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Leaked Returns: In 2005, Trump Claimed $150 Million in Earnings, Paid $36 Million in Taxes

Tax returns leaked; Rachel Maddow's exclusive gets scooped by White House pre-response.

TrumpC-SpanRachel Maddow of MSNBC today announced she had a big exclusive: a copy of President Donald Trump's tax returns from 2005. She promised she'd reveal the details on her show tonight at 9 p.m.

Unfortunately, she has decided that she should open her show by using her captive audience to babble on and on and on about every single thing she thinks about corruption in the Trump administration, sounding like the guy at the gym you never, ever make eye contact with. The Daily Beast has some analysis from the source of the leaked returns, David Cay Johnson of DCReport.org. And you don't have to endure a 15-minute monologue first:

Donald Trump earned more than $150 million in the year 2005—and paid just a small percentage of that in regular federal income taxes. Daily Beast contributor David Cay Johnston has obtained what appear to be the first two pages of Trump's 2005 federal income tax return, and published an analysis of those pages on his website, DCReport.org. The Daily Beast could not independently verify these documents.

The documents show Trump and his wife Melania paying $5.3 million in regular federal income tax—a rate of less than 4% However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the so-called "alternative minimum tax," or AMT. Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax.

"Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required," the White House said in a statement. "That being said, Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that."

The actual tax return info itself doesn't sound particularly interesting or damning. Note that this is the same tax year where Trump had previously gotten a major tax deal. Probably the bigger news is that Trump insisted and insisted and insisted both before and after the election that he could not release his tax returns because he was being audited. It became very clear very quickly that this is nonsense and many people have said so. But hilariously, before Maddow even made it on the air, the White House responded by confirming the number (ruining her scoop) and then complaining that providing the information is illegal. So the White House just deflated Trump's previous argument that he couldn't release his tax documents. But they also responded in a way that attempts to cast Trump as some sort of victim of an "illegal" disclosure that wouldn't have happened had he been transparent in the first place.

I'm hesitant at this point to even suggest that anything valuable at all will come from this info leak other than the continued polarization of two sides. The fact that Trump refused to release his returns for the dumbest of reasons didn't seem to affect those who voted for him. His angry response was to attack the media and then promise to stick with his own agenda. So it's perhaps political business as usual. Still, it's a net good for public transparency that Americans get this information and are able to evaluate it and decide for themselves whether they should care.

Update: The lack of any sort of smoking gun in the tax filings and the fact that they're apparently labeled "client copy" are already leading to theories that Trump himself had them leaked.

Photo Credit: C-Span

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  • Gozer the Gozarian||

    Rachel Maddow is a cunt.

  • Animal||

    You have done a grave disservice to cunts everywhere with that comparison.

  • skidmark||

    More like toenail, with fungus. Lower, and smells worse than a cunt.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    And without the upside.

  • Tony||

    Is that apart from her reporting on news in this instance, or because she has the temerity to report on his grapefruitness?

  • wareagle||

    she reported that a rich guy paid a lot of taxes. Maybe this is news to you.

  • Sevo||

    "...the temerity to report on his grapefruitness?"

    I'm sure that means something to the editor of the "Willow Oaks Dog Walker's Weekly", but....
    Grow up, Tony.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    I'm offended by the comparison. Cunts are very pleasant. How about comparing Maddow to an anal wart, instead?

  • DanO.||

    Rachel Maddow is a cunt.

    Thanks. You're a credit to libertarianism with that thoughtful analysis. You should add that line to your Gadsden flag.

  • ace_m82||

    You should add that line to your Gadsden flag.

    I'm always amazed at people who hold that flag in contempt. The only conclusion I can come to is that you absolutely relish treading upon others.

    I honestly don't know what else would motivate you, other than tribalism.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Thanks. You're a credit to libertarianism with that thoughtful analysis. You should add that line to your Gadsden flag.

    Since our long-standing approach of using objective, rational analysis has failed, we're just adopting the language of progressives and Democrats so that you people can understand us.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    "I'd call you a cunt, but you lack the warmth and the depth."

  • SIV||

    Pretty funny stunt by Trump.I actually put Maddow on for a few minutes until she started saying Trump USED THE SAME AIRPORT RUNWAY AS A RUSSIAN OLIGARCH!!11! and TRUMP INEXPLICABLY FIRED THE US ATTORNEYS APPOINTED BY OBAMA !!11!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More sweet tears to collect.

    How desperate is the mainstream media? This is a campaign issue and Trump was voted into office without releasing tax records. I personally think transparency in government is important, so politicians should release tax records. It's not required in the constitution, so it's not not required at this time.

    Everything the media does just makes Trump more popular. He paid $35 million in taxes in 2005. That is an outrageous amount to be extorted for just for the bureaucrats to waste. Cut government to the bone!

  • Agammamon||

    You know - Because income tax did not exist at the beginning of the nation, the Founding Father's could never have forseen a nation where a politician could choose to or not to disclose their income tax returns.

