Whatever Happened to the Trump Tax Return ‘Bombshell?’

Storm Paglia

 

Remember when The New York Times tried to stir up another Trump scandal by publishing a piece detailing how he supposedly avoided paying income taxes over the past 15 years? It seems like it was ages ago, doesn’t it? 

But now, it appears that this smoking gun was shooting blanks. The faux furor over Trump paying only $750 in taxes in 2016 has all but disappeared from the airwaves as the corporate press attempts to use other stories to gin up outrage. 

In fact, it appears that the attention might be shifting to the legality of leaking Trump’s tax documents to the Times. The Washington Times reported that “Republicans on Capitol Hill say the fact that The Times has what it claims to be Mr. Trump’s tax data means ‘there is a strong prospect that a felony crime was committed’ by someone who leaked the legally protected information.”

House Republicans are calling for an investigation to identify the individual who provided the Times with the President’s tax information. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the IRS said, “To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken.”

After The New York Times published its report, budget watchdogs stated that the revelation should inspire an overhaul of the tax code to stop the legal tactics that Trump used to lower his tax liability. Indeed, when he was running in 2016, the President himself indicated that he took advantage of tax loopholes just as other wealthy individuals do on a routine basis. 

To show the nation how out of touch they are, members of the corporate media outlets frequently referred to the report as a “bombshell,” which could politically damage the President. The Associated Press asserted that the news about his taxes was somehow similar to Mitt Romney’s “47%” gaffe during the 2012 campaign. “The image of a man flying around in private jets from one luxury property to another and paying less taxes than millions of Americans with far more modest lifestyles could prompt a backlash,” the news service speculated.

It might seem likely that the tax return nothingburger has lost its luster because of the presidential debate circus and the President’s coronavirus diagnosis. These factors could undoubtedly explain this to a certain extent. But there is one element that fully explains why Trump’s taxes are no longer a significant issue: Nobody gives a crap about the man’s taxes. 

The House Ways and Means Committee Republicans echoed this sentiment in a memo they released after looking into the story. “Americans aren’t so concerned about the president’s taxes, they’re concerned about their own,” they wrote. 

The Times has not been forthcoming with the information it obtained. It stated that it would not release the records they used to write the report to protect its sources. Even though the report does not claim that Trump committed any crimes, others have attempted to imply that he has. 

It was apparent from the day the story broke that it would amount to nothing. After four years of caterwauling about President Trump’s taxes, The New York Times failed to deliver on the promise made by the progressive left. The worst they have come up with is that Trump limited his income taxes through legal means.

As the House Republicans indicated, Americans do not care about Trump’s taxes, they are concerned about their own. Of course, if the Democrats run out of ammo before Election Day, it is possible that they might try to resurrect the house of cards that is this scandal. But it’ll be just as ineffective then as it was two weeks ago. 

 

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