Wednesday May 08, 2019
The Biggest Loser
The big news yesterday was The New York Times story on Donald Trump's taxes and how he lost more than $1 billion between 1985 and 1994—the years for which they had info. It made yesterday evening more palatable. Even fun.
Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.
The data — printouts from Mr. Trump's official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 — represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president's taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career — an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.
The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.
In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer...
First pushback I saw actually came from Dems on social media, who kept bringing up how Hillary already mentioned much of this in the 2016 debates. Yes, but this is a news source and it's got numbers. C‘mon, folks, take a victory lap for once. Good god.
Best response was from Alexandrai Ocasio-Cortez:
Wouldn’t you think someone who personally lost over a BILLION dollars (“more than nearly any other taxpayer in America”) be vulnerable to shady activity to get out of that hole?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 8, 2019
If they became the most powerful public servant in America, wouldn’t you want to see their taxes? 🤔 https://t.co/h22XNU1bl4
Of course, as big as the story was, and is, it wasn’t NPR's lead story this morning. They knocked it down to third or fourth and played it from both sides: Times says this, Trump says this. And the numbers, NPR? What do the numbers say?
Even so. Walls are closing.