    So we need to ignore the Constitution or something, something, left-wing blather.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    You know - Because income tax did not exist at the beginning of the nation, the Founding Father's could never have forseen a nation where a politician could choose to or not to disclose their income tax returns we should get rid of it.

    FTFY

  • BTS11||

    I think it was worth the wait just to spoil rachel maddows big scoop

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More sweet tears to collect.

    How desperate is the mainstream media? This is a campaign issue and Trump was voted into office without releasing tax records. I personally think transparency in government is important, so politicians should release tax records. It's not required in the constitution, so it's not not required at this time.

    Everything the media does just makes Trump more popular. He paid $35 million in taxes in 2005. That is an outrageous amount to be extorted for just for the bureaucrats to waste. Cut government to the bone!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rachel Maddox squirrels double post'n

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Damn, Trump is brilliant if he rick-rolled Madcow

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Frankly, I thought Trump was broke. He had a $ billion loss in 1995 and in 2005, he had to pay $38 million in taxes?

    Damn. Trump is rich after all.

  • Chip Chipperson||

    Yeah, that's the real story here.

    He took a billion-dollar loss in 1995, which is what led to all the media and pundit speculation that he could very well be living tax-free off that loss for the next twenty years.

    In reality, ten years later he had a $38 million tax liability. Which means he really does have a shitload of money.

  • Sam Haysom||

    I love Reason adopting the if you have nothing to hide why are you nervous line here. Trump didn't want to release his tax returns. Simple as that. To caterwaul but what about the transparency is an odious repudiation of his fundemental rights. That doesn't entitle people to defy the law and leak his tax returns. People really want to stop child pornography and I maybe I then Shackford consumes child porn. I don't get to shout transparency and override his constitutional protections just because he gives off a child porny vibe.

    But I get it there is shit ton more writers than there are spots at Salon and WAPO so curry that hard left favor or you'll end up a media matters troll like Tony.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    Creative argument.

  • John DeWitt||

    But they also responded in a way that attempts to cast Trump as some sort of victim of an "illegal" disclosure that wouldn't have happened had he been transparent in the first place.

    Agreed, what a completely un-libertarian paragraph to write.

  • kbolino||

    Trump was not President in 2005 so his tax returns from then are not public records. Framing it as a transparency issue makes no sense. It's a privacy issue.

  • kbolino||

    My above comment came from reading your post as sarcastic.

  • John DeWitt||

    Yeah, I was being serious. Rare occurrence. I'm overtired, apparently.

  • ||

    Bravo! Golf Clap........

  • WakaWaka||

    Shack Attack out scoops Maddow. Nice work

  • CptNerd||

    He's playing the Media like a harp from Hell, to borrow a phrase...

  • creech||

    Why would Trump or anyone want to not release returns that are being audited? I remember MONEY or some other financial magazine sending out identical income information from a fake upper middle income earner to something like 200 CPAs and tax preparers and having them calculate dozens of different tax amounts. If professionals can't agree on the tax code and the correct preparation of an individual's 1040, then you can bet there will be a dozen different "I caught Trump cheating" opinions from media should his unaudited returns be made public.

  • Eric L||

    "If professionals can't agree on the tax code and the correct preparation of an individual's 1040, then you can bet there will be a dozen different "I caught Trump cheating" opinions from media should his unaudited returns be made public."

    As someone who prepared tax returns for some many years, that was one of my thoughts. The other is that it is only the first two pages - so the front and back side of the 1040. Those two pages are mostly a summary. The details are on the schedules A, B, C, D, etc. and their supporting pages. I have no doubt that some were salivating at the thought of finding out Trump's charitable gifts – but that is shown on schedule A, even then some may have been phased out because of his AGI. BTW, you are not required to report voluntary expenditures (charitable gifts) giving rise to an itemized deduction. Others I am sure were hoping to find some smoking gun hidden in the revenue and expenses of his various business. Too bad that detail is on schedule C.

  • Daily Beatings||

    The other thing is the pass though income from his company, which is either an S Corp or LLC. So in reality the details of income generation are with the respective informational business returns.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Good job. It's an LLC. "The Trump Organization LLC"
    Do you also know the HUGE abuse on that?

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    Is that why no one makes contact with me at the gym?

  • Animal||

    No. That's not the reason.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Maybe leave the pink leotard at home next time, Crusty.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    It brings out the beady in my eyes.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If Trump himself had these leaked, ho hum. But if he didn't, and there is ANY indication that the leak was from inside the IRS, then some serious bloodshed is in order. I do not care whose return got leaked; if the IRS ever leaks a tax return on anybody, heads should roll. People should face serious prison time. The government promises that the information is confidential, it goddamned better be.

    I know. The government leaks like a seive and breaks its promises at the drop of an expedient hat. It's time someone set about schooling them on that.

  • Damned||

    Maybe Obama did.

  • silent v||

    That's why you should never put sensitive documents in the microwave

  • Kandralla||

    I would expect the same amount of bloodshed that occurred when "sounds like a conservative" became an indicator of potential fraud.

    "The government promises that the information is confidential, it goddamned better be."

