Does anyone really care about the NY Times’ news concerning Trump’s 1985-1994 federal taxes?

I’m not even sure that the Times actually cares all that much at this point, although they must be hopeful that their publication of the information will hurt Trump.

But anyone who is aware of much of anything about Trump’s past knows he went through some extremely hard financial times during the years in question. And anyone who knows anything about taxes would know those would be years in which he would be taking losses rather than paying much out.

It’s a “blockbuster report.” Yeah, right.

The report is based on printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts and figures from his federal tax form the Times obtained from an unnamed source with legal access to the information.

I don’t know about you—and I don’t know about the majority of Americans—but I wouldn’t approve of that sort of breach of confidentiality even if it happened to someone I hated. I don’t approve of people’s tax information getting out into the public domain against their will, at the hands of the NY Times or any other source, particularly an unnamed one.

The Times’ says its source has legal access to the information. Great. Does that person with legal access have a legal right to give it to a newspaper that will publish the information? If that person is Trump’s ex-lawyer, or ex-accountant, or works for the IRS, or used to work for the IRS, does that make it okay for the Times to publish what I believe is almost certainly confidential information, and protect the source as well?

Those are rhetorical questions.

They do it because they can do it and get away with it, not because it’s the right thing to do. I just don’t happen to think this will harm Trump, and I would hope it would actually help him because people would realize that the newspaper is misusing confidential information against a political opponent.

A person can hope, anyway, right?

Oh, and there’s also this:

[New York state] Senate Dems will vote on Wednesday to approve a bill authorizing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to share state tax return information with Congressional committees as long as there is a “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.”

The bill, which would amend state laws prohibiting the release of private tax information, would only apply to Trump’s state returns, not his federal ones, according to sponsor Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan)…

The president’s New York roots and his business being based in the city means a lot of the same information available on his federal returns would be included on his state documents, Hoylman noted.

Somehow the state of New York has managed to get by without this law until President Trump came along. If they pass this, it would be poetic justice if it came back to bite them someday.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]


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