The New York Times obtained 10 year’s worth of President Donald Trump’s federal income tax records and revealed what many have long suspected: Trump won’t release his tax records because they expose the ruse.
Nothing about the report surprised me, but part of the findings did take me back 30 years. Ahh … nostalgia. But, first, let’s recap.
Trump broke with almost four decades of tradition by not releasing his tax returns. Presidents are not required by law to release their returns, but they have for the most part. Between 1974 and 2012, every president but Gerald Ford has voluntarily released tax returns they filed while in office, according to taxnotes.com. Gerald Ford was an exception. He only released 10 years of summary data, which included gross and taxable income, major deductions and taxes paid.
The Times released Trump tax information for the years 1985 through 1994. The results don’t match the deal-making abilities and financial condition of which he has boasted. The tax new broke a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would not give a House committee access to the returns.
The Times reported that it obtained printouts from Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his 1040 tax form, “from someone who had legal access to them.” The transcripts showed $1.17 billion in losses and that Trump paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years referenced.
Back to the nostalgia.
“Trump: The Art of the Deal” came out in November 1987. The book became a best seller and a building block for the Trump image and brand during that decade of financial loss. Consumers lapped up the Trump myth back in the day much the same way voters did in 2016.
I was in my sophomore year of college. We played games that weren’t electronic or digital in nature back then. Board games, cards and dominoes were stacked on closet shelves.
In 1989, Milton Bradley created “Trump: The Game.” It was based on the book. I got the game for Christmas when it first came out. It was designed to be akin to Monopoly. Players could move around the board and collect properties like those now defunct or bankrupted ones, such as a casino, tropical island, sports complex, and cruise line. Players used paper money starting at $10 million, instead of the typical $10 and rolled a die with a T replacing the six — the best option to roll.
The game never captured my attention. Perhaps, it was the 12 pages of “rules” for a game based on taking another player’s property and money. I preferred the classic Monopoly. The 1980s flashback did inspire me to try to find that original edition of Trump: The Game, however. The game in new condition is listed on eBay for around $150.
I figure I should make a deal on my game during this 1980s revival period. Holler if you want to buy my game for an inflated price. I will make you a Trump-style deal. You’ll love it. It will be the best deal ever.
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I made a mistake in last week’s column, which readers may have discovered if they followed the referenced link. The Restoration of Rights Project website outlines restrictions and processes for restoring civil rights in Arkansas: http://ccresourcecenter.org/state-restoration-profiles/arkansas-restoration-of-rights-pardon-expungement-sealing/. I attributed that website to the Arkansas Governor’s Office information on clemency.
Shea Wilson is the former managing editor of the El Dorado News-Times. Email her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter.com @sheawilson7.