Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Samuel Alioto
Observer Staff Writer 

Donald Trump Made $150 Million in 2005, Paying Taxes of $38 Million That Year.

Tax Returns Reveal Donald Trump's Taxes Were In Order, and In Full Compliance With the Law


March 15, 2017

What we've got is from 2005... the President's 1040 form... details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.

When MSNBC's Rachel Maddow tweeted that she is in possession of Donald Trump's 2005 individual tax returns and would reveal them at 9 pm PST, she implied that it was a major story. But nothing Trump's 1040's prove MSNBC's repeated allegations that Trump is unfit to be President.

The returns show that Donald Trump paid $38 million on income of $150 million, taking $103 million in legitimate deductions allowed to a person at his tax level and in his businesses. This is a tax rate of 23%, in comparison with 13.5% for Bernie Sanders, 18% for Barack Obama, and 14% for Mitt Romney.

There does not appear to be any information in Trump's returns proving MSNBC's longtime allegations about Donald Trump. They do not reveal connections to foreigners or criminals, for example, or that Trump evaded paying taxes in any way.

The second page of the documents obtained by Johnston are stamped "Client Copy," leading to speculation on Twitter that they may be Trump's own copy. Meaning he leaked it himself.

Rachel Maddow has previously theorized the President's 1040's would reveal that he was "bailed out" by Russian billionaires in league with Vladimir Putin, "when he (Trump) hit the skids in 2008." She has said that he purchased an estate on the Florida coast in foreclosure in 2004 for $40 million. Trump then turned around and sold it to a Russian Billionaire 4 years later for $100 million. The Russian oligarch, Dmitri Rivolovyev, says Maddow, needed to hide money from an Ex-wife. "But this was a time when Trump owed tens of millions of dollars to Deutsche Bank."

Maddow believes there is a nefarious arrangement involving Putin, Trump, the Bank of Cyprus and DB. Like most conspiracy theories, the conspiracist does not know all the dark details, because they are (of course) secret. The 46th President is indebted to Putin and others, Maddow theorizes, and he is hiding the shocking details.

While there is no legal requirement that a president release his tax returns, every president since Richard Nixon in the 1970's has done so. Why Trump has refused to do so is a mystery. He has said he is in negotiations with the IRS, the returns are not final, and that "they don't reveal that much anyway--a person's tax returns don't tell you that much."

Tuesday night, the White House issued this statement tonight on the 2005 Trump returns:

"Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that. Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans."

A single page from the 2005 returns did find its way to the New York Times. They were dropped off their anonymously, possibly because releasing returns without permission to do so is a Federal crime. Mr. Trump's tax returns are probably 30 to 60 pages long, experts say, including the schedules. Maddow had only the summary pages--4 pages in total and they are now posted online at

"What we've got is from 2005... the President's 1040 form... details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC," Maddow tweeted.

Here's my notes from the Rachel Maddow show tonight, which as stated was anti-climactic: The White House has already responded. What we have tonight has been turned over to a reporter, she says David K. Johnston, an investigative reporter, obtained this return.

Tonight we have this exclusive report. And what further avenues for reporting this may open.

Part of what's most important about it, this document has been made available to a reporter, that may be the most important part of this story.

The White House responded that these are real tax returns. Mr. Trump paid more than 38 million on income of $150 million.

Nixon had taken improper deductions and hadn't paid enough, and that's why everyone else has released their tax returns.

Hillary Clinton released her returns back to 1977.

Even Richard Nixon was under audit in 1977 when he wouldn't release his tax returns, so DT's excuse that he was under audit makes no sense. Every president has been under audit. Being under audit never made sense as an excuse.

His explanations have ver made any factual sense. So what does explain why he has not released any tax returns?

In 19 states there is legislation to prevent him to from running for reelection as president in 2020, unless he releases his tax returns. There's a person people unrelentingly want to see his tax returns. They want to verify that he has made as much as he claims he has. There are also concerns just about bookkeeping. There are questions about the worth of his golf courses. Incidentally, lying to the FEC is a crime for which you can go to prison for 5 years.

There is a concern about whether he will be self dealing. There is a worry that this president may be financially beholden to a person, or a country. And you can't know that without releasing his tax returns.

Rachel Maddow hosts a nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC, and serves as the cable network's special event co-anchor alongside Brian Williams.

Which is why somebody has decided to release his tax returns.

What we have are these 2 pages, front and back. He paid $38 million in taxes, he took a write down of $103 million. He made more than $150 million that year, mazel tov.

David Cay Johnston says he received the taxes in the mail, over the transom, and says they may come from Donald Trump himself. That is a possibility.

He has 900,000 in municipal bonds, not remarkable. He paid taxes at a lower rate than poor people, said Johnston. As it is, because of the alternative minimum tax, he paid 24%, married couples with two children who make about $400,00 a year. The top earners are not burdened the way we suggest, says Johnston.

If there weren't something called the Alternative Min. Tax, he'd be paying $5.3 million, which is 24% of his positive income.


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