“Only little people pay taxes”

— Leona Helmsley

Among the key findings of The New York Times’s investigation:

  • Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years that The Times examined. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750.
  • He has reduced his tax bill with questionable measures, including a $72.9 million tax refund that is the subject of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Many of his signature businesses, including his golf courses, report losing large amounts of money — losses that have helped him to lower his taxes.
  • The financial pressure on him is increasing as hundreds of millions of dollars in loans he personally guaranteed are soon coming due.
  • Even while declaring losses, he has managed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle by taking tax deductions on what most people would consider personal expenses, including residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyling for television.
  • Ivanka Trump, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that also helped reduce the family’s tax bill.
  • As president, he has received more money from foreign sources and U.S. interest groups than previously known. The records do not reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

“The President, I’m sure, over the course of many, many years has paid millions in taxes, as he said” – – Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley on FOX News last night. (Notice how he only quotes Trump, that’s how press secs avoid being called liars).


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

71 thoughts on ““Only little people pay taxes””

  1. for D’ump, when stiffing people like not paying/receiving one’s fair share, family comes first it seems


    Donald Trump was facing financial disaster in 1990 when he came up with an audacious plan to exert control of his father’s estate.
    His creditors threatened to force him into personal bankruptcy, and his first wife, Ivana, wanted “a billion dollars” in a divorce settlement, Donald Trump said in a deposition. So he sent an accountant and a lawyer to see his father, Fred Trump Sr., who was told he needed to immediately sign a document changing his will per his son’s wishes, according to depositions from family members.
    It was a fragile moment for the senior Trump, who was 85 years old and had built a real estate empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He would soon be diagnosed with cognitive problems, such as being unable to recall things he was told 30 minutes earlier or remember his birth date, according to his medical records, which were included in a related court case.
    Now, those records and other sources of information about the episode obtained by The Washington Post reveal the extent of Fred Trump Sr.’s cognitive impairment and how Donald Trump’s effort to change his father’s will tore apart the Trump family, which continues to reverberate today.
    The recent release of a tell-all book by the president’s niece Mary L. Trump and the disclosure of secret recordings of her conversations with her aunt reflect the ongoing resentment of some family members toward Donald Trump’s attempt to change his father’s will.
    Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry was recorded by her niece in January 2019 expressing outrage over her brother’s efforts to change the will as their father’s mental capacity was declining. “Dad was in dementia,” Barry said.
    Barry said that when she was asked by her father in 1990 to review the proposed changes, she consulted with her husband, John Barry, an attorney familiar with estate law who died in 2000. “I show it to John, and he says, ‘Holy s–t.’ It was basically taking the whole estate and giving it to Donald,” Barry said.

  2. Cries of "fake news" won't save Trump from bombshell tax records story Life outside the bubble

    All of which makes it hard not to ask, what if? What if the press had held Trump accountable on this topic in 2016. Instead, Trump got away with hiding his tax returns and thumbing his nose at transparency, while the press held his Democratic opponent to a higher standard. 
    A quick 2016 review:

    • No nominee for president in 40 years had refused to release his or her tax returns.

    • Trump’s claim that he couldn’t release his taxes because he was being audited had been debunked, many times over.
    • The same press corps that had largely given Trump a pass on his taxes was simultaneously creating a new transparency standard and hounding Hillary Clinton about releasing transcripts to paid speeches she’s given.
    During the entire campaign, Trump was able to play a cat and mouse game with an often-disinterested press corps:

  3. tony, memories of this line from your post above still make me angry:

    “The same press corps that had largely given Trump a pass on his taxes was simultaneously creating a new transparency standard and hounding Hillary Clinton about releasing transcripts to paid speeches she’s given.”

    am afraid same thing is gonna happen to joe (about gaffes, hunter, anita hill or his age especially) giving D’ump a pass on worse stuff. 

  4. Is everyone old enough to remember the fate of the original Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley.  Maybe Donald will at a minimum suffer the same result.

    Leona Helmsley will always be remembered for one of the most arrogant statements ever uttered: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” A touching sentiment from the New York hotel tycoon widely dubbed the “Queen of Mean” but not one shared by a jury of her peers. In 1989 Helmsley received 16 years in prison for a wide variety of tax offenses resulting in several million dollars owed. And in a fitting bit of chronology, the judge ordered her prison sentence to start on April 15 — Tax Day!



  5. BiD, “cheap whore” – yeah, but on a sunnier note, sometimes in the end one gets what one pays for, a bad case of crabs or syphillis for example.  in this case karma has a lot worse than STD for him.

