Economy

Maddow: The Most Important Part of Trump's Leaked Tax Return

Without the alternative minimum tax, which President Trump wants to end, he would have paid taxes at a lower rate than America's poor.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump bucked the long-standing tradition of releasing his tax returns, and as president, he continues to hold firm. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow opened a small window of insight into Trump's tax history when she revealed a few pages of his 2005 returns on her show Tuesday. 

According to the White House, which confirmed the report, Donald Trump earned over $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in taxes that year. 

"We got the [two pages of Trump's 1040 form] today from a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who's better on financial matters than almost anybody else in the business," Maddow opened. "His name is David Cay Johnston."

The documents showed up mysteriously in Johnston's mailbox—and Johnston, who joined Maddow on her show Tuesday, hasn't ruled out the possibility that President Trump leaked them himself. 

"What's most important about this tax return ... is that under the regular tax system, remember we have two tax systems, well-to-do people, you and I, file, effectively, calculate our tax twice; the regular tax system and the alternative minimum tax," he explained. 

"If we didn't have the alternative minimum tax, and Donald Trump, in writing, wants to end the alternative minimum tax, he would have paid taxes at a lower rate than the bottom half of taxpayers; the poor in this country who make less than $33,000 [annually]," Johnston revealed. 

"Think about that," he continued. "$153 million almost, of income, he would have paid a little over $5 million; less than 3.5 percent, less than the half of taxpayers who make under $33,000."

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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