Bankrupt and in debt, Trump’s taxes show he threatens US security
In a tour de force of hard-earned reporting, the New York Times put digital clothes on what we’ve known about President Donald Trump for decades – that at best, he’s a random businessman, a human billboard artist, and a serial bankrupt artist who crams himself of debts that he may have difficulty repaying.
The Times, in a report on Sunday night that disclosed years of the president’s tax returns, also put a lot of clothes on things we didn’t know. Trump only paid $ 750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president, and the same amount the following year, when he entered the White House. In recent years he hasn’t paid anything at all. He played so fast and so cowardly with the tax authorities that he got involved in an audit. He paid his daughter Ivanka a lush consulting fee which he deducted as a business expense even though it helped him run the Trump Organization. And he’s taken questionable tax deductions on everything from hairdressing to running his personal residences.
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Walk away from the tragicomic ugliness and swindle that tax returns define, however, and focus on what they reveal about Trump as the most powerful man in the world and occupying the Oval Office. .
Because of his debt load, his dependence on foreign income, and his unwillingness to genuinely distance himself from his mishmash of affairs, Trump poses a profound threat to national security – a threat that does not will only intensify if he is re-elected. Tax returns also show how Trump has repeatedly betrayed the interests of many average Americans who elected him and remain his most loyal supporters.
I have a certain history with Trump and his taxes. Trump sued me for libel in 2006 for a biography I wrote, “TrumpNation,” claiming that the book distorted his background as a businessman and downplayed the size of his fortune. He lost the lawsuit in 2011. During the litigation, Trump resisted the release of his tax returns and other financial documents. My attorneys got the statements, and while I can’t divulge the details of what I saw, I imagine Trump still refused to release them because they would reveal how bad his businesses and finances are. solid and would highlight some of its strangers. source of income. The Times has now solved this problem for us.
According to the Times, Trump has approximately $ 421 million in debt that he has personally guaranteed and which is due over the next several years. This is consistent with previous reports on how much debt he carries, some of which could be taken from personal financial disclosures he is required to file with the federal government. But Trump’s overall debt is higher than the Times tally, I believe.
Russ Choma reported in Mother Jones last summer that Trump’s debts stood at nearly $ 500 million and would fall due within a relatively short period of time, putting pressure on the president’s finances. But Trump’s debts are even bigger than that, and he’s worked hard to keep them hidden for decades. Dan Alexander, editor-in-chief at Forbes, has been covering Trump’s business interests since 2016 and has published a new book on the President’s financial conflicts of interest, “White House Inc”. Alexander, in a helpful tally he shared on Sunday night, estimates Trump’s total indebtedness at around $ 1.1 billion. Now it’s more like that.
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Trump is touting $ 10 billion worth since entering the 2016 presidential race, a figure that is simply not true. It is only worth a fraction of that amount, and the more its debt increases, the more it puts a strain on its assets. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked particularly brutal havoc in the sectors in which the Trump Organization operates – real estate, travel and recreation. If Trump is unable to repay his debts, he will either have to sell assets or be bailed out by a friend with funds. Trump has never liked to sell anything, even when it comes to hemorrhaging money. So if he’s tempted to run away by getting a handout, that makes him a mark.
If Trump was still just a reality TV quirk, it wouldn’t be overwhelming. But he’s president, and the compromises someone like him would make to save his face and his wallet mar every public policy decision he makes, including matters of national security. If Vladimir Putin, for example, can channel a loan or donation to the president, how harsh is Trump going to be on Russia? Not that we should be worried about Trump’s relationship with Putin. I’m just raising it theoretically.
Trump’s own story of avoiding tax payments – and often paying nothing – is the other issue that should alarm supporters of the president. Trump and the Republican Party engineered a massive tax cut in 2017 that largely benefited wealthiest Americans and largest corporations in the United States. but plucked the nests of the most privileged, rarely paid taxes in recent years.
Trump paid $ 750 in taxes the year he was elected! That’s far less than the $ 130,000 in secret money he paid Stormy Daniels. In 2012, Trump criticized Barack Obama for “only” paying $ 161,950 in taxes. It’s a lot more than $ 750 too! And that’s way more than the $ 0 tax Trump frequently paid.
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Trump even paid a lot less than his really wealthy pals. As Times reporter David Leonhardt noted: “Over the past two decades, Mr. Trump has paid about $ 400 million less in combined federal income taxes than a very wealthy person who paid the average of this group every year. It’s even more disturbing when you compare Trump’s tax payments to an American household earning around $ 75,000 in 2016. These people paid around $ 14,000 in federal income taxes, which is also a lot more. than $ 750.
Anyone who buys Trump’s guts on watching the little guy while he occupies the White House, or who takes charge of his life by attending one of his campaign rallies defying Covid-19, should keep in mind one of the many things reported by The Times justifies: The President of the United States is in it for himself, and he laughs right down to the bank. And he makes fun of you too.