  6. In this case, Karma and Hubris are just the two faces of  D’ump’s personal Janus.

    Oh, forgot to mention – if patd is right in her karma comment, I guess that would mean that D-ump ends up losing the last battle in his personal Vietnam.

  7. Surely Ronald Reagan meant people such as trump when he mentioned “Welfare Queens”.
    Can’t wait to see trumpty trying to explain this away tomorrow night.
    ps…  the last live music I’ve seen was at one of the big skiing resorts in Maine.  The act was Derek Trucks.  God… how I love the guitar!  God… how I loved that night!

  8. A bit of trivia:

    Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” came out 31 years ago today. 59 people are namechecked in it. Only 5 are still alive: Queen Elizabeth II, Brigitte Bardot, Chubby Checker, Bob Dylan, and Bernhard Goetz.

  9. Renee,  When and at what resort?  And was it Derek and his group or was it Tedeschi Trucks Band?  I could be wrong, but I believe the last live music I saw was the Tedechi Trucks band (special guest Warren Haynes) at the Beacon Theater in December last year.  

  10. re debate, rawstory:

    In a candid interview for the Daily Beast’s “New Abnormal” podcast, Lincoln Project co-founder Mike Madrid stated that Donald Trump will flounder about on stage on Tuesday night when he debates Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
    With both Madrid and podcast host Rick Wilson laughing uproariously at the idea that the president would be going through pre-debate prep, Madrid said the president’s greatest weakness — uncertainty — would be on full display on Tuesday.
    Regarding Trump readying himself for the debate, Madrid said, “Look, I’m sure they’ll schedule it, run a few things by him and he won’t pay attention.”
    “Here’s what I think Trump’s biggest weakness is in the debates,” He continued. “The fact that you’re not going to have a live audience is really going to destabilize him. He doesn’t need a big one, he just needs a handful of people who will give some sort of group cackling or group response. Without that, that is where Trump is at his worst.”

  11. bipartisanreport:

    The returns indicate that Trump is either a terrible businessman or he’s committing tax fraud, and The Lincoln Project, a group of Republican political strategists and Never Trumpers, have been trolling him over it since the story went public.

  12. i’m no lawyer, but purposely misrepresenting one’s finances to secure a loan sure sounds like “fraud” to me.

  13. Pogo…  it was Derek Trucks alone.  It was about 5 yrs ago.  And it was at either Sugarbush or Sugarloaf.  I’ve been to both resorts…  those ski trips sometimes blend in together in my memory.

  14. wapo editorial board endorses joe:

    In order to expel the worst president of modern times, many voters might be willing to vote for almost anybody.
    Fortunately, to oust President Trump in 2020, voters do not have to lower their standards. The Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, is exceptionally well-qualified, by character and experience, to meet the daunting challenges that the nation will face over the coming four years.
    [long endorsement continues]

  15. while impatiently waiting for a good “i fell pretty” parody, we’ll have to do with the snarks, slings and arrows of social media to make fun of D’ump’s taxpayer subsidized $70,000 hair do


    After the report came out, former director of Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, tweeted: “Remember the reaction when John Edwards was caught paying $400 for a haircut? Trump paid $70,000 on hair care. How is that even possible? Does that thing sitting on his head eat Pangolins and colossal squid eggs?” Others also soon weighed in on this. “Im an electrician. I can’t deduct tools or fuel. Trump can deduct $70,000 for the world’s worst haircut,” one wrote, while another remarked, “Does @POTUS realize that the $70,000 for haircuts so he can preen in front of a mirror is just shy of the median family income last year at $75k? His hair bill could fund an average American family for a year.”
    A fourth said, “Teachers have a maximum tax credit of $250 for buying classroom supplies. Supplies they’re forced to buy because schools are underfunded. Donald Trump wrote off $70,000 in haircuts. The tax code is rigged to help the wealthy pay as little as possible while we pick up the tab.” A fifth noted, “Please enlighten me as to which tax code would ever legally allow a $70,000 deduction for haircuts and styling… Sidenote: unless DJT asked for a hairstyle that resembles roadkill, that stylist might very well be a bigger crook than him…”
    This was followed by an endless range of memes and gifs on Twitter. One said, “Pays $750 in Taxes, buys a $70,000 Haircut and the results shows…” Another said, “This twat paid $70,000 in haircuts? What a tool!” One more wrote, “Would not have picked this out of a lineup as the $70,000 haircut.” One posted a picture of Trump and wrote, “$70,000 in haircut expenses for this…”



  16. BB, I believe D’ump uses Mazars to do his taxes and accounting work. I think they write the $750 checks from his account at the First National Bank of Moscow.

