New York Times reveals Trump's tax data

According to a report published by the New York Times, Donald Trump has hardly paid any income tax for years on end. Although the US president is saying the reports are fake news, the image of a president for whom tax liability is of no consequence has emerged. How will these revelations affect the election campaign?

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NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

President doesn't care about his state

NRC Handelsblad calls for a serious debate on the meaning of taxes:

“The federal state as a wasteful institution which is mainly just annoying - Trump's view is widely shared. The debate should focus on this issue rather than on Trump's business empire. Is the state an obstacle that stands in the way of the 'dream Big' spirit and which it is therefore acceptable to sabotage? Or does it serve the general interest? Trump's democratic challenger would do well to start a fundamental discussion about the role of the state. ... The coronavirus crisis and the inadequate federal response show that the citizens are powerless and that the state is letting them down.”

The Times (GB) /

Supporters will simply admire his cleverness

The president won't lose any popularity among his supporters, The Times suspects:

“There is an argument that Mr Trump's wheeler-dealering is already baked in and that his supporters not only accept his tax chicanery but admire it. This was, after all, an eye-catching part of the first presidential debate in 2016 when Hillary Clinton accused Mr Trump of not paying federal taxes and he retorted: 'That makes me smart.' ... However in a divided country where much of the media has long since taken sides, many of his supporters are likely to see this as simply election mudslinging by the opposition.”

De Morgen (BE) /

Biden must pin his hopes on fleeced citizens

It is by no means clear that the revelations will help Biden in the first TV debate, De Morgen concludes:

“After all, a hard core of Trump voters comes from the Tea Party, a faction of the Republican Party that gained influence in the times of President Obama and Vice President Biden through its opposition to taxes and public spending. Its biggest enemy after Obama was the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the federal tax authority which it wanted to leave with as few dollars as possible. And that is exactly what Trump has shown people how to do. So on Tuesday evening Biden must above all hope that voters who are still undecided will watch the debate - with their hefty healthcare bills in their hands.”