    Ask an employee of a contractors with a security clearance how good that promise is.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Hear that clicking noise? That's the sound of a thousand hard drives mysteriously self destructing. Happens all the time, just ask Lois Lerner.

  • Damned||

    Reason.com is happy that the lesbian got scooped
    Probably happier that Drumpf scooped the system and did not fork over one cent nore.
    Smart to exploit loopholes

    Libertarian now?

  • wareagle||

    Oooh..you spelled it Drumpf. No one has thought of that before.

  • kbolino||

    Don't you find it funny? Witty? No? What do you mean, it's not funny or witty in the slightest? I bet you didn't laugh at "Bushitler", either. So drole!

  • wareagle||

    the left is full of those who believe they're clever. So how come we get stuck with guys like that and Tony?

  • CZmacure||

    You don't really have to be "stuck" with the persistent derp of the trolls here...

  • Presskh||

    I think "Drumpf" is funny - kind of like "Obamonkey" is also funny!

  • Daily Beatings||

    It's not exploiting loopholes you moron. It's using the tax code to your advantage. Only an idiot would leave money on the table you're legally entitled to keep.

  • Sevo||

    This is like those horrible KKKorporations following tax law and keeping earnings in places where the IRS can't grab it.
    The HORROR! They should ignore the law and their duty to the stockholders and hand over every penny they can!

  • Sevo||

    Damned|3.14.17 @ 11:16PM|#
    "Libertarian now?"

    I'll bet your pea brain found that amusing, being stupid most always.
    BTW, fuck off.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Probably happier that Drumpf scooped the system and did not fork over one cent nore.

    Release your own tax returns so we can see if you fill out a 1040EZ every year.

  • Tony||

    Don't everyone rush to the defense of the insane moron who runs the biggest government in the world. Jesus Christ this place.

  • John DeWitt||

    If by running the government you mean in pitched battle with it, then you are correct. Carry on.

  • wareagle||

    Maddow managed to do a sterling job of defending him on her own. Her colleagues were calling her out, with at least one suggesting tonight's whatever it was become an SNL skit and another saying he could do his taxes in less time than she took to showing Trump's.

  • kbolino||

    Even insane morons have rights.

  • John DeWitt||

    That's simply not true. Constitutionally, he has to release his tax returns. It's right there between "four score and seven years ago" and "we hold these truths to be self evident".

  • Agammamon||

    Ah, the government you *helped* to become the biggest and *want* to become bigger? Because if you have your way there will never be another insane moron to take control of it?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.14.17 @ 11:25PM|#
    "Don't everyone rush to the defense of the insane moron who runs the biggest government in the world. Jesus Christ this place."

    Don't worry, you slimy piece of shit, when they come to take you away we will be there defending your right to be the dumbest human in world history.

  • kbolino||

    You've seen mtrueman's defense of North Korea. Tony can't be dumber than that.

  • ChipToBeSquare||

    Yes, he's possibly insane and possibly moronic and he's definitely in charge of the biggest government in the world and we believe that to be inherently evil. Some people on this site defend him too much as well. But unlike the partisans on either side, when we criticize, we want it on our own terms and according to our own principles. Most of the crying from the left is that the wrong guy is running the biggest government in the world, not that the office itself has too much authority over our daily lives. I'm not interested in replacing Trump with some unholy mix of identity politics and socialism. That's all this "resistance" has been advocating

  • Agammamon||

    But they also responded in a way that attempts to cast Trump as some sort of victim of an "illegal" disclosure that wouldn't have happened had he been transparent in the first place.

    You're absolutely right - that's why I just sign over the title when someone steal my car. After all, if I had just given it to them in the first place then I wouldn't have become a victim.

  • Sevo||

    "...sounding like the guy at the gym you never, ever make eye contact with...."

    That's Maddow.

  • Daily Beatings||

    I still remember the MSM screaming about a loss carry-forward for approximately $1 billion Trump had back in the 1990s. Guess what bitches, that's called a deferred tax asset and Trump is allowed to carry-forward the loss for twenty years until exhausted.

    Now he that he's paid the AMT on $150 million income what the fuck are they going to shrill about now? His accountants follow the IRS regulations like pros and they still want to crucify him.

  • Sevo||

    "Now he that he's paid the AMT on $150 million income what the fuck are they going to shrill about now?"

    Uh, let's see. Lefties will scream about:
    "Yachts of Trump financial backer, Russian oligarch seen together"
    http://www.sfgate.com/

  • Daily Beatings||

    Didn't see the yacht story, but the sfgate is going on and on about loopholes and non sequiturs in several stories regarding the tax code. It's like they spoke with a CPA for a 1/2 hour, then completely ignored everything they had to said. I can finally understand how the Gell-Mann amnesia effect works.

  • Memory Hole||

    loss carry-forward for approximately $1 billion

    If I remember correctly the issue was the way Trump stiffed contractors and workers out of their money, screwed over his business associates and then used their losses to avoid paying his own future personal income taxes. It's a common practice in the business world to sucker in investors and then stiff them with the bill all while you make out with millions and this probably explains why Trump had to take loans from Russian and Chinese banks because he is not a credible business partner.