  17. Add the increase in coal production/use in power generation to the similar increase in steel production since 2017 (from @ 7,000 to 5,588 -thousand tons) and you have a booming 1960s economy (Oh, wait, those are both declines.  My bad).

  18. BiD – if that’s what $70G gets you, I’ll stick with the $180 or so bucks I spend per year – before COVID.  This year, more like $80 so far.
    OK, so let’s think about that line item for a moment.  Assume “You’re Fired” was in production for a year, Dumbass appeared in every one of the 26 episodes, it took 2 shoots to get his part down and he had to have that thing on his head done for each shoot.  That would be $1,346.15 per shoot (or per hair styling appointment).  I want to see the receipts.

  19. It took @foxandfriends almost two hours this morning to even mention the NYT tax expose, and that was only to bring on Don Jr. to lie about it. @FoxNews should be indicted as co-conspirator in the RICO case against Trump mob.

  20. “That would be $1,346.15 per shoot (or per hair styling appointment).”

    travel expenses?

    maybe they threw in a hand job along with a mani-pedi

  21. Once again, together with the creative accounting, absurdist naziism, and the comb-over, we really are living through the plot of “the Producers”.

  22. At least the hairdresser didn’t get stiffed, like everyone else that deals with him🤷‍♂️
    …and let’s be honest: that comb-over is an engineering marvel.

  23. new tactic in PA to insure your vote counts


    A local lawmaker in western Pennsylvania wants voters in the key battleground state to know the “naked truth” about mail-in voting.
    Bethany Hallam, an Allegheny County councilwoman, and other local elected officials stripped down to make sure Pennsylvania voters who cast their ballots by mail place them in the mandatory secrecy envelope. They stressed: Don’t send a “naked ballot,” which would invalidate a vote.

    In a viral ad campaign, the female lawmakers are topless with graphics of mail-in ballots “tastefully draped across their chests.”

    “Desperate times call for desperate measures!” Hallum tweeted. “So your favorite elected officials got naked so that you remember to make sure that your mail-in ballot is NOT submitted without its secrecy envelope!! #nonakedballots #dressyourballot”
    The campaign came about after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled mail-in ballots had to be rejected if not enclosed in the proper envelope.

    According to some estimates, more than 100,000 mail-in ballots cast in the Nov. 3 presidential election in the state could be tossed out because they were not sent in the proper envelope.

    Fueled by concerns over the pandemic, more than 3 million voters in Pennsylvania are expected to cast ballots by mail in the Nov. 3 election. That’s more than 10 times as many mail voters than in the 2016 presidential election, when Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by slightly more than 44,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point.



  24. yahoo:

    “His biggest fear is … he will end up with a massive tax bill, fraud penalties, fines, and possibly even tax fraud,” Cohen said in an interview  with Yahoo News on Monday, the morning after the New York Times published a report detailing how Trump, a self-described billionaire, paid zero dollars in income taxes for more than ten years. 
    “Donald Trump’s financial records are the Rosetta Stone for understanding the depth of his corruption and crimes,” Cohen said in the interview. “The more it is unraveled the more he will unravel. It’s the reason he’s fought so hard to keep it under wraps.” 
    In his book “Disloyal,” which was published earlier this month, Cohen said Trump “almost certainly illegally evaded” income taxes. Cohen also recounted a scene where the pair were in Trump’s Manhattan office tower and the future president showed off a $10 million tax refund check he received from the IRS.  “Can you believe how fucking stupid the IRS is?” Trump said, according to Cohen, adding, “Who would give me a refund of ten fucking million dollars?”
    Cohen told Yahoo News that moment made him certain Trump had engaged in illegal conduct with respect to his taxes.  “To me, it didn’t make any sense,” Cohen said of the refund. “There’s no doubt that he had to have committed some sort of a fraud.” 
    Cohen, whose book accuses Trump of habitually engaging in unethical business practices at his real estate company, also said tax fraud would fit the president’s modus operandi.  “Nothing that goes on at the Trump Organization is done straight up. There’s always some form of a shady angle,” said Cohen. 
    “Donald Trump’s entire image and self-worth is based on his inflated, actual net worth,” Cohen said. 
    Cohen was a staunch Trump loyalist for over a decade. He first made allegations about the president’s finances and behavior after he began cooperating with prosecutors in 2018 while he was being investigated for his role in payments that were made to women who alleged they had affairs with Trump and for issues related to his own taxes. Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to multiple charges including criminal tax evasion and served about a year of a three year sentence in federal prison before being released to home confinement  in May due to coronavirus. Cohen indicated he finds it ironic that he was imprisoned over his own tax issues.
    “While he paid $750, I paid millions in taxes and, yet somehow, I’m the one who ended up in jail,” said Cohen. 

