A circus called the 2020 presidential election

The New York Times may have delivered the real surprise of this already outrageous presidential election.
(Associated Press/Mary Altaffer)

Looks the The New York Times delivered the “October Surprise” in this presidential election with its bombshell reporting on 18 years of tax returns by Donald Trump, both in his controversial presidency and his flamboyant real estate career that seems to be more hype than reality.

The Times presented its first report on its website Sunday afternoon, but promises more in the coming weeks, after getting copies of Trump’s long-hidden tax returns — the ones he has promised over and over to release but never did.

Consider this. During his first year as president, Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes. Even paying that was rare. For 11 of the 18 years, he paid nothing on returns that show him losing millions of dollars on his failing businesses.

Among the many things the Times found:

  • Trump paid no federal income tax in 11 of 18 years of tax returns;
  • He reduced his tax bill with questionable claims and deductions, and the Internal Revenue Service is questioning a $72.9 million tax refund he claimed. If their audit finds he cheated, which he has done often in the past, the repayment, with fines and interest charges, will be more than $100 million;
  • His “signature businesses” — golf courses, Mar a Largo and his hotels — continue to lose millions of dollars;
  • Hundreds of millions of loans he “personally guaranteed” come due over the next four years ;
  • Even while declaring massive mosses, he continues to enjoy a “lavish lifestyle” by taking business deductions for what the IRS audits are finding are “personal expenses,” including multiple residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyle to take care of his massive comb over;
  • He paid Ivanka, his daughter, large “consulting fees” on top of her salary as an executive with the Trump Organization, a case of illegal double dipping;
  • As president, he has received far more money from foreign sources and U.S. special interest groups that previously known — millions of dollars. As president, he should not have received a penny from any of those sources.

“This blockbuster report confirms some of our worst fears,” says Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.). “Trump’s titanic financial losses confirm that while he campaigned as a so-called brilliant financial wizard, Trump is a cheat, a fraud and perhaps the worst businessman in the world.”

The information comes out just two days before Trump and Democratic challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, face off in the first campaign debate. You can bet Chris Wallace, moderator of the first debate, is rewriting his questions to focus on what the report reveals.

The Times report is showcased by other media nationwide and around the world.

The report comes in a week when Trump’s’ Supreme Court nominee begins a questionable path towards approval by a GOP-dominated Senate and when a new poll shows a majority of Americans want whoever wins the presidential election on Nov. 3 to make the appointment.

The next five weeks are going to a circus. Grab a beverage of your choice, a tub of popcorn and settle in.

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