    There is a lifetime of evidence of Trump being a complete piece of shit and even Trump himself playfully acknowledges his shadiness in interviews with say Howard Stern but somehow in the confusion of life it's all down the memory hole for most people.

  • kbolino||

    It's not "down the memory hole". Trump being a shitty business person--a proposition whose truth value seems to depend entirely on what you look at and who you ask--doesn't mean he's done something illegal or that the law was being "abused". I agree entirely that the man is not some kind of saint, and probably has done some shady shit in his life. Presidents are not immune from civil suit for private acts, so those who were legally wronged can still sue him. The problem isn't "is Trump a bad person", it's "what legal principles are at play, and how do they apply beyond just Trump?"

    In order to carry a loss forward, you still have to have a net loss. If he had net personal income alongside that loss, then it seems to me it should be taxed. But I have not seen any evidence that he had untaxed income.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Does mad cow have a seven figure tax lien like the rest of the dufi at MSNBC?

  • kbolino||

    She released her own tax returns as a show of good faith, I'm sure.

  • Praveen R.||

    I do think Trump leaked them because it shows him paying a decent amount of tax. What I find funny is how Trump can act outraged over leaked documents when he was the most vocal proponent of leaking documents and emails when the subject was Hillary

  • jmomls||

    *vocal proponent of leaking documents *

    Incorrect. He joked about the Russians releasing documents that Hilary Clinton purportedly couldn't find/had deleted maliciously.

  • soflarider||

    What I find funny is that the media who ignored the Podesta hacks due to the method of acquisition, has no qualms about using an illegal document to attempt to bludgeon a foe.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Anybody else having problems with this site? All of the sudden it's running like one of those shitty click bait sites with a thousand videos going at once.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Also, I looked all over the site, but couldn't find the page where Reason employees post all of their previous tax returns. If somebody could point me to it, I'd appreciate it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (laughing)

  • chemjeff||

    Sometimes I wonder about this place. Snowden leaks classified government info and he is hailed as a hero. But someone leaks Trump's tax returns, far less private info, and his right to privacy is declared to be inviolable. What about all of the private conversations that Snowden abruptly made public? Or Assange? Or any number of leakers within the government that exposed wrongdoing? When is leaking "okay" and when is it "not okay"? I wish the commenters here would get their story straight. Is it okay to leak confidential information that embarrasses those in power, or is it not okay?

  • american socialist||

    Not sure if serious....seems like a false equivalence

    The returns of a private citizen which is mnadated by gov is of no concern to me, what people pay and make has no bearing on me. If there were shenanigans the irs would have come down on him.

    In the case of snowden the govt is being revealed to spy on me and everyone else which is potentially a violation of my and otjers rights

  • american socialist||

    You talk about exposing wrong doing. How is releasing a tax return doing that?

  • Michael Hihn||

    1) Privacy is a fundamental right.
    2) Also why all his returns cannot be revealed, even by a court.

  • Michael Hihn||

    When is leaking "okay" and when is it "not okay"? I wish the commenters here would get their story straight.

    Nobody here, including Reason has discovered the major issue.
    Trump campaigned on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF. You know, the guy who promised to drain the swamp.
    To be fair, that is not included in the GOP tax proposal. Only a 35% tax cut for Der Leader.
    And he may get away with it. He has so far, right?

  • kbolino||

    Trump campaigned on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF

    ... and everyone else who files their taxes the same way. That's millions of other people, too.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Trump campaigned on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF

    ... and everyone else who files their taxes the same way. That's millions of other people, too.

    (LOL) Wait for it ...

    FILING taxes is not the same as CHANGING the tax code.
    His current top rate is 39.6%. He campaigned on 15%, but ONLY for SOME owners/shareholders..
    What's YOUR top rate? Do you own all or part of a pass-through corporation?

    He did brag that his supporters were mindless enough to defend him shooting somebody to death in a crowded area. I hope we never see THAT tested.

  • kbolino||

    Do you own all or part of a pass-through corporation?

    No. I also don't pay $35 million in taxes. Both of those facts are irrelevant. Anyone who does own such a corporation gets the same tax schedule regardless of whether the rates change or stay the same.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do you own all or part of a pass-through corporation?
    No.

    You retract the original screwup, but ... replace with an even worse one.

    Both of those facts are irrelevant.

    Only to someone totally lacking in principle. as you reveal next.

    Anyone who does own such a corporation gets the same tax schedule regardless of whether the rates change or stay the same.

    "stay the same" is a diversion,
    1) We have rights, equal to ONLY our own group.
    2) A 100% tax cut for billionaires is okay, if it applies to all billionaires.

    Politically, his supporters would never object to a billionaire paying a MUCH lower rate than they do ... f they knew ... especially since he campaigned as a champion of the working class. And why not, since they'd also support him shooting somebody to death with an entire crowd of witnesses.

    He already gets a huge loophole. Equal to (probably) $15 billion that year
    Ever hear of "crony capitalism?"

  • kbolino||

    He already gets a huge loophole. Equal to (probably) $15 billion that year

    According to what calculation?

