The Lies People Tell To Discredit A President.

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readOct 2, 2020

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)

We have all by now have seen how President Trump according to the New York Times times has hardly paid any taxes

New York Times Claims POTUS Paid Only $750 in Taxes During First Year in Office, Trump, who has fiercely guarded his tax filings and is the only president in modern times not to make them public, paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the past 15 years, The Times reported Sunday.

Oh, how the Democrats jumped for joy, oh how they high five each other in glee. You can almost see and hear them shouting to each other got the evil bastard at last.

Trouble is the New York Times are lying little shits who were telling only half the story. The New York Times never lets the facts get in the way of a good story — it just buries them so far down no one will see. Then it buries its own credibility, too.

That was the case Sunday when the most biased “news” organization in the US published its latest in-kind donation to the Democratic Party in the form of a nearly 10,000-word account of President Donald Trump’s income tax history, deliberately written to cast Trump as a villain to hard-working, taxpaying Americans.

However, one key fact buried by The Times gives the game away on how misleading the article actually was.

The so-called “newspaper of record” started out with sentences apparently aimed at Everyman: It didn’t talk in billions or millions of dollars, figures most Americans don’t deal with on a regular basis (even Times readers).

This how they began

The Times obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due. Donald J. Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html

Under the ominous headline “Long-Concealed Records Show Trump’s Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance,” it claimed that a billionaire who became president of the United States had “paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.”

That’s in the lede. The first sentence of a story that should set the tone for everything that follows.

Unfortunately for the no-doubt rapidly diminishing number of Americans who actually believe The Times can be trusted, that sentence set a tone of bias and outright dishonesty that the article itself admits in a disguised fact check a long 77 paragraphs later.

Trump did pay millions in taxes those years: $1 million in 2016; $4.2 million in 2017.

“As he settled into the Oval Office, his tax bills soon returned to form,” The Times wrote, deep, deep, deep into the story.

“His potential taxable income in 2016 and 2017 included $24.8 million in profits from sources related to his celebrity status and $56.4 million for the loans he did not repay. The dreaded alternative minimum tax would let his business losses erase only some of his liability.

“Each time, he requested an extension to file his 1040; and each time, he made the required payment to the I.R.S. for income taxes he might owe — $1 million for 2016 and $4.2 million for 2017. But virtually all of that liability was washed away when he eventually filed, and most of the payments were rolled forward to cover potential taxes in future years.”

As one social media user picked up in a piece on Monday put it rather quite nicely

To repeat: Trump “made the required payment to the I.R.S. for income taxes he might owe,” The Times wrote, followed by the figures $1 million for one year, $4.2 million for the second. (Emphasis in the quote added, obviously.)

In other words, Trump did in fact pay considerably more than $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017 — he just didn’t actually owe what he paid.

In fact, an argument could be made that since those payments actually amounted to overpayments, when Trump’s final liability was established at the laughably low figure of $750, the whole incident redounds to the president’s favour. Since the money wasn’t returned, but “rolled forward to cover potential taxes for future years,” Trump was, in effect, giving the federal government about $5 million until some future date.

The rest of the article amounts to a propaganda gift to the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, typical of The Times anti-Trump machine.

It’s paragraph after biased paragraphed, stuffed with dollar signs and financial details that make it appear there are all kinds of sordid manoeuvrings going on but probably describes the kind of totally legal tax minimization strategies employed by the wealthiest Americans regardless of party.

Every year, the country’s law schools churn out countless attorneys who specialize in the tax code because it’s an area of law that’s in constant demand — particularly among the uber-wealthy, like Trump, who employ legions of accounting and legal minds to make sure their taxes are as low as possible.

The final bill, as The Times’ own story demonstrates, is up to the IRS, the individual and the lawyers and accountants involved — it’s not The New York Times editorial board or the empty-headed firebrands at MSNBC who get to determine how much Donald Trump owes in taxes.

The IRS doesn’t consult journalists to decide how much New York Times Co. Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. must pay in taxes, or Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos needs to kick into Uncle Sam.

But journalists do get to decide how to frame a story, and that decision is a matter of the public trust — one journalist should have the personal and professional integrity to honour.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.