In the latest edition of “let’s treat a non-story as if it were a major scandal,” The New York Times published years of President Donald Trump’s tax records this weekend.
The story – described as a “bombshell” by critics of the president – had lots of details that the Times managed to illegally obtain from (presumably) some sort of source within the IRS. And yeah, if you’re the kind of person who thinks that someone like Trump should give away their fortune to the government every year, we suppose these details were juicy and angering. That goes double if you don’t really understand how taxes work. Combine those two groups, and we’re sure there are millions of Americans who think this really is the scandal of the year…or at least the week.
Just look at some of these outrageous tidbits!
Trump paid absolutely no federal income tax for eleven years! Worse, just look at his tax bill from 2017 – the year he was inaugurated as president: $750! What madness is this!?
He used “questionable measures” to reduce his overall tax bill. Did you know that he got a whopping $72.9 million tax refund a few years back? Yeah, he’s under audit!
At the same time as he was telling the IRS that his businesses were losing all of this money, he was getting $70,000 haircuts for The Apprentice! How shameful!
And so on.
The main thrust of the story appears to be: Hey, this guy isn’t as rich and successful as he tells you! You know, the same narrative that Trump’s critics have been running into the ground since 2016 and even before. The other thrust is, we assume: Be really angry at this guy, because he paid less in taxes last year than YOU did! Vote Biden!
You know what ISN’T a main thrust of the story? That any of these documents showed that Trump has been secretly paid by the Kremlin for the last decade. Remember when that was one of the main reasons that Democrats said it was so important for us to see his tax returns? They wanted us to believe that the IRS would tell us everything we needed to know about the deeply-corrupt Russia scandal. Yeah, it seemed idiotic that Trump would include point-by-point evidence of INTERNATIONAL TREASON in his tax returns, but hey…you never know, right?
But there’s none of that in these documents, unsurprisingly. Nor is there any evidence that criminal activity of any kind occurred.
Are you totally scandalized yet?