Gary Horton | Big and Little Numbers Loom Bigly

Gary Horton

The New York Times released a blockbuster of investigative journalism Sunday – and Donald Trump’s persona, reputation, and trajectory are vastly and permanently diminished.

The president, previously referred to as “45,” now, forevermore will be remembered as the 750 guy. The poser-billionaire who only pays $750 in federal income tax. 

Seven-fifty is the new 45.

Donald Trump paid $130,000 to have his way with Stormy Daniels for 10 minutes. We saw the signed payoff check. Americans, we’ve learned, are much cheaper than porn stars. Trump paid only $750 to do it to us for a whole year…

Seven hundred and fifty is a small but memorable number. Why? Because nearly everyone in America pays more than Trump’s $750. Worse: For a dozen years he paid zero, according to the Times. Obama paid $1.8 million his first year in office: Trump, $750. Easy to see who has skin in the game.

During the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney was famously caught ridiculing the 47% freeloaders who pay zero taxes but who milk the system. Perhaps Romney knew more about Trump than the rest of us…

There’s also the $73 million tax refund Trump hauled in a decade ago. You and I sent him the check. Seventy-three million dollars is a big number. 

Seventy-three million dollars is so much, it’s the subject of the audit Trump uses as the excuse for never releasing his tax returns. He still could and should release them – but won’t, as my guess is there’s still even greater compromising secrets contained therein.

We’ve learned most all Trump’s businesses are failures, from casinos to fake colleges, airlines, even many of his golf courses. All have been propped up from past reality show earnings. Roll it all together and you get tax loss carryforwards and goose eggs in paid taxes over 20 years. Tough for Trump – if he loses his appeal, he’s on the hook for $100 million in tax repayments and penalties. And to Trump, $100 million is a very big number right now.

Trump has big debt, too. Some $421 million owed to unknown sources, according to the New York Times, assumed by many to be international players. Heavy debt held by public servants is cause to deny security clearances due to compromise risk. Debt compromises public servants. Heavy debt heavily compromises, so no security clearance.

Trump’s potentially compromising huge personally guaranteed debt comes due during what will be his next term if reelected. To what person, to what nation, to what organization, are such towering sums owed? Have favors been exchanged? Will they be exchanged? Voters have a right to know. Trump has a duty to tell – or be investigated and forced to tell. National security is the bottom line.

The Times shattered Trump’s $70,000 coifed image of a genius businessman. Seventy thousand dollars is a big number for bad hair treatments. Some jest he really should have paid more for a better job… $70,000 is big for tax-deducted hair work.

Nearly every average American worker pays in much more than Trump to support our nation’s goals. Trump may think us taxpayers are stupid. Or losers. That we’re dummies for not working the system like he does.

You, me, the pensioner down the street – all of us have more skin in the game than the president of the United States himself. Trump is an obligation-denier who neither served in the military nor pays for it.

More serious numbers dropped this week. Two hundred thousand. The U.S. crossed the 200,000th death mark this week with COVID-19 raging on. Many fear a fall surge, as our already world-leading death toll could get truly terrifying should the flu kick in as a COVID catalyst.

Trump boasted that his pandemic leadership makes him a “wartime president.” But Gen. Trump has a damn poor record playing army as a “wartime president.” We’ve already lost more Americans than from Vietnam and all wars since! And, when COVID deaths top 290,000, Gen. Wartime President will have lost more Americans in his COVID war than America lost soldiers in all of World War II. More deaths than America suffered in World War II. Roll that in your mind.

Two hundred thousand is a big number. Two hundred ninety thousand is terrifying. Two hundred ninety thousand equals ninety-three 9-11 tower losses.

Five trillion is a big number. Five trillion dollars. That’s the 2020 Trump U.S. deficit. Trump told us he was the “King of Debt” – and in that one moment, he didn’t lie. Here we are, broke and getting broker.

“Three-point six” is a small number. Yet, in 3.6 short years, we’ve lost 200,000-plus Americans, trashed our country’s finances, and crashed into a deep recession. 

Two hundred and fifteen is the big number of indictments linked to the Trump administration – all in just 3.6 years. Two hundred and fifteen seems even bigger compared to Obama’s eight years of service and zero indictments. This number says Trump surrounds himself with criminals.

Thirty-five months is a small period of time. Yet that’s the short time justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett has served as a judge. And 33 days is a very short time. That’s the short time until election day during which Amy Coney Barrett will be railroaded against majority public will to a lifetime Supreme Court position by a minority representation Senate.

Thirty-three days until the election. 

Thirty-three days seems like a lifetime away until we can finally get back to work fixing all these awful numbers — and restoring sanity, reason, science, accountability, legality and civility back to our national government.

Thirty-three hugely long days to wait. 

For heaven’s sake, be sure to vote!

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.

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