    I didn't screw anything up. Anybody can own a corporation and their income will be taxed according to the corporate income schedule. Nobody is stopping you or Bill Gates or anyone else from owning a corporation and having the corporation's income taxed the same way as Donald Trump's.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Only to someone totally lacking in principle. (like yourself).
    "stay the same" is a diversion,
    1) We have rights, equal to ONLY our own group.
    2) A 100% tax cut for billionaires is okay, if it applies to all billionaires.


    Nobody is stopping you or Bill Gates or anyone else from owning a corporation and having the corporation's income taxed the same way as Donald Trump's.

    You dodged the issue , and added 2 more screwups
    1) Available ONLY to owners of corporations … in a certain form ... prior to the law creating them. Including millions of other Microsoft owners
    2) Not available to worker pension funds,

    He already gets a huge loophole. Equal to (probably) $15 billion that year

    According to what calculation?

    Exempt from the corporate income tax ... not available to employee pension funds and 90% of shareholders.

    Note that, while defending your cult leader, on issues you clearly know nothing about ... you also defend crony capitalism, special favors on the tax laws, even after they've been pointed out. You SEEM to be inventing things out of thin air, as needed to defend your Leader.

    Here's a thought. Why not be loyal to individual liberty ... instead of to a documented political huckster?

  • kbolino||

    You want to talk about facts but you keep making stuff up and bringing up unrelated topics. Anybody can found an S-corp or LLC. This has nothing to do with pension funds. Where is the $15 billion number coming from?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Where is the $15 billion number coming from?

    Have somebody read it to you. I'm laughing too hard at all your evasions and spins.
    Now you make ANOTHER foolish statement!

    This has nothing to do with pension funds

    WHAT? THE biggest group of shareholders on earth. Investable assets larger than the NYSE total market value, and all now in equities because of near-zero interest,.

    So, you never knew shareholders are owners ... of ALL corporations, C, Sub-S and LLC.

    Anybody can found an S-corp or LLC.

    Already covered, and WHY it's not relevant here.

    NOW you get it. and change your story .... but that's irrelevant here. As already explained

  • kbolino||

    Justify the $15 billion number or shut up.

  • Michael Hihn||

    One more time for the mentally depraved bully

    Justify the $15 billion number or shut up.

    (smirk) THIRD REPEAT. I already did

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794915

    ME: He (Trump) already gets a huge loophole. Equal to (probably) $15 billion that year

    STALKER/BULLY According to what calculation?

    ME: Exempt from the corporate income tax ... not available to employee pension funds and 90% of shareholders.

    (Thug says pension funds have nothing to do with this AFTER being reminded that EMPLOYEE pension funds are the single largest corporate owners in America -- with assets greater than the entire NYSE. So he'd fuck workers for an massively expanded special loophole FORBIDDEN to workers -- a 15% top tax rate)

    (Boldface is like shouting at the hard-of-hearing, and those who refused to hear or see,
    It's also self-defense from non-stop aggression by a bully who is stalking and attacking all down the page, to defend Trump's proposed 60% tax cut for ... TRUMP!! )

  • kbolino||

    Repetition is not substantiation. Stop repeating and start proving. Show your work or GTFO.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Repetition is not substantiation. Stop repeating and start proving. Show your work or GTFO

    (snicker) You replied to the proof.
    Still stalking me?

  • kbolino||

    What proof? Show me the steps. Number them. Or go away.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (snicker) You replied to the proof.
    But now it doesn't have numbers! (bwaaaaa haaaaa haaaaa)

  • soflarider||

    "He already gets a huge loophole. Equal to (probably) $15 billion that year"

    $15 Billion? Really? $15,000,000,000.00 is a lot of money for an individual. I'd love to see some backup for that claim.

  • Michael Hihn||

    My bad. Typo I apologize.

    The main issue is that he campaigned on a 60% tax cur for himself. AND repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax. (to protect is 15% top rate)

    Repealing the AMT - or MASSIVE reduction ... since Rachel Maddow fucked up. The return she released shows Donalds effective tax rate was 115% ... because of the AMT.

    But a 15% top rate for himself would be an egregious abuse of power

  • kbolino||

    far less private info

    You cannot possibly be serious. Are you honestly saying:

    Details of how a person spent their own money: Not very private
    Details on a weapons system or intelligence program: Very private

    ???

  • jmomls||

    *Sometimes I wonder about this place.*

    Apparently, not enough.

    The government works for us.

    Donald Trump in 2005 didn't work for us.

  • ||

    Donald Trump earned more than $150 million in the year 2005—and paid just a small percentage of that in regular federal income taxes... However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the so-called "alternative minimum tax," or AMT.

    This may be the most disingenuous thing I have read today.

    Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax.

    Nice try, but still not as disingenuous.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax.

    Nice to see our beloved "free minds and free markets" website is treating opposition to the income tax as something ominous and suspicious.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (Careful, Chip Your Pets replied to the wrong person.)

  • ||

    ???

    I am criticizing the author of a presumed news article on the framing of a story.

