I always thought it would end up being a rogue IRS agent martyring himself on CNN in a laughably doomed effort to take down Trump, but instead the New York Times are the first ones claiming to release President Trump’s tax returns.
So here we go.
The authenticity of what the NYT produced is of zero consequence. The coveted “Trump tax returns” are now alleged to be public and unless Trump releases something different, what the NYT published is what they’ll all go with.
In the immediate aftermath of the release, here are the four things that I think really matter about this story…
HOW MUCH HE PAID IN TAXES
It looks like Trump’s opponents (aka the media and Democrats) are zeroing in on how much he actually paid in taxes. The anecdote I keep reading is that he allegedly paid just $750 in taxes back in 2016. If that’s accurate, I agree it’s ridiculous. But I guarantee you it’s not illegal.
Private Citizen Trump shouldn’t pay more taxes than legally required just like President Trump shouldn’t delay SCOTUS nominations beyond what’s legally required. That doing so in both cases would make the media happy is of zero importance.
I guarantee there will be nothing illegal in his taxes. And if it’s true that he only paid $750 in 2016, I won’t pull the same argument the media and left do when it comes to illegal immigrants. Right? We all remember that one:
Think of all the taxes they pay other than income tax!? Like sales tax on what they buy, and stuff! They pay a ton of tax.
I won’t pull that because the fact is, as most of us know, income tax is the really painful one. And I’ve long lamented that only the middle class truly carry their tax burden without any significant considerations. The rich have opportunities to get around the income tax system almost entirely. And, candidly, so do the poor. But those opportunities are legal. And if Trump only paid $750 in income tax, I promise it was legal too.
So as it turns out the media and Democrats’ beef seems to be that Trump didn’t voluntarily pay more than he had to and/or didn’t hire dumber tax and accounting professionals.
Bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off.
HOW MUCH HE’S WORTH
A friend asked me a while back why I thought Trump wouldn’t release his tax returns and I said it’s probably because he’s not nearly as rich as he claims.
I’d guess he’s worth around $3B.
He claims he’s worth over $10B.
But let’s say it’s actually just $1B; less than 10% of what he claims.
Because the other half of the “What’s Trump truly worth!?” gripe from his detractors is that it all started with a million dollar loan from his father.
“What a spoiled brat!”, they say. “He’d be broke except he got a $1,000,000 loan from his daddy!”
And not for nothing, but Joe Biden recently said Trump “squandered” what he “inherited.”
For those keeping score at home: he’s not rich but if he is rich it’s just because he got a loan from his daddy but he squandered what his daddy gave him so he’s definitely not rich.
Got all that? It’s a lot because that’s what Trump Derangement Syndrome does to people.
But let’s do the math real quick assuming, again, that he’s worth only one tenth of what he says he is.
That would mean he got a $1,000,000 loan from his dad and turned it into $1,000,000,000.
That means he grew that loan 1,000 times over.
To put it in dollars more of us can relate to, it would be like me giving you $100 and you turning it into $100,000.
If you can do that — if any of Trump’s “He’s not rich!” and “He inherited it!” and “He squandered it!” critics can do that — let me know at FeedbackForLBA@gmail.com because I’ll gladly send you $100 immediately.
The fact is, Trump’s rich. He might not be nearly as rich as he says he is, but he’s rich. And he built that wealth. His dad got him started but he grew the business into something far bigger.
If the media want to say 1000% growth is “squandering” and having a billion dollars doesn’t make somebody “rich,” they’re welcome to try.
HOW THEY SHOULD RESPOND
The Trump team is right to say, as they did, that what the New York Times published is “riddled with inaccuracies.” They are under no obligation to corroborate or disprove anything that’s being thrown at them right now. If what the media is devouring is falsified, then it was all a ploy to force Trump’s hand. And he’s right not to fall for it. And if it is authentic then heck with it: just troll them all with the exact same story he’s always told. They breached his privacy and he’s on solid ground not helping them validate having done so:
That reporting was riddled with inaccuracies. What they published was wrong. I’m not releasing mine because I’m under audit. You can keep asking but the answer isn’t changing. I’m not hiding anything. I’m very, very rich.
That’s it. Just his regular line with precursor about the New York Times’ story. That’s all he needs and I’m guessing that’s all he’ll deploy.
WHAT IT MEANS
I believe his wealth is his Achilles heel and it’s why he doesn’t release his tax returns. He thinks a few billion is okay but he really wants to be worth ten billion, and I don’t think he is. And I think his tax returns would probably offer some clues pointing to less wealth than he claims. So he chose not to release them. And that was his choice. And I liked that he made it primarily because I love watching the media and Trump haters get all wee-weed up about this stuff. His returns being a big secret that the media couldn’t see, and none of us — his supporters — caring, and him up there yapping on and on about audits haha — it was all excellent.
But the media and their allies have shown us repeatedly there are no lows to which they won’t sink. So invading his privacy, or even fabricating documents to make it appear like they have (which I doubt happened here but I believe will in the future), is child’s play for them.
Their hope is to change the narrative before the election and get us all to focus on Trump a) not paying more in taxes than he was required to by law and b) having billions but not as many billions as he has eluded to. And they’ll spend the next 5 weeks convincing themselves that those ridiculously out-of-touch points are hitting home with voters. And what makes it even more hilarious is that Trump will be busy rolling out a vaccine for COVID-19, seating a Supreme Court Justice, and heading into a landslide election victory.
All while the media are still screaming about his tax returns.
Still not tired of winning.
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