On her Tuesday show, Rachel Maddow teased a scoop: She had Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns. It was the first time his federal returns would be released.
Small digression: MSNBC’s Maddow didn’t have them. Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston got them, and went on her show to talk about it.
Anyway, when she finally revealed what was in the taxes, it was not a huge deal. Trump earned about $150 million in income in 2005, and paid $38 million in taxes, thanks to the alternative minimum tax, which he wants to kill.
This gives Trump an effective tax rate of about 24 percent, which Johnston pointed out was roughly equal to what he and his wife, who are an upper middle class couple, pay.
And, sure, for a billionaire, you can argue that he should pay more in taxes. But, $38 million is a big number. As is $150 million in income.
There was speculation, fueled by Trump himself, that he wasn’t paying anything in taxes. That led to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton attacking him on that front.