As we approach the US presidential election, many voters are citing Trump’s business acumen as the sole reason to reinstate him this November. But long-concealed documents obtained by The New York Times revealed that his finances are in shambles and he is far from the shrewd billionaire he claims to be ($2.1 billion, to be exact). What's more, the paperwork shows that he pays less income tax than workers living below the poverty line.
The damning report confirms many widely held suspicions of his personal shortcomings. His vanity and nepotistic tendencies are hardly a secret, but nevertheless infuriating when you see the figures: he claimed the $70,000 paid to style his hair during The Apprentice as a business expense, and he paid his daughter Ivanka Trump $747,622 to “consult” him.
More alarming, Trump paid a total of $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. He’d paid nothing in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.
The findings paint a disturbing picture of the country's future. Trump’s consistently dubious tax returns and business failures belie a corrupt system that he has successfully grifted for most of his life. Meanwhile, lower-income workers are bound by law to pay taxes that keep the country’s vital services running, and it would seem, are paying more than him. As one Twitter user points out, a minimum-wage worker averaging 48 hours a week earning approximately $19,700 per year would pay $750 in income tax.
The newly revealed tax records confirm that many of Trump’s investments have repeatedly failed, and his father has secretly bailed him out. In other words: The President looks to his folks to get him out of shitty financial situations while simultaneously waging legal and ideological wars against those who don't have a fraction of his privilege. He targets undocumented workers, for example, using them as a scapegoat for the country’s economic woes — workers that are estimated to have contributed $27,000,000,000 to the economy in taxes in the same year that Trump paid $750.
These new findings have the potential to challenge the myth that Trump has fostered about his wealth and success, but it only matters if people turn out to vote. Election Day is almost upon us; for everyone who is able to vote, we've compiled a list of resources to make sure your vote is counted.