He has not paid taxes in 10 of 15 years in large part because he is a world-class failure in business. He now owes more than $421 million to unknown creditors, making him a walking national security risk. Let’s consider $750 — the amount Trump paid in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 — this election’s “47 percent,” the percentage of Americans that then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said were freeloaders and therefore not winnable as voters.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) picked up on the most salient point. ““Who does he owe the money to? Tell us. Who do you owe the money to?” she said in an MSNBC interview. “And do you owe debt to any foreign nation? Do you owe debt… do you owe anybody money who is impacted by any decision you make as president of the United States? We need to know that.” She added, "The American people have a right to know that when the president of the United States acts, he acts with their priorities in mind, not with his priorities in mind.”
Democrats have had a field day pointing out that working- and middle-class Americans pay far more in taxes than he does. Trump’s non-denial denials do not answer the question: Is he a tax cheat, a business failure or both? (The New York district attorney is investigating the former, with an eye toward examining whether he made false representations to lenders and others.)
Trump will surely need to account for the latest bombshell at the debate on Tuesday, but Democratic nominee Joe Biden should be clear that Trump’s financial losses are far from his most egregious failure. Instead, Biden should point to the loss of more than 200,000 American lives, of millions of jobs, of America’s international prestige, of the Supreme Court’s integrity, of the presidency’s dignity, of the country’s unity and of the justice system’s credibility. Everything Trump touches is made worse. His rallies bring super-spreaders to America; his policies bring one catastrophe after another.
The latest revelations — and those the Times promises are to come — make it much harder, if not impossible, for Trump to find safer terrain in the waning days of the race. He has failed to come up with a coherent (let alone winning) argument against Biden, and worse, has handed Biden one devastating argument after another to deploy against him. He generates devastating stories faster than Biden’s opposition research team can compile them. We have every reason to believe things will get even worse for Trump in the days ahead.
It was only a few weeks ago that we learned about Trump’s disdain for and crass insults directed at our military. Then it was Trump’s deliberate lies, revealed in the book by The Post’s Bob Woodward, about the dangers of the novel coronavirus. Now we have confirmation he has lied for years about his business acumen. He is, as many of us long suspected, a rotten businessman who has paid virtually no taxes.
Even the “good” stories become disasters for Trump. The right wing celebrates an open seat on the Supreme Court. But wait — the Democrats are more fired up than ever, and Senate Republicans now have to walk the plank by voting for a justice who would likely strike down the Affordable Care Act and overturn Roe v. Wade. (Senate Republicans seem remarkably willing to sacrifice their own seats to fulfill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s dream of stacking the court with right-wing radicals.)
It seems it’s true that everything Trump touches dies — including his own presidency.