Trump’s taxes have once again become an issue. Unfortunately for the people who care about this issue, the only shocking revelation that has been learned from this latest leak is exactly what the headline says. Look, I hate to be dismissive of something that my progressive friends are convinced is very important. But this is a desperate sideshow.
See it from my point of view, if you will. I already know that Trump is (a) rich (b) shady AF (c) has lots of international business dealings and (d) tried to get out of paying as many taxes as he could. I know all of these things from, well, Trump himself. Oh, no, he wants to eliminate taxes that he has to pay. Well, so what? That would be about as bad as going to the trouble of getting yourself elected to the head of the local PTA just so you can change the monthly meeting to Thursdays because Mondays are when you get your manicure done. I mean, it’s unpleasant, but is it a problem? Not really.
Maybe the issue is that Trump is subject to foreign influences where his business interests are at stake. I can concede that it’s possible. Unfortunately, had the election gone the other way, we’d probably be discussing how the foreign interests who donated to the Clinton Global Initiative might be impacting her Administration’s policies. You’d demand proof.
Also, I’d have a beard. It’s just a cliche that your other you in a parallel dimension has one, isn’t it? Not a goatee for Evil Thrill. I imagine he’s just as incompetent as I am at getting his lined up properly. Wait, am I Good Thrill?
It doesn’t matter. Look, one of Trump’s few bright spots with me is that he got rich before entering public service. The politicians who most bother me are those who became rich while they were politicians. It’s a nice change that Trump managed to become a billionaire without abusing the public trust. He can be independent of outside influences and their cash and find all new ways to abuse the public trust.
My word on the matter is that Trump isn’t going to release his tax returns, doesn’t have to, and you’re just going to have to keep eating your livers over it.
One reader mentioned to me last night in an offline conversation that Rachel Maddow might have fallen into a trap. It could be that Trump himself released the 1040 form to make Democrats look like fools when it turned out there was nothing there.
This is far more interesting to me, especially because I had speculated something similar to this during the election when Trump’s 1995 tax forms were leaked. It seemed like releasing the tax return from what may have been his worst year would have been a smart move on his part since everyone would presumably have seen the worst thing there was to see and it would put a damper on requests for more information.
If Trump did leak his own tax return during the campaign, I can’t say if the ploy worked or not because it wasn’t an issue that affected my vote in the first place.
So, let’s put on our tinfoil beanies. If Trump leaked his own tax return this time around, what would be the payoff? I think discrediting Maddow might be a worthy objective. She’s been attacking the Administration and getting a huge ratings boost for her efforts.
What’s the real story? Because I think the whole “Trump won’t release his taxes” angle is a flop. It flopped during the election and it isn’t moving the needle now. Only people who already hate him care. I hate to downplay it, but there’s no other direction I can play it.
Somebody leaked these tax forms knowing full well that they were completely harmless to Trump but would be fed upon in a frenzy by Maddow once she got her man-hands on them. This is much more fun to speculate over.