#TrumpTaxReturns on The Surly Subgroup

As far as I know, the only news in the U.S. since Sunday has been the New York Times‘s investigation of leaked Trump tax returns. I certainly know that the first article Sunday evening definitively changed my work schedule for the week.

There’s a lot of information in the article, but there’s also a lot of additional context that tax people can bring to it. I’ve done a bunch of tweeting about the context, and just put my tweets together into a single blog post. (I’ll note that the tweets are better because they are GIF-filled, but the blog post is easier and, as a bonus, links to all of the tweets).

There’s nothing even remotely Mormon-y about this but, to the extent you’re interested in some further content and tax-y goodness, check out the Surly Subgroup.


  1. Hoped you might gove us some more information Sam. It is not surprising he has been fighting to hide the truth. Compared to his previous presidents, he stands out, in a bad way, How Trump’s Taxes Compare To Other Presidents

    by Niall McCarthy, 

    Sep 29, 2020

    Ahead of tonight’s first election debate against Joe Biden, President Trump is reeling from a bombshell New York Times report detailing his chronic financial losses and years of tax avoidance. The investigation found that Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017, considerably less than the average U.S. citizen.

    So how do Trump’s tax returns compare with previous U.S. presidents? According to a Washington Post analysis, Barack Obama, Trump’s predecessor, paid nearly $1.8 million in federal income tax in his first year in office, primarily due to royalties from the sale of his books. George W. Bush paid a quarter of a million dollars during his first year in the Oval Office while Clinton paid $62,670 during his first 12 months in office. George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan paid $101,382 and $165,202, respectively.

    Niall McCarthy

    Data Journalist

    niall.mccarthy@statista.com+49 (40) 284 841 562

    Will this affect his supporters, probably not, but hopefully the undecided, will be decided. Amazed members concerned about democracy, do not seem to have a problem with Trump, saying he will only accept the result of the election if he wins, and when asked to have his supporters respect the result, said step back now but be ready.
    Is there any moral judgement from his supporters?
    Will America still be a democracy next year?

  2. nobody, really says:

    Geoff – Of course America won’t be a democracy next year. It’s not a democracy this year. It hasn’t been a democracy since 1792.

    It’s a republic.

  3. shy saint says:

    It’s not a very effective republic if it isolates itself from the population by distorted representation and practices aggressive voter suppression in a significant number of states.


  4. Johnny Canuck says:

    To clarify, and not be a pedant, democracy is about WHO can participate, whereas republic refers to the form and HOW participation occurs. There is considerable overlap.

    USA is a democracy with a republican form of government
    Canada is a democracy with a constitutional monarchy form of government

  5. I’m still waiting for someone to tell us that Trump broke the law on how he paid his taxes. Not a Trump fan, but I would think anybody who paid more taxes than was required is probably not that sharp.

  6. Geoff-Aus says:

    Nobody really, Will it be a republic next year? I live in a country where it is compulsory to vote, and where elections, and electoral bounderies, and polling stations are arranged by our independant Electoral Commision. Our elections are on Saturday to make it easier to vote. They also count the ballots, and announce the winner.
    Whether you can claim to be a republic or democracy, when one perty actively tries to stop people voting, gerrymanders boundaries to reduce the value of some votes, and says they will not accept the result unless they win. Do only republicans do this? Do republicans believe in democracy, or just winning at any cost? Is this behind Trumps taxes?
    Do you still have democracy if the ruling party does not believe in democracy?

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