There’s a Friends episode reference for everything. And to those unfamiliar with the best sitcom ever made, well–I don’t know what to tell you.
There’s this episode where Rachel and Monica are playing a game of trivia (moderated by Ross) against Chandler and Joey. It starts out with a $100 wager, and ends with the girls losing their apartment to the boys.
It’s down to the game point. The girls just have to answer one remaining question: “what is Chandler Bing’s job?”
A look of horror washes over both of their faces.
They have no idea. They know he works in an office doing … something …
Their minds race. They throw out suggestions—numbers, briefcase, “transponding”… and then suddenly Rachael blurts out “Oh oh he’s a transponce … he’s a transponspondster!” Monica shrieks “THAT’S NOT EVEN A WORD!”
I was thinking about this hilarious scene (and you poor souls unfamiliar with it can watch it here) as I observe this flaming cesspool of anti-Trumpism that has completely engulfed Washington, the American Left, and to a certain extent the Republican Party.
Nothing has worked.
They’ve made attempt, after attempt, after attempt to take President Trump down while grasping desperately to the shredded narrative that the election was stolen from Hillary Clinton.
Not even a special counsel surrounded by Clinton lawyers and a 2 year, 25-million-dollar investigation could find a shred of evidence to suggest wrongdoing by Donald Trump, let alone collusion with an enemy.
So when this latest attempt to topple the president surfaced, I couldn’t help but think of Rachel and Monica realizing with horror that it’s over, yet throwing yet another last ditch pitch in there to try and get SOMETHING.
Media anchors and commentators gasped with breathless hope as they relayed the news that Donald Trump’s tax figures show that “from 1985 to 1994, Donald J. Trump’s businesses were in far bleaker condition than was previously known.”
He lost a reported $1.17 billion in that decade, and “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.”
How, pray, did the New York Times get its mitts on the tax returns of the President of the United States?
Someone deep in the bowels of the Federal government leaked “10 years’ worth of President Donald Trump’s tax information to The New York Times,” which the estimable Gray Lady refers to innocuously as “newly obtained tax information.”
There’s a LOT of noise. Let’s break this down:
- Tax laws changed in 1986. A lot.
With the change in laws, people like Donald Trump temporarily took a massive hit. In Trump’s words:
“Real estate developers in the 1980’s & 1990’s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered ‘tax shelter,’ you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes…. almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport.”
Oh the horror: Trump did as most red-blooded hardworking Americans do every year before April 15th: you find every possible way to get your tax bill down as far as legally possible.
- In 1995, a prominent newspaper wrote a piece about Donald Trump’s impressive rebound from debt—and how business leaders and politicians (including the then-lieutenant governor of New York) praised Trump for “the comeback of the decade.”
The piece was entitled “Crowning the Comeback King,” and guess—oh just guess—who wrote it.
The New York Times.
Not a peep even remotely resembling the sanctimonious pearl-clutching on display today.
Not. A. Peep.
- Deutsche Bank (one of Trump’s lenders) did as most banks do: they spread out their risk. And some of that spreading out including banks who also did business with Russia.
“Just like you get a mortgage with a bank and one day you get a notice your mortgage has been sold to another bank,” said Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday’s show. “Lending institutions change their level of risk all the time. And they lay off elements of risk. So Deutsche Bank sent Trump a lot of money, but they didn’t want to become totally dependent on Trump paying it back, so they sold some of Trump’s debt to a consortium of banks that did some business in Russia.”
So, to recap: 30+ years ago Donald Trump borrowed money (gasp!!) from a bank who sold some of his debt to another group of banks (scandalous!) who also do business with banks that do business with people in Russia (the HORROR!) …
I mean, at this point we’re not too far off from “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with a girl who saw Ferris pass-out at 31 Flavors last night,” amiright?
- The New York Times tried to make this a thing in 2016, and Hillary Clinton (with Anderson Cooper’s full cooperation) tried to take full advantage of it.
It goes something like this (and you can read the full transcript here):
Clinton accuses Trump of trying to weasel his way out of paying taxes. Cooper goes “yeah, what do you have to say for yourself, huh?”
Trump says, “Sure did [write it off]. So have a lot of her donors.”
And then for the kill shot: “You know, she [Clinton, a former senator] has given it to us. Hey, if she had a problem, for 30 years she’s been doing this … why didn’t you do something about it?”
Sidebar: it never ceases to amaze me that the Left will attack a citizen for taking advantage of all tax options that are legally available to them, as though they should feel morally obligated to pay MORE than the minimum–and yet I never seen liberal cutting extra checks to the IRS or laying off their highly-paid and highly-sought-after personal accounts. But I’ve digressed.
- What the New York Times and their source(s) did was illegal. And it ought to scare every single American.
Stealing is a crime. Stealing information from the federal government is a big crime. Leaking that private information to a media outlet to broadcast it to the ends of the earth is the cherry on top of this wildly criminal sundae.
Worse yet, this was done with the express purpose of damaging “not only a politician, not only a candidate, but the President of the United States … that’s a very big deal.”
Think of the repercussions of this kind of power. If they can do it to the leader of the free world, you best believe they can do it to you, too.
Just for kicks, let’s set all of this aside for a moment. Let’s assume that Trump really did cheat on his taxes to mitigate the fact that he’s an abysmal failure of a businessman. Obviously this matters because Donald Trump ran in part on the idea that if he could build a successful business empire, he could do the same for the course of our country. The logical conclusion would be that if he failed as a businessman in the 1990s—he’d be a failure today.
And your complaint about the current state of the US economy would be…?
“Reports of the economic expansion’s death appear to have been greatly exaggerated,” writes Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley in a piece entitled “Overcoming Doubts, U.S. Economy Finds a Way Forward.” The men continued: “A 3.2% growth rate in the first quarter beats the forecasts and offers Trump a political lift.”
That, ladies and gentleman, was an article that ran on April 26th, 2019.
In The New York Times.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree