The Real Trump Tax Takeaway: How To Blow $100 Million
"People don't care."
Last night Rachel Maddow had the internet goin’ nuts like Paul Wall. One Tweet about Trump’s tax returns had the everybody on the edge of their seat.
This was a big deal because Trump is the first president in half a century who has refused to release his tax returns. As a nominee he did this by more stalling rather than straight-up refusing. As Kelly Anne Conway said, “People don’t care.” As a former reality TV star, casino owner, and beauty pageant producer, Trump understands this fundamental truth about the American psyche better than anybody. And that’s why chances are he never will release his taxes. Presidents are under not required to do so by law—it’s just that, as CNN put it, “every president since Richard Nixon has released their tax returns while in office as part of a tradition of financial transparency.”
Apparently some mysterious inside source anonymously leaked pages from Trump’s 2005 Federal return (stamped as a “client copy”) in a #10 business envelope. The suspense was murder, and Maddow milked it for all it was worth. We can only hope POTUS 45 enjoyed the hour-plus delay.
Which is why the big reveal turned out to be a big, screeching anticlimax. We now know that Trump paid $36 million dollars in Federal Income Tax in 2005. We don’t know much about where that money came from than if the whole return was leaked rather than two lousy pages.
But if the news was so underwhelming, there must have been a reason why Trump took to Twitter and labeled the report “FAKE NEWS!” Never mind that the tax form was obtained by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who runs a website called DCReport.org.
The big takeaway on this Trump tax thing is not how much money he made, but how much he lost. The real estate mogul earned $153 million in 2005 but paid federal income taxes on just a small part of that. That’s because he reported losses of $103 million that year, although those same two lousy pages don’t provide much in the way of detail.
Nobody knows for sure how Trump blew $100 million but we do know that the Donald has been known to kick it with the Don Dada not to mention Big Dutty Stinkin’ Shabba Ranks and Cyndi Lauper. (This was way before Snoop smoked him in that video.) Safe to assume that there may have been some flossing involved.
For most of us $100 million is a difficult figure to comprehend. If your idea of filing taxes involves the 1040EZ form or H&R Block, you have no idea how deep Trump’s tax game truly is. Getting your hands on, and then losing, that much money is not a small matter. Simply wrapping your mind around that much paper is a challenge.
There’s a whole reddit forum about what you could do with that kind of money. You could vacation in space, buy mansions with cash, or adopt some pandas. Just to get a basic idea of what it means to blow through $100 million let’s take a listen to Birdman’s song of the same name. With a little bit of help from Weezy, Jeezy, and Rick Ross, our hope is that the Five-Star Stunna can help put the day’s news into some type of perspective.
However they were frittered away, that $100 million loss was money well spent. As DCReport put it “Donald Trump is paid like a member of the 0.001%. He pays taxes like the 99%. But he’d like to pay like the bottom 50%.”
The return also shows that Trump was still caking off an even bigger loss reported in his 1995 return—a staggering $916 million—hey, let’s call it an even billi and keep it moving. The New York Times first broke this information last year, while The Daily Beast reported about a soon-to-be-closed tax loophole that allowed Trump to convert that massive loss into a tax credit he could then use to offset future earnings.
People, he’s not as dumb as he sounds. Perhaps that’s why Trump has focused more on the documents’ shady origin than on their content, because of course “People don’t care.”