  25. Yeah…   but… Craig…  donald was the only one stupid enough to grab the limelight.  I read both David Cay Johnston and Tim O’Briens books while he was campaigning in 2016.  All I could think was this moron will have such a spotlight on him if he becomes president…  why would he want that?   Looks like the chickens are coming home now!

  26. How many of the following are Red states and how many are Blue:

    ND, SD, WI, UT, IA, MT,
    OK, ID, TX, SC, AR, NE, 
    MO, AL, PR, TN, NC, GU,
    WY, KS, MN, MS, KY, IL,
    NV, IN, AK, LA, GA, FL
    Alright, PR & GU aren’t states.  The above represent the top 5 rows of the highest new case totals, adjusted for population, COVID infections in the US.  By my count 26 of those are red states, 2 are blue (IL & MN) and 2 are territories/possessions (PR & GU).  Now what’s all this crap about blue mismanaging the virus spread?  

  27. All this news about D’ump’s lack of success in business, at least lack of positive cash flow in his businesses, won’t mean much to most of his followers.  BUT, if it peels off as much as 1 to 2% he’ll never catch up with an approval rating hovering in the low 40s – average is 44.7, up 3.4 since mid July.  

  28. Yes, RR, Trump’s grandfather ran his brothels and his Dad ran his corrupt racist real estate business in the shadows like any smart mobster. Trump is the John Gotti, whose vanity got him caught. 

  29. you know those commercials for people who save dogs?  They show a series of quite pitiful dogs…..I keep half expecting a pic of uday and qusay to show up.  And that horrid little blonde person. You know….. Ms neck and a half.

  30. He kept promising to release the taxes cause he had his monkeys hard at work trying to clean em up, but at some point he came to understand that there was No Way he could make that stuff public.   

    “The fix is in,” alright, but it’s against him.

    Toast, he is. Burnt toast.

  31. With Bill Clinton impeachment it was Freewheelin full-speed-ahead, ass-on-fire AOL chat rooms, with Bushie it was the internets with the mushroom blogs springing up…..Daily Kos, firedog lake, Trail-Mix, all hat no cattle, wonkette, crooks and liars, etc……..now it’s all just instant with FB, Twitter, Amazon, and all the rest.   

  32. Who’da ever thought that the most August president of the United States of America would turn out to be a crevice dwelling Twitter freak.

  33. Get with the program, Dad;  you need to write a tweet now and then. Look at how many people you’d reach. 

    —The Egg on the Face Kids.

  34. Loan spurs – i just LOVE that.  I just went and read the New York Times article on trumps taxes. My take is that the son of a bitch is fucked.

  35. today’s gold stars (shall we call them the “trailies”) go to

    “the welfare queen who wanted to be king”


    “loan spurs”

  36. sturge, thanks for reminding me about wonkette.  here’s an excerpt from their tax story


    Trump’s primary “business” was fooling people into thinking he was a businessman, so he perhaps believed it justified to write off every single penny of his living expenses as a “business expense.” Or he’s just a cheat. That last one also works.

    Take for instance, as the IRS eventually will, Trump’s Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York. Trump lists it as an investment property but the law requires that you have “an actual and honest objective of making a profit.” You can’t just live in it like a common poor person while writing off $2.2 MILLION in property taxes as a business expense, which Trump does, while limiting other people’s deductions for all state and local taxes to $10,000.

    Eric Trump, his second idiot son, doesn’t bother hiding that Seven Springs is a personal residence.

    In 2014, Eric Trump told Forbes that “this is really our compound.” Growing up, he and his brother Donald Jr. spent many summers there, riding all-terrain vehicles and fishing on a nearby lake. At one point, the brothers took up residence in a carriage house on the property. “It was home base for us for a long, long time,” Eric told Forbes.

    Trump originally planned to develop Seven Springs into one of his tacky hunting lodges for rich weirdos, but the residents thwarted him. Stuck with the property, he settled for a more reliable mark, the government. He agreed not to develop the property, which he couldn’t do anyway, in exchange for a $21.1 million tax deduction. This is called “a conservation easement,” and the Seven Springs deduction is one of four that he’s claimed over the years. This is the bulk of his “charitable giving” — about “$119.3 million of roughly $130 million in personal and corporate charitable contributions reported to the I.R.S.” He’s like a Santa Claus who instead of giving toys to children agrees not to leave the North Pole at all in exchange for a significant tax break.

  37. “And just for those keeping score, Trump paid $750 in taxes and $130,000 to a porn star, which means if the I.R.S. wants to get money from Trump, you guys know what you got to do.” 

    Trevor Noah

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