The New York Times could well have delivered the October surprise of this presidential election, a stunning blockbuster analysis of the tax returned Donald Trump has tried to hide during his ill-conceived and democracy-threatening election.
The headlines note that Trump paid no taxes for most of the 20 years leading up to 2017, and he paid just $750.00 in 2016 and 2017.
How? His returns show he spent far more money than he made. He was, and is, a failed businessman.
His debt load is massive. He will owe billions and hundreds of millions of those are coming due over the next four years.
In other words, Trump is not a billionaire. When all the auditing is done, he is probably not a millionaire. He is, for all practical purposes, broke.
Wait, we hear you cry, he owned properties worth billions.
They secure massive loans he often fails to pay and most likely cannot pay when the next set of lump sum come due. The Times analysis shows he has been paying just the interest of the loans, and he often has trouble paying that.
The “Art of the Deal,” as many have suspected, is the con of a flimflam man.
- Trump paid no federal income tax in 11 of 18 years of tax returns;
- He reduced his tax bill with questionable claims and deductions, and the Internal Revenue Service is questioning a $72.9 million tax refund he claimed. If their audit finds he cheated, which he has done often in the past, the repayment, with fines and interest charges, will be more than $100 million;
- His “signature businesses” — golf courses, Mar a Largo and his hotels — continue to lose millions of dollars;
- Hundreds of millions of loans he “personally guaranteed” come due over the next four years ;
- Even while declaring massive mosses, he continues to enjoy a “lavish lifestyle” by taking business deductions for what the IRS audits are finding are “personal expenses,” including multiple residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyle to take care of his massive comb over;
- He paid Ivanka, his daughter, large “consulting fees” on top of her salary as an executive with the Trump Organization, a case of illegal double dipping;
- As president, he has received far more money from foreign sources and U.S. special interest groups that previously known.
“This blockbuster report confirms some of our worst fears,” says Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.). “Trump’s titanic financial losses confirm that while he campaigned as a so-called brilliant financial wizard, Trump is a cheat, a fraud and perhaps the worst businessman in the world.”
The information comes out just two days before Trump and Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, face off in the first campaign debate. You can bet Chris Wallace, moderator of the first debate, is rewriting his questions to focus on what the report reveals.
The analysis shows Trump ran for president with an expectation to lose but thought the exposure would “increase the value” of his brand. His victory gave him a new source of funds to tap: U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $1.1 million at his hotels in costs to support his presidency. In less than four years, he has visited his properties more than 270 times, bringing along Secret Service agents and aides. The U.S. Treasury is charged up to $650 a night for each guest in room rates.
In addition, taxpayers are charged for his rent for his personal suite at Mar a Largo, which is now listed as his “principal residence.”
At a hastily-called press conference at the White House Sunday afternoon, Trump called the Times report “fake news” but did not claim any specific details were false.
“I paid a lot of money in state income taxes,’ he claimed. “I’ve paid a lot of money in state.”
As expected, the tax returns show that many of Trump’s claims are lies. He claimed his signature Washington Hotel in the old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue, turned a profit in record time. His returns show the hotel has never made a profit but loses millions of dollars every year.
Looks like we’re dealing with both a “fake businessman” and a “fake president.”
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