Maddow's Trump Tax Debacle Proves Nothing

Really, I thought Maddow was smarter than that.
03/15/2017 11:16 am ET Updated Mar 16, 2017
MSNBC via Getty Images

Seriously?

So the Trump people knew that if they officially released two (two!) pages from Trump’s 2005 (2005!) tax returns and pretended that that settled anything, they’d be laughed out of the court of public opinion.

I very strongly suspect that they leaked the two utterly innocuous pages, and Rachel Maddow fell for it. The Trump people now get to say “LOOK THERE WAS NOTHING THERE ALL ALONG!” (on the basis of those two nothing pages) and as an added bonus, get to crow about “illegal” publication and the “dishonest” media. Really, I thought Maddow was smarter than that.

Making a big deal over Trump paying 24% by means of the Alternative Minimum Tax, and his desire as president to repeal that rule, is just silly. There is no political liability whatsoever associated with that. No one who would ever consider voting for Trump is going to hold it against him that he tried to pay as little tax as legally possible; nor that, as president, he’d seek to change the AMT, ostensibly in the name of fairness. Even I have to make a big effort to get offended at that.

Making a big deal over Trump paying 24% by means of the Alternative Minimum Tax, and his desire as president to repeal that rule, is just silly.

We should be looking for Russian oligarchs, mob ties, and other truly shady dealings hiding in Trump’s tax returns. Getting excited about standard, legal tax reduction helps Trump to pretend that he was a good businessman and a legitimate president; and allows him and his people to claim that they’re being persecuted for nothing.

We need Trump’s complete tax returns going back to at least 1990. Nothing less will suffice. We cannot afford to normalize this attempt to overturn a strong convention, an important aspect of the public’s ability to perform due diligence on arguably the most powerful individual in the world. If Trump ultimately gets away with not releasing his tax returns, no future presidential candidate or president will feel compelled to, and in this - as in so many other things - Trump will have succeeded in debasing the office and corrupting the informal rules that, just as much and perhaps even more so, are necessary for a functioning democracy.

Let’s insist on this. “Crooked Hillary” released hers, going back to 1977.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

CONVERSATIONS