.
But for the sake of argument, let’s just say that in order to take advantage of the write-offs which come from using the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which is a way that many of the top 1 percent of figure how much taxes they have to pay, you play it fast and loose with how you define business-related expenses which offsets how much profit your various partnerships actually made.
You think Trump’s the only guy who does this? After all, since when does anyone want to pay the feds more than the least amount that you have to pay? And by the way, hiding income is a felony, it’s called grand theft. Saying that some money you spent was a business-related expense is just arguing over definitions, no crime has occurred.
But hey, wait a minute! What about that deal in New York where Trump’s company paid the rent on some apartment so the guy (his accountant) was able to live in luxury but avoid taking the salary (and incurring the tax liability) which paying rent on that pad would have incurred? By consciously pushing what should have been personal income into a business expense, the accountant was hiding what should have been income and was engaging in fraud.
Was Trump in on the accountant’s fraud? In other words, did Trump engage in a conspiracy with Allen Weisselberg to hide income from the IRS? I don’t know the answer to that question, but the same sort of questions could be asked about the losses claimed by Trump on literally hundreds of business partnerships of which Demographics mean pure and simple that Republicans need to offer independent and swing Democrats
h he was a partner over the years.
All that being said, here’s an op-ed which appeared This week: “Census data shows 2 million whites over age 50 die every year. These dying voters are being replaced by young millennials who are both multiethnic and progressively left.^Demographics mean pure and simple that Republicans need to offer independent and swing Democrat voters a positive reason to make the switch to them.”
Know who wrote that op-ed? Christopher Ruddy, the publisher and CEO of Newsmax. And if this guy’s bailing out on Trump, there’s a lot more for the Fake News to think about than whether Trump has screwed around on his tax returns.
Maybe it’s finally time for the Fake News to stop pretending that every time Trump farts it qualifies as news.