October 27, 2020

Trump’s tax returns show unstable financial situations for the president

In so many ways, President Donald Trump is on his last legs—and we’ve given him the country to shield himself from his mistakes at our expense.

On Sept. 27, The New York Times published a bombshell report on President Donald Trump’s tax information. The Times discovered the President is wrought with hundreds of millions in outstanding debt, has used his businesses to cover personal expenses (such as hairstyling) and only paid $750 in income taxes for 2016 and 2017.

Despite only paying a grand total of the $1,500 in federal income taxes over two years, Trump received a whopping $72.9 million tax refund beginning in 2010. The tax refund largely offset $95 million Trump paid over 18 previous years. Since 2011, the $72.9 million tax refund has been under audit to review the legitimacy of the refund.

The Times reported the president has lost over $315 million at his golf courses since 2000. In fact, a large majority of Trump’s empire suffers a net loss annually. Trump’s Washington hotel, which opened in 2016, has lost more than $55 million.

One outlier in Trump’s finances is his brand image. From 2004 to 2018, Trump made $427.4 million from selling his image. Trump’s hit reality TV series, “The Apprentice,” is largely responsible for this wealth, as Trump was given 50% of the show’s profits.

The Times pointed out that Trump’s tax bill was greatly reduced by the losses he suffered outside of “The Apprentice.” Once his show ran into trouble in 2015, the President’s strategy to have the U.S. tax system offset his losses put his financial situation under intense pressure.

With options dwindling, it is not inconceivable Trump attempted to revitalize his image by running for President in 2016. In many regards, Trump has used the influence of his office to funnel money into his businesses. Since becoming president, Trump (and his Secret Service team and guests) has spent countless days at his golf courses, resorts or hotels. Taxpayers continue to foot the bill.

House Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said, “Trump is openly enriching himself by encouraging government entities to spend money at his businesses, and foreign entities to frequent his business to curry favor with this administration.”

Furthermore, The Times has reported Trump has over $300 million in personally guaranteed loans that will be due within the next four years. In all regards, this is a national security liability. With countless allegations of Russian financial ties, massive debts and business losses, it’s likely Trump wouldn’t qualify for a low-level security clearance in the U.S. military. However, he is still the President of the United States.

Knowing the dire financial situation the president is in gives context to many of the decisions he has made. Trump has chosen stock prices over the American people in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Trump has asked foreign leaders for assistance in winning his re-election campaign (remember, his presidency has been a cash cow for his businesses). In so many ways, Trump is on his last legs—and we’ve given him the country to shield himself from his mistakes at our expense. Trump has gone from subsidizing his business losses with our tax dollars to subsidizing his COVID-19 failures with our lives.

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