Who knows if a New York Times report about President Donald Trump’s tax returns is real or not.
In the age of the “deadly novel coronavirus,” “systemic racism” and “mostly peaceful protesters,” Jewish fake news has really kicked things up a notch, and has been making news stories up totally wholesale. That story in The Atlantic about how Trump insulted dead World War 1 soldiers was obviously just completely false. They invented a news item, then the media ran with it for almost a week, saying, “what kind of a person says this thing that there is no evidence he said? It’s sick!”
The whole Russia hoax was also completely false, but that was basically a conspiracy theory that was similar to the ones that used to air on Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell. The media took a bunch of different meaningless events that did really happen and tied them together, and they were getting support from government officials who had a lot of credibility at the time. They wove a kook narrative together by connecting Trump visiting Russia in the 1980s with his national security advisor calling the Russian ambassador and saying he was going to work on the sanctions. It was all bullshit, of course, but they could point to things that actually happened to make it seem real.
I guess that went so well for them that they decided there was no reason to even start with facts.
This Times report on his tax returns strikes me also as having been made up out of whole cloth. They’ve been talking about wanting these tax returns forever and ever. I’ve never really understood why it mattered. What they’re printing is presumably the worst possible scenario (another reason to believe it’s fake), and I can’t imagine anyone caring about it, even if they believe it.
President Trump paid no income taxes for 10 of the 15 years before he was elected president, and his income tax payments in 2016 and 2017 amounted to just $750, according to The New York Times, which obtained the president’s tax information for the last 20 years.
The Times found that Trump faces hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and struggling Trump Organization properties and that he has taken advantage of a number of write-offs to avoid paying taxes.
In a statement to the Times, Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten said that “most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate” and reportedly took issue with the amount of taxes the Times reported that Trump has paid.
“Over the past decade, President Trump has paid tens of millions of dollars in personal taxes to the federal government, including paying millions in personal taxes since announcing his candidacy in 2015,” Garten told the Times.
So they’re denying it outright, saying the whole thing is fake and he did pay taxes.
Trump himself also denied the Times’s reporting during a press conference on Sunday, calling the story “totally fake news.”
“The IRS does not treat me well. They treat me like the Tea Party,” he continued, referring to claims from GOP figures that the IRS targeted GOP-leaning groups during the Obama administration.
The bombshell Times revealed that the president faces payments on more than $300 million in loans that will become due in the next few years, while revenue from his time hosting “The Apprentice” on NBC has mostly dried up, and he has largely sold his stock portfolio.
That doesn’t strike me as true at all. Trump isn’t some high-roller. He eats McDonald’s everyday.
And I’m not even sure as to what businesses he was running after The Apprentice took off. I think he was primarily just marketing that show. He still owned some buildings, but his operation was way simplified and he wasn’t taking risks. That’s what everything I’ve read about that period of his life says.
Trump reportedly made hundreds of millions of dollars from his work and related licensing on “The Apprentice” over the years, which was apparently invested back into Trump Organization businesses. But the Times analysis of Trump’s finances finds those businesses have continued to lose millions, resulting in Trump avoiding payments on income taxes while earning millions from “The Apprentice” due to losses at other businesses.
The Times reports that Trump’s tax records show $47.4 million in losses in 2018, despite Trump announcing in a financial disclosure that he made at least $434.9 million.
Losing money after becoming president would make sense, of course, but if they were falsifying this report, they would know that part was believable.
Other details revealed by the Times include that the Miss Universe pageant was most profitable under Trump and generated $2.3 million for him as a co-owner of the pageant.
Trump Organization tax records also show, according to the Times, that between 2010 and 2018, it wrote off around $26 million in unexplained “consulting fees.” The consulting fees claimed as tax deductions for hotel projects in Vancouver and Hawaii match the payments Ivanka Trump reported, more than $747,600, from a consulting company she co-owned, according to the Times.
Also revealed in Sunday’s report was the at least partial scope of Trump’s overseas dealings, long a target of government ethics organizations due to concerns that foreign investors could seek to curry favor with the president through his businesses.
Yes, ethics organizations think legitimate businesses are like the Clinton Foundation, which literally allowed people to buy favors from the Clintons.
At least $73 million was made abroad by the Trump Organization during the first half of Trump’s term, according to the documents.
The Times reports that while Trump paid just $750 in income taxes in the U.S. in 2017, Trump or his companies paid more taxes in other countries, including $15,598 in Panama, $145,400 in India and $156,824 in the Philippines.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), whose panel has been fighting for years to obtain the president’s tax returns, said in a statement that Trump “gamed the tax code to his advantage and used legal fights to delay or avoid paying what he owes.”
“Today’s report underscores the importance of the Ways and Means Committee’s ongoing lawsuit to access Mr. Trump’s tax returns and ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence,” he said.
Yeah, that’s just goofy.
He doesn’t do his own taxes.
He does the same think that all rich people and in fact most middle class people do: he hires a guy to do his taxes and get him the best deal possible.
What do they want him to do? Pay extra on purpose? Like charity to the federal government?
This is like finding his ticket stub collection and saying, “Trump gamed the Hollywood movie industry to his advantage by refusing to see films in the first run theater and always going to the dollar theater instead to see them at a discount.”
Except that only going to dollar movies would actually be gaming the system in some way. Hiring professionals to do your taxes isn’t something you actually make some decision to do, it is just the default behavior.
The Times printed three stories and an editor’s note, all at the same time on Sunday night.
As far as I can tell, they have not presented any copies of the records themselves. They’re just describing the contents. Again: indicating it is fake.
Anyway, I don’t think it’s important at all. No one who was thinking about voting for Trump trusts the New York Times or thinks this nagging story is important.
However, if they’re dropping this so soon, it implies they’ve got significantly juicier stuff coming up in October.
I do think it is likely that they’re going to have Ghislaine Maxwell come out and say he had sex with a 12-year-old, maybe claim that he was Prince Andrew’s partner in running the whole operation, forcing the innocent Jewish boy Jeff Epstein to run hookers under threat of getting slapped around.