    What are you doing?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The lack of any sort of smoking gun in the tax filings and the fact that they're apparently labeled "client copy" are already leading to theories that Trump himself had them leaked.

    If they were smart, they would have leaked fake documents containing some kind of smoking gun weeks ago, just to get them to bite on them.

  • Rafael Krendelsberger||

    The news coverage of Trump´s tax returns is somehow misleading. No one pays taxes from gross income, but from the tax base. Trump claimed an income of approximately $150 million less §100 million in losses (seems to be the proportinate share of the tax loss carry-forward of 1995). That makes a tax base of $50 million. According to Form 1040, Trump´s income tax for 2005 amounted to §38 million (because of the Alternative Minimum Tax), i.e. more than 75% of his tax base. That´s actually quite high, isn´t it?
    Therefore, the debate should focus on the tax losses carried forward. Are those justifiable? I assume that Trump´s losses reported in 1995 were real and caused by his business activities. Setting them off against future profits from his businesses is no "tax loophole", no "tax relief" and no "tax shelter", this is just the logic of computing the profit of a business and reconciling it to the reporting required by the receipts-and-disbursements method (with a progressive tariff, though that doesn´t make much of a difference in this case).

  • Michael Hihn||

    You were doing so well on the Gross income fuckup.
    Then you screwed up massively on the "Tax Base" -- there is no such thing.
    You SEEM to be using "This is your adjusted gross income" at the bottom of a section titled -- in large bold type - Adjusted Gross Income.

    The tax is calculated on TAXABLE income. See line 43.
    Redo the math. Careful when you shit your pants.

  • Rafael Krendelsberger||

    You are right - seems that I need new glasses...
    Correct, after $17 million in deductions taxable income is lower than his income tax, lol.

    Looks like a tax return from Sweden. And David Cay Johnson is complaining that the effective tax rate is too low...

  • Michael Hihn||

    You are right - seems that I need new glasses...

    (deep bow)
    I have yet to see ONE media report that saw through Maddow's OBVIOUS bullshit.
    The real reason, I think for lying and using Gross Income was her tax expert then divided his pre=AMT tax by GROSS income and proclaimed to the world that Trump would have paid only 3.5% .... trumpets blaring ...except for the AMT. THANK GOD WE CLOSED THE LOOPHOLES (while the $40-100k taxpayers average 8.3%)

  • jmomls||

    +1 Keith Emerson

  • Cyto||

    I saw a few minutes of Maddow's show last night. She followed up a conspiracy theory level rant about Trump not releasing his tax returns with an actual conspiracy theory rant about Trump selling a Palm Beach mansion to a "Russian Oligarch".

    She was extremely dishonest in her assessment of the sale. He bought the thing at a bankruptcy auction in the early stages of the Florida real estate boom and sold it just after the peak of the real estate boom, doubling his investment.

    She asked "why did this Russian Oligarch pay Trump almost double the price for this house at a time when real estate prices were actually falling?"

    I live in the area. 2003-2008 was a massive bubble. I bought my house in 2005 and was offered a 50% markup in 2007. Prices kept trending up for a while into the teeth of the financial meltdown before crashing during the credit crunch. It is entirely reasonable that a house bought at a discount in 2004 would sell for double in 2008.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yeah, a relative of mine made a few hundred K flipping a new house he never even moved into. (He didn't buy it to flip, circumstances changed and they decided to move somewhere else.) Crazy bubble.

  • DanO.||

    Not that this chat room is not 98% Republican partisans.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    There's always Balloon Juice if you want to indulge your own Democrat partisanship.

  • #NotMyReason (Krabappel)||

    All the headlines this morning say "TRUMP WROTE OFF $100M ON TAXES!!!!!!1".

    Fuck the media.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yet again, Reason reveals immense stupidity on federal taxes (yawn)
    Check the return.
    1) $150 million is his TOTAL income (if we ignore a $100+ million decduction
    2) NOBODY pays a tax on their TOTAL income.
    3) Taxes are paid on .... wait for it ... TAXABLE income!!!
    4) See page 2 of the return (cackle)
    5) Trump's tax that year was 105% of his TAXABLE Income (lol)

    This is why Lady Liberty keeps getting her ass kicked. Also see Gillespie's latest fuckup -- that manufacturing job losses have been going on since the 40s -- also based on ignorance about taxes -- and defending liberals who repealed a brief 2-year tax fix (1986), thereby destroying our best-paid union jobs. Nick also defends progressives by repeating their lies about Reagan ... plus claiming we had a postwar boom at 91% tax rates (OMG) (echoing Paul Krugman)

    Continuing decades of failure by anti-gummint libertarians.
    As liberty lovers watch in total disgust.
    And Lady Liberty weeps in silent shame.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    But they also responded in a way that attempts to cast Trump the arrested drug user as some sort of victim of an "illegal" disclosure search that wouldn't have happened had he been transparent in the first place.

    I take it Reason is abandoning its support for the Fourth Amendment now? Because that's straight up what you're suggesting. Presidential candidates releasing tax returns is nothing more than a custom. Reason putting scare quotes around "illegal" when discussing the government leaking private information collected under penalty of law is sickening.

