Donald, where's yer tax-deductible hairspray?
How much worse off was laid bare by the New York Times, revealing “Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in the year he won the presidency, and in his first year in the White House he paid another $750. The Times said Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing much more money than he made … the records revealed ‘chronic losses and years of tax avoidance’”.
At least Bozo pays his taxes. Not The Donald. As the Guardian has reported, “In the US, people who derive their income from company dividends rather than salary only pay tax when the company records a profit and pays a dividend”. As Richard Murphy put it, “Trump is not a successful business person, at all. Instead he is an arch-manipulator of borrowed funds, using them to give the appearance of a successful business career when he is, in fact, simply accumulating debt that he might well be unable to repay”.
How much debt might that be? The NYT has asserted that “the president is personally responsible for more than $300m in loans, which will come due in the next four years”. The possibility of the President of the USA going bust - which, if Trump were re-elected, is a strong possibility - would be unthinkable. For anyone other than Trump.
And while many of his fans will brush off this latest series of revelations, blaming them on that mythical “swamp” which was going to get drained, but never does, some may stop and think. They value the sacrifices made by the military: Trump has dismissed those who serve as “losers” and “suckers” already. Now it has been revealed that his contribution to federal income tax, which is how the military is funded, has been minimal.
Full of hot air, and very little else
Worse, those natural Trump supporters are all for protecting the USA’s borders. This, too, is paid for out of federal income taxes. They applauded four years ago when he said that paying less tax made him “smart”. They might not be applauding now.
Even worse, the NYT story has blown apart the idea of Trump the successful businessman. He isn’t, and he hasn’t been: he took all that money his father left him and effectively sprayed it up the wall. His desperation is such that campaign events harvest data from supporters in order to get them to part with money for merchandise - and cash donations. Small wonder Piers Morgan has been silent on the matter.
What will be the effect on the Presidential race? As Anthony Zurcher of the BBC has observed, “The Times story … is yet another unwanted distraction for the president. Every day spent on it is one the Trump campaign can't focus on changing the dynamic in a race that appears tilted against him”. So he’s going to get even more paranoid.
Our PM is only pretending to be skint. The US President really is - he’s stony broke.
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