*The New York Times* gets access to Trump’s tax returns and it’s not pretty

Well, now we know why Trump does not want us to see his tax returns. The New York Times has uncovered them and this evening released the first of several reports about what they found.

Some highlights:

Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. By the way, the average American pays between $6,837 a year (West Virginia) and $19,977 a year (New Jersey).

Trump paid “no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years–largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” Everything about this report reveals what we already knew:

The tax returns reveal a failed businessman “who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.” In 2018, he lost $47 million.

Trump now relies “more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.”

Trump “has been more successful playing a business mogul than being one in real life.” In this context, Trump’s run for president in 2015 may have been an attempt to “reanimate the marketability of his name.”

In the next four years Trump will need to pay back $300 million in loans.

Trump properties “have become bazaars for collecting money directly from lobbyists, foreign officials and others seeking face time, access or favor….”

He made $5 million a year from new memberships at Mar-a-Lago following the announcement of his candidacy in 2015. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is run by court evangelical Franklin Graham, paid $397,602 dollars to Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel for a 2017 conference on persecuted Christians.

In his four years in office Trump has made licensing deals with the Philippines ($3 million), India ($2.3 million), and Turkey ($1 million).

Trump’s golf courses have lost $315.6 million since 2000. His Washington D.C. hotel lost $55.5 million between 2016 and 2018. His real estate company, “Trump Corporation,” has lost $134 million since 2000.

Trump Tower in New York is Trump’s only major success as a businessman. It has brought in $336.3 million since 2000.

Trump has failed to pay back $287 million in loans since 2010.

Trump paid 70,000 in haircuts during his years as the star of the NBC reality show “The Apprentice.” (I could have set him up with Vladimir at the Camp Hill Barber Shop for a lot less! :-))

You can read the entire piece here.

In an appearance on CNN, Trump biographer Tim O’Brien said, “you have in these numbers a portrait of a president as a con man and a long-term grifter. Donald Trump is probably the most successful con-man in modern history and he’s wound-up in the White House.”

Here are some of my favorite tweets so far: