Saturday, 18 November 2017

Trump's Taxes: Bad Situation & Clinton Might Win Because of It

Trump’s Tax Situation is Bad & Clinton Might Win Because of It

#Trumpeduptrickledown didn’t catch steam like I had hoped. I told you they should have gone with #Trumpledown. It doesn’t matter though. Like I said in my First Presidential Debate Review, Hillary struck gold with her barrage of accusations about Trump’s taxes.  And the situation doesn’t look like it is going away anytime soon. The Trump Campaign has been absolutely ineffective in responding to the claims and now the media is running with it.

Hillary’s Message Worked

Remember, Secretary Clinton didn’t just ask for the release of Trump’s taxes, she laid out specific claims about what might be found in them. A very opposite-aisle approach if you ask me. Best yet, it turns out the accusations are mostly based in reality. The most important ones are:

  • Trump isn’t as rich as he says he is.
  • Trump doesn’t pay taxes – $0 for troop, $0 for schools.
  • Trump owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks.

Whichever narratives  the Trump Campaign decides to tackle first, the others will remain, causing damage to his campaign and reputation.

Additionally, because of her multi-faceted attack, Clinton has created at minimum of 3 separate narratives (see above). Effectively, she’s cornered the news media until something significantly more interesting happens; The VP debate on Tuesday, Perfect! And undoubtedly there, Pence will be smothered with questions that force him to throw Trump under the bus, or swallow every ounce of pride that’s left inside of him and agree that Trump is a genius.

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More so, the amount of effort it will take for Trump to defeat even one of the narratives she laid out will leave little time to face the others plus any further scandals. From here until the election, Clinton can choose to take the path of least resistance. She can attack where he is not defending – where he has not yet built a wall. intended.

This is the best messaging of the campaign.

Trump’s Weak Response to Taxes

Trump’s messaging in response is terrible. Surrogates are calling him a “tax genius” – which isa decent angle, but it isn’t going to work.

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post sums it up nicely:

Trump is clearly digging in here — relying on a long-standing strategy in which he makes the case that he was a skilled player at an unholy game and that the country needs someone smart enough to game the system as president. He makes the same case about his campaign contributions to Democrats like Clinton.

Best yet for Democrats, Republicans have dug themselves a deep ideological hole. It will be difficult to maintain the idea that it’s smart to avoid paying taxes on purpose, and also be mad at immigrants for not paying their fair share.

We’ll see how Pence handles this on Tuesday.

Ryan Black is a documentary filmmaker, political consultant, and digital media professional who writes about Progressive Politics.

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