So the “October Surprise” is here, even a few days early. Trump reportedly paid but a pittance in federal income taxes in certain years. Just what do the Democrats/NYT expect to gain from this report?
Trump will respond by noting that he pays, for instance, hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes, and a similar amount in sales taxes and so on. He’ll also point out the various financial scandals among the Dems, starting with Nancy Pelosi, whose gains were not only illicit but harmful to American investors etc.
And then what? No one will be surprised that many of the rich don’t pay much income tax. And the more the Democrats try to play up the issue, the less time and money they devote to issues they perceive will help them, such as Covid-19 and climate change.
Impeachment over the tax issue? Ever heard the term “selective prosecution”? Led by Pelosi? Really? The American people would see through that too.
Many will be outraged that someone in the IRS or Trump’s bank etc. illegally released Trump’s returns. That the NYT is proud that it stole this information also will trouble many.
Around this time in 2016, the Hollywood Confidential tapes came out. The Dems really thought that was a “gotcha.” But the tape really backfired on the Dems. It was brought up in the next debate with Hillary, and Trump responded by pointing out that Bill Clinton paid a legal judgment of $800,000 to one of the women he harassed. The camera then moved to Bill Clinton, sitting in the wings, very humiliating for all. Instead of leading Hillary to victory, it just caused a cynical “pox on both your houses” feeling toward both sides.
What so many fail to understand is that people don’t vote for Trump because they like him. But they like enough of his policies so much that they would vote for him no matter what, e.g. pocketbook issues, societal issues, safety issues. Many are more interested in their own tax bills rather than Trump’s.
The Democrats still haven’t learned that lesson. They are still pitching their wares to the large coastal cities plus Chicago, and even then are focusing their pitch on anti-Trump rather than pro-Biden.
I always think of the UK journalist who spent most of 2016 in Iowa. He found watching the national news rather surreal, with the journalists treating events as a kind of “in” joke shared by urban liberals, nothing that Iowans could relate to.
Not to say Biden won’t win. Maybe he will, maybe not. But if he does win, it won’t be about Trump’s taxes.