Opinion: Maddow’s big reveal fails to live up to hype


Jacob Tabler is a junior political science major and a member of the Kent State College Republicans. Contact him at [email protected]

Jacob Tabler

On Tuesday, TV host Rachel Maddow tweeted several hours before her show: “BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).” This tweet spurned huge reactions on both sides of the aisle on Twitter.

During the program, she spent the first half hour building up to what could be the greatest political scandal since Watergate. However, when she finally revealed her findings, the substance fell short of what it was supposed to be.

Here are just a few things to know about the reveal of President Donald Trump’s tax returns on The Rachel Maddow Show:

First, Trump earned a large amount of money that year, and paid a substantial amount in taxes. The two pages of his 2005 tax returns reveal that Trump earned more than $150 million that year and paid $38 million in taxes, which is a rate of 25.3 percent. This rate was due to what is known as the alternative minimum tax, which is implemented to negate any deductions on the original tax rate.

Regardless, Maddow implied this was still not his fair share of taxes, and he would not pay this rate unless it was legally mandated. This is true. However, I would be hard pressed to find someone who willingly pays more than they are legally mandated to.

Second, the media blew this way out of proportion, and President Trump responded. During the broadcast, Maddow suggested these returns might reveal the president is drastically less wealthy than he previously claimed. It has also been suggested that, due to his reported billion dollar loss in 1995, President Trump may not have paid taxes from then through his run for the presidency.

Both of these claims proved to be false. President Trump responded by releasing the details of the return on the White House website shortly before the start of the broadcast and claimed the acquisition of these returns was illegal.

It is important to note that this is not true, unless NBC stole them or accepted them knowing they were stolen. According to the network, they were not solicited, but were anonymously submitted to them.

Finally, President Trump remains the only major candidate in modern presidential history not to release his returns. There may still be questions that need to be answered about why the president will not release his returns.

Many have alluded to the fact that this could mean he has something to hide. However, without any substantial evidence, this claim is meaningless.

If this pattern continues and media networks continue this pattern of alluding to a possible major scandal without any substantial evidence, they will continue to lose credibility.

Jacob Tabler is a member of the College Republicans, contact him at [email protected]