The New York Times has finally gotten its hands on more than two decades of Trump’s tax returns, up to 2017 (even Congress, with a lawsuit, has so far not been able to get it).
The bottom line: for many years, Trump has gotten away with paying zero federal income taxes. He paid a paltry $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he won the presidency. In 2017 he paid another $750. (Presidents Bush and Obama regularly paid more than $100,000 year each, in federal income taxes).
Tax avoidance is legal, but tax evasion is not. So is a super-complicated scheme of shell companies, and offshore accounts avoidance – or evasion? I don’t know the answer to that, but $750! That’s less in taxes than that paid by the 18-year old cash register attendant at Walmart.
The presidency has helped Trump’s businesses, says the NYT, but has not resolved his core financial problem: many of his businesses continue to lose money.
The NYT reports that Trump appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421 million, most of which is coming due within four years.
Gerald Bostock was employed by Clayton County in Georgia and suddenly fired in 2013 after a history of positive reviews at work. He had joined a gay softball league, and that was too much for his employer. When he lost his job, he also lost friends, his home and his health insurance.
Bostock’s case finally made it to the Supreme Court of the United States this year. The Trump administration had urged the court to rule against gay and transgender workers (because of course they did).
So to the surprise of many, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock’s favor. It’s finally no longer legal to fire employees that are gay, bisexual or transgender anywhere in the US. (It has been illegal in Washington State since 2006). It all hinged on the interpretation of Title VII of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The logic is irrefutable: suppose that a man and a woman each does the same work, or applies for the same job. Also: it just happens that both are attracted to men. If you discriminate against the (gay) man, you discriminate on the basis of sex, which is forbidden by Title VII.