Last night, Rachel Maddow from MSNBC did an exposé on President Trump’s tax return from 2005. During the election, Mitt Romney claimed that Trump was hiding a bombshell in his tax returns. Thanks to Rachel Maddow, a bombshell was found. Perhaps it wasn’t the bombshell we were all thinking it would be. As Rachel Maddow found out, the problem with political bombshells is that you could wind up blowing yourself up if you play with them.
The Bombshell: Donald Trump’s Tax Rate
How much did President Trump pay in taxes back in 2005? In case you’re curious, MSNBC also made a PDF of the two-page tax return summary for all to read for themselves. Maddow used rounded numbers when she stated that Trump paid “$38 million on $150 million of income,” pointing out that the adjusted gross income had a deduction of $103.2 million due to depreciation from the business. Using her numbers, Donald Trump’s tax rate in 2005 was 25.33 percent.
Using the actual numbers, his total income before adjustments was $152,737,866. The total tax paid and owed, which would be the total amount he wound up paying in 2005, was $38,435,451. Divide that total tax by the total income and you get his tax rate, which was 25.16 percent; he paid a little bit less than Maddow’s rounding allowed for, but it was still around 25 percent. Had he not had the depreciation to bring that taxable income down, his total tax would have put him in the 35 percent tax bracket.
When Rachel Maddow built up the hype around having Trump’s tax return from 2005, a lot of people thought this was going to show the world that Donald Trump doesn’t pay his fair share. Of course, plenty of people that don’t like the man either way probably think he should have paid more, since he wound up paying 10 percent less than he “should have.” Earlier, I said that the problem with political bombshells is that you could wind up blowing yourself up. Last night, Maddow did exactly that to this leftist arguing point.
Getting a two-page summary would only do one thing: Show income, payments, and taxes owed. It wouldn’t show specific bank accounts. It wouldn’t show charitable contributions. It surely wouldn’t show if there were any ties to Russia, either. The only arguing point that it would bring to light would be whether or not Donald Trump actually paid taxes. The New York Times, Slate, CNN, The Washington Post, and the New York Times again, and again, tried to write hit pieces on Donald Trump by writing about what he’s paid in taxes in the past.
Friendly Fire: Fueling Midterms and 2020
Of course, people likely believed that President Trump continued to get away with “tax evasion,” a serious crime in the world of taxation. The fact that Trump kept this quiet for so long goes to show that any other attempt to take him down by using any other conspiracy theory about the man, past or present, is likely to become friendly fire towards the left. They seem to be forgetting something that happens next November and November 2020: Elections.
November 2018 is when midterm elections take place and there are 35 seats in the Senate that are up. All of the seats in the House are up. All but 12 governorships are up for election. As for November 2020, if things keep up the way they have been over the next few years, the Democratic Party could run their best candidate in history and they would likely lose due to the conspiracy theories and attempted takedowns of President Trump. As some have already pointed out, it seems as if Donald Trump has already won the 2020 election.