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What Ann Coulter and Others Get Wrong About Donald Trump's Taxes

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 29, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 29, 2020 |


One of the big talking points when it comes to the revelations in Donald Trump’s federal taxes is that he paid significantly less in taxes in 2016 and 2017 than firefighters, teachers, and nurses. Joe Biden quickly cut an ad yesterday pointing out those discrepancies.

Meanwhile, Ann Coulter over on Twitter also took aim at Donald Trump for paying so little on his taxes, and suggested Democrats (who, again, are not in control of the tax code at the moment) change the system.

Now, if you have read all the reporting on Donald Trump’s taxes, you’d understand that why Coulter and even Biden are fundamentally wrong, although Coulter is right about at least one thing: That Trump’s income taxes do not reflect intelligence. But the real story here is that Donald Trump did not cheat the tax system, nor did he take advantage of any shady loopholes. Donald Trump paid so few taxes for the same reason that a minimum wage worker with a spouse and a dependent might pay so few taxes:

It’s because he’s broke.

Firefighters, elementary school teachers, and nurses pay more in taxes because they didn’t lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year for the last 20 years. They are actually responsible with their money. They do not blow it all on terrible investments and then expect the U.S. government to bail them out with what is essentially income tax welfare and then file bankruptcy when the debts become insurmountable.

The reason Trump did not pay taxes in 15 of the last 20 years is because he didn’t earn a net positive income. You can’t pay taxes on losses, and what Trump’s tax returns show are incredible losses. His taxes suggests that the only real source of revenue that Donald Trump has had in the last 20 years is the $430 million he earned on The Apprentice, and he funneled all of that into losing ventures, primarily golf courses that he pays millions of dollars into every year to prop up because they are losing ventures. Donald Trump is really bad at business.

In fact, it appears from his tax returns that Donald Trump has never managed to run a successful business, whether it be his casinos, his hotels, or his golf courses. The only successful venture he’s ever been a part of is The Apprentice, which someone else operated. He’s being honest about being audited (although, he’s being dishonest to suggest he cannot release his tax returns while under audit). Why is he being audited? Because, back in the day, you could only deduct losses for up to two years. However, President Obama passed a law designed to help out struggling businesses that allowed them to deduct up to five years in losses. Ironically, no person has seemingly benefited more from Obama’s provision than Donald Trump, because Trump added together years of losses so that he could receive a $70 million tax refund. That’s what’s being audited.

Do you know how bad you have to suck at business to get a $70 million refund on personal losses? I don’t know a lot about the tax code, but that is a lot of losses. This is why every other bank besides Deutsche refused to extend Donald Trump any credit. It’s because he’s spectacularly shitty at running a company. If he runs it like he runs the country, it probably just means that he watches Fox News all day and yells at the people he hires to run shit for him. This is a man, after all, who — in the last year — has blown $1 billion on his political campaign and has almost nothing to show for it.

It’s also part of the reason why Trump is so desperate to win an election that he’s willing to toss Democracy out the window: If he loses, he is facing insurmountable debts, and the thing about Trump is: He doesn’t have a significant source of income coming in. Where’s he going to get that money unless he can leverage foreign policy, which might — for instance — force him to look the other way when the Russians put a bounty on the heads of U.S. soldiers. When the bank comes a’ calling, Trump is going to have to sell off all his assets to pay his debts.

Trump is a broke bitch. That’s why he only pays $750 in taxes. He ain’t got no money. He repeatedly runs his businesses into the dirt and then looks to the government for bailouts. Do we really want that guy running the economy for another four years?

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