  • Memory Hole||

    Dude, you have a fever and you don't know what you're saying. The Fourth Amendment protects people from the government. Trump is the government is now. The Fourth doesn't protect the govt from the people. Trump's fair game as long as he's in that office or seeking an office of power like that. Anyone who seeks the power to rule over you and I should be turned inside!! The less privacy for those who control the Leviathan the better to protect us from tyranny!!

  • Memory Hole||

    *should be turned inside out

  • american socialist||

    Trump's tax return was from 2005 when he was a private citizen and has no bearing on the governed. It isn't legislation, regulation, mandate or an executive order.

  • kbolino||

    And not only is there no law compelling its release, there is instead law compelling its protection. I've got no problem forcing politicians to disclose their tax returns and other private records as a condition of holding office, provided that the law says so upfront and is applied equally.

    This is not a heinous crime, but it is still a violation of the government's own privacy laws.

  • kbolino||

    What I'm saying on this matter assumes the tax returns were actually leaked, as in released without Trump's consent. If they were simply provided by Trump directly or through an intermediary, that's a different story. If he wanted this to happen, then that's his right, too.

  • kbolino||

    As long as that rule is codified in law and applied equally, that's fine. Letting government bureaucrats get to pick and choose who has privacy and who doesn't, in contravention of the letter of the law, is unconstitutional, no matter how powerful the targeted individual may be.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Dude, you say that Trump loses his UNALIENABLE RIGHTS when he becomes President? REALLY?
    The President IS the government?. How about Congress? We have over 600 governments???
    Nobody hates Trump more than I do. but I'm not.THAT kind of hater.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    But hilariously, before Maddow even made it on the air, the White House responded by confirming the number (ruining her scoop) and then complaining that providing the information is illegal. So the White House just deflated Trump's previous argument that he couldn't release his tax documents.

    Total non sequitur. Presumably they provided this information because they knew the returns were going to be released that night, so there was no way to keep them private anymore.

    The lack of any sort of smoking gun in the tax filings and the fact that they're apparently labeled "client copy" are already leading to theories that Trump himself had them leaked.

    To use the police analogy, this is like the cops illegally searching your car for drugs without consent or a warrant, and then when they don't find any, arresting you for interfering with police duties because you wasted their time.

  • lap83||

    I have enormous trouble trying to care about my taxes enough to do them, I just can't imagine giving a shit about anyone else's

  • Michael Hihn||

    So you;d be fine if billionaires -- and only billionaires -- paid no taxes.

  • kbolino||

    Nobody is proposing that, so why talk about it?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Nobody is proposing that, so why talk about it?

    You defended it here:
    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794767

  • kbolino||

    Read what I wrote and try again.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Read what I wrote and try again

    THAT is the challenge you keep running away from.

    YOU said any tax was fair if it treated all similar filers the same.
    I said you showed a blatant lack of principle, and gave an admittedly extreme example.
    YOUR implied "principle" is that a 100% exemption for billionaires is fair, if all billionaires are taxed the same -- a proggie premise that "justifies" progressive tax rates. They whine -- just as you do -- that "it's fair because everyone at that income level pays the same rate," (vomit)

    The MASSIVE fallacy (shared by you and proggies) -- one more time -- is the we have equal rights ONLY with others in our own group.

    Now, if you said it poorly, you had four chances to correct me ..., and failed to do so.
    So you're a proggie. On the hard evidence. And FAIL to justify Trump campaigning on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF ... to a top rate of 15%, well below what his devoted supporters pay.

    So cut the crap. It's all at that link, where you got exposed, But it starts with your denial here:

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794576

  • kbolino||

    You have completely misrepresented what I said, attributed positions to me that I don't hold, and now just launch into baseless accusations. You have also not bothered to substantiate anything you've said and once again return to name-calling.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You have also not bothered to substantiate anything

    (smirk) The link substantiates it --- in the comment you just replied to!!! Also starts your lengthy lies, evasions and diversions.

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794576

    It starts WAY back then ,.,, followed by LENGTHY stalking and diversions

    Do you have health insurance? Does it provide ego implants? A conscience?
    (Yeah, but self-defense from a serial aggression by a cyber-bully)

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    ^888

  • kbolino||

    Yes, if you just keep repeating it over and over again it will become true. Nobody is stalking you. Just go away if you feel so aggrieved.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Just go away if you feel so aggrieved.

    A page search will confirm your lengthy bullying.
    That's not aggravation.
    It's ridicule.

    And now Red Rocks is in your wolf pack (sigh)

  • colorblindkid||

    Just when I'm convinced Trump is nothing but an idiotic 4-year old who knows nothing, something happens that makes me buy into the "Trump's just playing 4D chess" theory again.

  • kbolino||

    I don't think Trump is playing some complex, multifaceted game. He just has to outwit the idiots in the press, which is increasingly being revealed as a very low bar to clear.

  • Michael Hihn||

    He just has to outwit the idiots in the press,

    Speaking of idiots ...
    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794767

  • kbolino||

    Last time I checked, $35 million is greater than $0.

