Maddow v. Trump tax return: Media ‘gotcha’ tactics fail again

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow claimed a major reporting coup, simply because she was able to obtain a leaked summary of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. The result: A major media and Democrat Party fail.

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Anti-Trump MSNBC epic fail. Rachel Maddow's fake news on Donald Trump's 2005 tax summary is right up there with Geraldo Rivera's spectacular 1986 Al Capone vault fiasco. (Image via YouTube screen capture)

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2017 — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and the Democratic Party continue to play the “gotcha” game with President Trump. This losing tactic was once again on full display yesterday as Maddow claimed a major reporting coup, simply because she was able to obtain a summary of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. When will Democrats and their operatives with bylines, like Maddow, figure out that in order for them to gain favor with the voters they lost, they will need to move to a positive message?

Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election and the Democratic Party continued in their minority status in both the House of Representatives and the Senate primarily because the party believed that a negative presidential campaign would lead them to victory. Essentially, their presidential and congressional campaigns were based on “not Trump” and “not Republicans” instead broadcasting a positive message that would have emphasized Democrat policies that would appeal to or even help the average voter.

Perhaps after enduting eight years of an Obama administration—whose redistributionist policies failed to grow the economy; failed to provide opportunities for middle-class Americans; over-regulated banking and securities markets; raised taxes; deceptively passed a health care law that failed to reduce costs or improve healthcare quality; initiated a foreign policy that made the world and the U.S. demonstrably less safe; and, most importantly, resulted in a deeply divided America—the Democrats simply did not have a positive message to offer to the voting public.

Apparently, they still do not have a positive message. While difficult to prove, it appears that government workers sympathetic to the Democratic party and its increasingly socialistic beliefs continue to illegally leak information they believe will be detrimental to President Trump. This latest leak of the two-page summary of President Trump’s 2005 tax return is just another example of the Democrats’ disgraceful gotcha behavior, which includes the party’s collusion with members of the corrupt and declining news media.


Recall that during the 2016 presidential campaign, a copy of the summary of Trump’s 1995 tax return was leaked to the media. Since such documents come from the IRS, it was (and is) a felony for any current or past Federal employee to leak such documents. Nonetheless, the New York Times, which obviously supports the Democrats, released a copy of that return which showed that Trump had incurred a colossal investment tax loss totaling nearly a billion-dollars.

According to IRS rules, and unknown to the average American taxpayer, such losses can be carried forward for up to 18 years and can be used to offset future income. Far from being a gift to “the rich,” such tax treatment is actually meant to encourage further risk-taking and investment, even after a financial setback, leading to further and hopefully profitable projects that will employ more American workers, giving back to the American economy.

The New York Times and the rest of the obviously biased mainstream media incorrectly concluded that Trump did not pay any federal income tax for 18 years following 1995. “Gotcha” they claimed, even though they lack any proof of this.

Trump refused to release his complete tax return for that year or for any other year. Although it has been a tradition for presidential candidates to release tax returns, the smart move by Trump was to not release his returns. He knew full well that if those returns were released, the mainstream media would have picked them apart and yelled “gotcha,” ignoring the fact that Trump’s tax strategies—like Warren Buffett’s for that matter—were in full accord with existing U.S. tax law and thus were perfectly legal and acceptable.

It is a hard fact that a businessperson with numerous complicated financial transactions, often involving in real estate, has a tax return that can easily be misrepresented by a biased media. The tax code has numerous provisions allowing deductibility for losses, write-downs of property values, complicated accelerated depreciation schedules, loss carry forward and backward, the numerous lawsuits and frequent litigation that are always present in the construction industry and estimates of possible financial outcomes for projects still in the development phase.

While all activities and deductions are completely legal and routinely used by accountants and tax lawyers to minimize their clients’ tax liability, the mainstream media would have played “gotcha” with almost all of them to mislead the public. That means Trump would have to spend considerable time on the stump explaining why his actions were completely justified, completely legal and consistent with the position taken by every taxpayer, instead of devoting his campaign time to explaining how he would solve the country’s numerous problems—problems left over from or intentionally caused by the incompetent Obama administration.

Rachel Maddow’s actions represent just the latest disgraceful behavior by the Democrats’ allies in the biased media “news” game. About 90 minutes before her show started, Maddow tweeted, “We’ve got Trump’s tax returns…(Seriously).” Then, MSNBC ran a countdown clock on its screen which counted the minutes until Maddow would appear to issue her allegedly blistering report on “Trump Taxes Exclusive.” The tweet seemed to indicate that Maddow finally had her “gotcha” moment on Trump.

As it turned out, Maddow had nothing of interest to anyone. The summary of President Trump’s 2005 tax return listed about $150 million in taxable income on which he paid $38 million in taxes. That 25 percent tax rate turned out to be higher than what President Obama paid last year (18.7 percent) and almost twice the rate that Bernie Sanders had paid the year before.

If the Democrats and their mainstream media allies don’t begin to change their message from the negative “not Republicans” to a more positive, constructive and identifiably Democratic message, they could wind up suffering even greater losses in 2018 then they did in the recent national elections. The “gotcha,” negative message simply does not work any more. The people are onto it and the average voter is fed up. The Democrats should learn that lesson.

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