Trump’s Taxes and the Election


Amira Beck, Staff Writer

As of Wednesday, 10/7/2020

We know our president as a wealthy business mogul, a man who has been in the public eye for much of his life, flaunting his luxurious endeavors. During his presidency so far, he has cut taxes for companies and wealthy individuals in hopes to further economic growth. Before Covid-19 hit, unemployment rates were at an all-time low, partially due to his leadership as well as the economy he had inherited from Obama. That being said, The New York Times has just published the president’s tax returns. Trump has fought for many years to keep these private, and with them finally being released a month before the election, it may have an impact on the outcome.

During his first year in office, Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes. Compare him to the average American who pays $10,489 each year in federal, state, and income taxes. This paints a new image for the president– an image of a rich man who has been able to avoid paying his dues to the government. These papers not only report a 10 year period where he paid no taxes, but they shed light on his recent business losses. According to the reports, his investment in golf properties alone has led to more than $315.6 million dollars in losses since 2000. Trump exploited loopholes in the tax code that allowed him to use these losses to lower his taxable income. It echoes a history of tax avoidance.

Trump’s bid for president resulted in a loss of income from The Apprentice and from Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant. His television income tumbled, and in 2017 he reported only receiving $10 million dollars in TV income. In contrast, in 2005, when his show first gained popularity, he earned up to $130 million dollars on The Apprentice. At the same time, the presidential bid has helped Trump’s business in Florida, where his Mar-a-Lago club reported a dramatic increase in profits, due to a flood of new members. 

This leads to the question: will any of this have an effect on the election? The polls taken on Monday the 28th, one day after the release of Trump’s tax records and one day before the first presidential debate, show a split America. Biden holds a narrow lead over Trump and this is unlikely to change much throughout the next month. America remains divided. Trump denies all claims made by The New York Times, calling it “fake news”. He was heavily criticized in 2016 for not releasing his tax records.  The New York Times says they are not releasing the records in order to protect their source. As our president continues to react to this new information, and The New York Times continues to release new information, we can expect to see a fiery battle between the two.