  • kbolino||

    That's the wrong place for this comment.

  • kbolino||

    You linked your own post. Why don't you just respond to what was said instead of calling people names?

  • Michael Hihn||

    You linked your own post.

    Where I documented an idiot,

    Why don't you just respond to what was said

    I did. You denied Trump has a real problem, just an idiot press, So I said "speaking of idiots" and linked to a REAL idiot, who keeps denying that Trump has a real problem ... caused by campaigning on a 60% tax cut for HIMSELF.

    Then I had to keep explaining it, over and over and over, as the commenter kept running away from the issues changing the subject and making TOTALLY false claims about the tax code.

    It's okay, he says, if Trump gets a 60% tax cut for himself, as long as everyone else in his cohort gets the same rules. So (laughing) he had defended a principle used by proggies to defend progressive tax rates For example. "A 80% tax rate is fair, as long as everyone at that income level pays the 80%

    IOW, "Fuck equal rights under the law." Still say his only problem is an idiot media?
    Does he pay you well for this?

  • kbolino||

    You don't explain anything. You just repeat the same thing over and over again and throw in red herrings like pensions. I'm sure you've thought all this out in your head but your inability to put it in print is your own fault, not mine.

  • Michael Hihn||

    One more time for the morally deprived

    You don't explain anything .... and throw in red herrings like pensions.

    (lol) Pension funds are the largest corporate owners in America, with total asset value greater than the New York Stock Exchange -- currently in equities entirely because of near-zero interest,

    Those are tens of millions of corporate owners ... who are NOT eligible for Trump's campaign pitch of a 60% tax cut ... for himself ... that you defend so shamelessly. I only repeat because you repeat the same lies and cowardly evasion.

    YOU say that would be fair because it applies to everyone with the same tax status ... which is EXACTLY like proggies who defend an 80% tax rate, "It's fair because it would apply to everyone at that income level."

    At the extreme, your "principle" says that a 100% tax cut for ONLY billionaires would be fair, because it applies to every billionaire equally."

    It's fairly well established that certain extra-loyal Trumpsters are dishonest bullies, like their Leader ... but also kinda dumb, Keep proving it.

    (Boldface is like shouting to the hard of hearing, or those who REFUSE to hear (or to see).
    Its also self-defense against non-stop aggression by a serial stalker all over this page.)

    Haters gotta hate. Blowhards gotta bellow

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    ^888

  • kbolino||

    It's not stalking. You post empty babble and I call you out. If you don't like it, go away.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (snicker)
    http://reason.com/blog/2017/03.....nt_6794767

    Great minds discuss ideas.
    Average minds discuss events.
    Small Minds discuss people.
    Haters gotta hate.
    And blowhards gotta bellow

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Has anybody ever seen Hihn and the Timecube guy in the same place? I'm just sayin'.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Another conspiracy wacko. (smirk)

  • Eric L||

    From Johnston's article at DCReport.org: "Donald Trump was paid that year like a member of the 0.001%, but he paid taxes like the 99%. And by at least one measure, he paid like the bottom 50%."

    No,by at least one measure he didn't. The bottom 50% or even the bottom 99% do not pay almost $1.9 million (derived from line 27 of his return) in employment taxes - that's Social Security and Medicare to you and me.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do the percentages. That's honesty to me.
    What percent is $944,000 of $150 million? I get 0.6%. What do you get?
    What rate does the employee pay? Are you out of school yet?

    $944,000 is the EMPLOYEE share. That damn honesty again!
    And you just pissed all over a $35,000 worker .. for not paying $1.9 million in FICA taxes!!!
    Typical follower of the Trump Cult.

  • Eric L||

    I am not a supporter of Trump and did not vote for him.

    The Self employment tax is a statutory rate of 15.3% it is not applied to all income so the $150million is not the correct amount to use. It is applied to net earnings from self employment; not things like capital gains, interest, dividends or income from real estate.

    Also, if you are an employee getting a W-2 the maximum amount of taxable earnings in 2016 that is subject to SS is $118,500. The amount in excess of that is still subject to the 2.9% medicare tax.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Just in case anybody forgot why the entire controversy about the tax returns is bullshit:

    http://blog.erratasec.com/2016.....w-tax.html

  • Leon_Foonman||

    If they don't matter, then why go to such extremes to Hide The, even after promising to release them, "If I win".
    ???

  • Michael Hihn||

    The bullshit is yours. That's a totally different issue.

  • Leon_Foonman||

    Cue" Trumpsters and Russian trolls react with glee, since it proves nothing about Trumps suspicious relationship with DeutcheBank , The Russian Fertilizer dude, Putinm Kilimnik and all the other grifters, spies and toadies.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (laughing) The retards never noticed that the original report SAID that a Trump Tower server had a direct link to a Russian bank. And I read today that the Russian spy ship is back, 20 miles from a submarine base in our Georgia. They didn't do that when Obama was in the White House.

  • Griff Tannen||

    The article misses the real issue... Namely, the AMT is a retarded tax regime.

  • ||

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