As soon as Rachel Maddow announced she had “Trump taxes” last night, I knew there would be a caveat. “Trump” taxes didn’t mean Donald’s taxes, necessarily. And it also didn’t mean recent tax papers. Or a lot of tax papers. So I braced myself for disappointment when she–after a 20 minute build up–revealed that she had two pages from a 2005 return. But I obviously didn’t brace myself enough because it’s hard to put into words how angry I felt after the nothingburger reveal. Because honestly it simply wasn’t news.
It would have been one thing if she had obtained enough records to paint a complete picture of Trump’s financial dealings; she didn’t. She had two stinking pages from one stinking year. A mountain of exonerating proof would have been news. A mountain of incriminating proof would have been news. This wasn’t. This was the Capone’s Vault of taxes and honestly I’m kind of embarrassed for everyone even peripherally involved in the segment or anyone who actually got excited about it.
The worst part is that the “leak” so obviously came from a Trump surrogate or Trump himself. It’s the perfect little nugget of good news for him–“See, he’s RICH! See, he pays taxes–A LOT OF THEM!” And the precious admonition that they were illegally obtained and the sniffing about the low rate he payed was–honestly–a pretty good touch! And, no, it doesn’t portend more “leaks.” So put that out of your head now.
How will this play in Peoria? It will play like this: He’s a super-rich guy who payed a shitload of money in taxes. Fantastic.