In 1995, I was making £ 7,000 a year as an undergraduate budding journalist in my local paper.
That’s £ 134 a week, £ 26.92 a day, or £ 3.36 for the 8 hours I’ve been working more and more.
And you know me STILL paid more income tax than Donald Trump. This year and every year since.
But then I also learned my trade. And so does Don – a craft that his future biographers will inevitably call The Art of The Steal.
Trump has always run his empire like a mafia company. They are blood ties, threats, the promise of enrichment and demands for total loyalty.
But after he expanded the organization across the continent, it began to implode. Investigators took off his kapos one by one, the made men began doing business with the government, and the phrases we kept hearing were “known guilty” and “tax fraud”.
Silence fell after his consigliere Michael Cohen went down and babbled about Stormy Daniels, charity fraud, payouts, and possible deals with enemy gangsters across the water. But it’s still bubbling.
Trump doesn’t mind too much because it makes him look like a Corleone. The problem is, he’s not Marlon Brando or Al Pacino. He is what would happen if Fredo accidentally became the boss of the bosses with a flat foot – corrupt, stupid and fattened by decades of feasting on his own ego.
Research has shown that Trump would be richer if he had invested everything he inherited from his father in the stock market and “spent his career finger painting”. He actually managed to lose billions over a 50-year career in real estate, the one industry that consistently outperforms the stock market.
His tax returns, leaked to the New York Times, show he has hundreds of millions of dollars in net worth and millions more are losing. A suspicious tax officer should, and probably already is, investigate whether he is losing what is claimed.
And after today’s revelations, he not only loves his daughter Ivanka, but has also exposed her to criminal charges of tax fraud for paying her fixed hotel business “consultancy fees” when she was already his employee.
A terrible businessman, a lazy parent, a man at the heart of criminal tax conspiracies that pull money out of every American’s pocket: just like any other Don, only this one is stupid enough to take a job that makes it more likely to get blown up.
Five weeks before an election in Britain, a nation that views NHS mutual support as a matter of belief and nationality, such revelations would devastate the perpetrator. In the United States, which has talked about taxes and excess government for two centuries, this is neither a surprise nor an electoral problem.
It’s a shame for Democrats. For Trumpkins, it’s smart bookkeeping. For none of them, it’s the kind of thing that equates to a lack of adequate health care or suggests duplication, though Trump has often claimed he pays a lot of taxes and says he is being treated unfairly by the Inland Revenue Service. At least that much is true – the average American who did the same would have been jailed years ago.
It is important for both sides that Trump is a godfather. One they can either despise as a criminal or one whose gang they want to join. The only way to break the fantasy everyone in America shares of Trump as a powerful, capable overlord is to prove his incompetence – the bad decisions, the losses, the childlike inability to see why lying him in greater trouble will bring, no less.
That won’t happen in 5 weeks. The Great Trump Tax Fraud is also not being dismantled by the army of law enforcement officers crawling over it in time for America to go to the ballot box.
There are no taxes for this vote.
Instead, race matters. The economy, jobs, America First, and whether those shy 2016 Trump voters are still quietly voting for Klan sympathizers or, perhaps just as quietly, voting for a longtime lawmaker known for decency, but not much else.
Like four years ago, the polls are close enough to go either way. There are suggestions that even if Joe Biden wins, Trump will go round the electoral college in swing states to win a nomination that the votes do not warrant.
But if you want to know what’s really going on, ask the bookies and the shopkeepers. Trump’s chances of winning have decreased from 9/5 to 6/5, or from a chance of winning from 35% to 43%, since August 1st. Biden is up from 65% to 53% but is still the favorite and the television debates are about to begin.
Meanwhile, gun manufacturers and sellers say they’ve seen an unprecedented boom in gun sales – a first wave due to the pandemic in March and a second in June, when protests against Black Lives Matter began following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
So you have a narrow victory for someone in a nation that is both armed to the teeth and riven by racial hatred. If you win, there will be riots, perhaps even a fragmented civil war. Biden would accept a fair defeat, but Trump will litigate, lie, cast shadows, refuse to transition, and do anything to stay in office – not just because he’s such a baby, but because the White House is all he is keeps him out of jail.
He has $ 300 million in loans due over the next 4 years, coupled with a dysfunctional family, a decreasing number of lieutenants, and ongoing criminal investigation. Time is running out. At 74 and morbidly obese, there is a reasonable chance he will die before he has to make amends.
But make no mistake – Trump wants to die as president. He’ll call himself president in exile if he has to, or instigate an armed uprising on some Facebook-crazy militia if that works, but he’ll keep doing what he always has and leave America with the bill.