In an embarrassing attempt to disparage President Donald Trump, Rachel Maddow tweeted this past Tuesday at 7:36 PM “We’ve got Trumps tax returns,” and in the same tweet, proceeded to hype the situation by also using a marketing opportunity to encourage potential viewers to tune into her show at 9:00 PM. Less than an hour later Maddow started backtracking on the hype of her original tweet, and posted “What we’ve got is from 2005…the President’s 1040 form…,” and before 9:00 PM the story was already a dud.
If you had the fortitude to witness that night’s broadcast of the Rachel Maddow show I do not envy you; it was cringe worthy at best. Maddow, looking particularly nervous, went into a 20 minute monologue filled with her usual type of rhetoric, and discussed how unthinkable it is that President Trump has refused to release his tax returns, and, of course, implied that one of the reasons he refused to release his tax returns is due to his secret connections with Russia. Maybe she was nervous because, as a white house official said, she was so “…desperate for ratings… [that she was willing] to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago." She even went as far into her theoretical universe to say that the tax returns she had did not satisfy the fictitious world she created, but somehow knew, in the great beyond, that tax returns that proved her Trump and Russia connection fantasy were out there and existed. That’s some high quality broadcasting MSNBC.
The reality of what was released - two summary pages of President Trump’s 1040 form from 2005. We know that President Trump reported $153M in income, reported $100M in losses, and paid $38M in federal taxes. With this, we also know that the majority of the taxes President Trump paid was due to Alternative Minimum Tax.
“a parallel tax system designed to make sure that high-income individuals can’t use legal deductions and credits to avoid all income taxes.” There is not enough information to know what made up the $100M in losses but the White House has described the losses as “large-scale depreciation for construction.”
Two summary pages of a tax return (which says very little) hasn’t stopped individuals (like Maddow) from attempting to slander President Trump, or slowed down individuals from twisting information, as was written in a Washington Post opinion piece, “ Throughout the campaign, Trump insisted that he couldn’t release his return because he was being audited by the IRS.” A false claim. President Trump has said time and again that he will not release his tax statement on the advice of his lawyer because he is currently being audited, and nothing to do with legality. Again, President Trump will not release his tax statements because he is being audited. He knows it is perfectly legal to release his tax statements while being audited, but, if you are paying some of the finest legal minds for their advice why wouldn’t you take it?
With all this, President Trump paid 25% in Federal Income Tax in 2005. A rate higher than John Kerry who paid 22.9% in 2003, a rate higher than Barack Obama who paid 18.7% in 2015, and a rate almost double what Bernie Sanders paid in 2014 (13.5%). How will the social good survive if you are not paying your fair share of taxes Bernie?