What Donald Trump's Leaked Tax Return Really Says About The President
The Debrief: Aside from the fact that he's got a lot of money...
During his Presidential campaign Trump went against the grain and refused to release his tax returns (hey, who needs transparency anyway). But, now, just like that, they’ve appeared. Part of his tax return from 2005 which was leaked to MSNBC late last night shows that he paid $38m (around £31m) in tax on more than $150m (£123m) of income in 2005.
So what does this tell us? Other than confirming the fact that Donald Trump has loads and loads of money, this partial tax return is actually pretty interesting. Why? Well, it shows that America’s president had to pay millions of dollars as a result of a law which he has said he wants to scrap now that he’s in the Whitehouse. Funny that.
The tax in question is known as the ‘alternative minimum tax’ (AMT). It was brought in to make sure that the super rich (like Trump) pay more than their fair share of tax.
During his campaign Trump explicitly said that he would abolish AMT and provide ‘the lowest tax rate since World War II’.
On the one hand, it seems pretty convenient that such a favourable excerpt from Trump’s tax return would be leaked. As his son, Donald Trump Jr. points out, the leaked document shows that Trump has paid a great deal in taxes. There is speculation about whether Trump and his team actually leaked this themselves.
However, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Trump’s tax returns and, after this, the calls for him to release them in full will be heard loudly again.
This leak also means that Donald Trump campaigned for a change to American tax law which would directly benefit him and save him money before coming President. How do we feel about that? Insert chin-stroking emoji here.
One of Donald Trump’s USPs was that he ‘wasn’t like other politicians’. In fact, he wasn’t a politician at all. He cast himself as a new sort of political character, he was ‘for the people’, an ‘anti-elite’ who was going to challenge the corrupt status quo of Washington.
It’s always a bit confusing when privileged white men, who have hitherto enjoyed the spoils of their historic hegemony, claim to be anti-elite, isn’t it? It’s even more perplexing when those men, who shout so loudly about being ‘anti-elite’, happen to be Ivy League educated property moguls who are currently sitting on millions in the bank who want to out the current elite establishment only so that they can become it themselves.
But, hey, perhaps we’ve misunderstood what ‘elite’ means? That’s probably it.
Then again, seems to be quite right when it comes to Trump. Does it? Everything is possible and nothing is true.
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