David Cay Johnston and TMI!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2017

He breaks every rule in the book:
Last night, we were puzzled by the role of the Alternative Minimum Tax in the calculation of Donald J. Trump's federal taxes for 2005.

Never mind why we say that. We were also puzzled by David Cay Johnston's extended trip into the realm of TMI.

At 9:22 last night, Rachel Maddow gave us two tiny bits of information from the 1040 cover sheet Johnston had scored. In 2005, Trump's federal taxes were $38 million on $150 million in income.

She asked Johnston if the two numbers "seemed right." At that point, Johnston began to emit a bit too much information:
MADDOW (3/14/17): Do these numbers seem right to you? Obviously, the White House statement to us is reiterating the $150 million income number and the $38 million paid number.

Those numbers seem right to you?

JOHNSTON: Yes. And they fit the things we know from other public records about how Donald does business. For example, the dividends that he gets are primarily not what are called qualified dividends. That suggests they come from, not big companies like ExxonMobil, but privately held enterprises.

They show almost no tax-exempt interest, about $49,000. That would imply, at the time, maybe $900,000 of municipal bonds.

Not much. I mean, there are lots of college professors out there my age who have $900,000 in municipal bonds.
Say what? There are lots of college professors his age (68) who have $900,000 in municipal bonds? To Johnston, that counts as "not much?"

To us, that seemed like BREAKING NEWS, especially after watching Hayes and Sanders in West Virginia coal country. Did you watch that show the night before? The show with the retired coal miners?

Was Johnston revealing a bit of a societal secret about our routinely unhelpful professors? We aren't sure, but as he continued, Johnston moved even more strangely into the realm of TMI—and he broke an obvious rule:
JOHNSTON (continuing directly): What's most important about this tax return, though, Rachel, is that under the regular tax system, when we have two tax systems— Well-to-do people, you and I, file, effectively calculate our tax twice, the regular tax system and the alternative minimum tax. If we didn't have the alternative minimum tax—and Donald Trump in writing wants to end the alternative minimum tax—he would have paid taxes at a lower rate than the bottom half of taxpayers, the poor in this country who make less than $33,000.

Now think about that! $153 million almost of income, he would have paid a little over $5 million, less than 3.5 percent, less than the half of taxpayers who make under $33,000. As it is, because of the alternative minimum tax, he paid $36.5 million, not the $38 million the White House statement says. They're counting his self-employment tax, which is payroll taxes.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

JOHNSTON: Thirty-six and a half million, he paid 24 percent. You know who pays 24 percent in this country? Married couples with two incomes, like my wife and I, who make about $400,000 a year. Donald Trump and his wife that year made $418,000 a day.
Johnston and his wife make $400,000 per year? On the one hand, he contrasted that income with Trump's much larger income.

On the other hand, he lumped himself in with Maddow as "well-to-do people, you and I." In doing so, he was breaking every known rule of corporate liberal behavior.

Do Johnston and his wife make $400,000 per year? Presumably—but the last time we saw a report, it was estimated that Maddow was being paid $7 million per year by her corporate owners. And that was three or four years ago. Presumably, if that figure was right, her haul today may be substantially larger.

What rule of decorum did Johnston break? Simple! Within the world of "corporate liberal" cable news, you aren't supposed to encourage viewers to think about matters like this. Maddow is supposed to be one of our "MSNBC friends." It's a term that she and Brian Williams have used in recent weeks.

We're supposed to think of "Rache" as one of our MSNBC friends. We aren't supposed to think of her as what she is—as a massively overpaid corporate employee.

We used to say it all the time—you can't run a middle-class democracy with a multimillionaire press corps. When the pay-outs are that large, you're encouraging the kind of behavior Maddow has increasingly displayed in the past several years.

As a general matter, people will do whatever it takes to retain "good jobs" of that type. Johnston tattled on college professors, then got way out over his skis with his remarks about Maddow.

Maddow changed the subject at this point. Might we ask one last question?

We dream of seeing a survey in which liberals are asked how much they think people like Maddow are paid. We'd love to see what people think. We suspect that most good, decent liberal leaners don't have the slightest idea.

In that regard, here's our question:

What happens to our beloved "transparency" in corporate realms like this? Maddow is eager to sift through Donald J. Trump's financial records. When will this overpaid corporate clown open the books about hers?

Back to West Virginia: On Hayes' Monday night program with Sanders, we saw people explaining what it's like to struggle in coal country.

We're so old that we can remember when Maddow spent a week and a half dropping nightly dick jokes on those strugging peoples' heads. Everyone knows that we're secretly like that.

It's one of the ways we lose elections. Everyone knows except Us.

14 comments:

  1. Why is Bob so obsessed with how much Maddow is paid? It really exposes that his real motive is jealousy and envy that she has a TV show and he doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maddow is overpaid, and she rarely delivers the goods.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's low hanging fruit. Bob's shiny squirrel.

      Delete
  3. It would be a fair enough question of a big media star if Bob ever applied it to anyone else. Do Fox viewers know how much O"Reilly makes or even how much the network pays out to make his harassment charges go away? Nope. O"Reilly gets a pass!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It shows that Rachel is way overpaid. Her self-aggrandizing show last night proved it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Since Maddow is rich and powerful, she might not be good at defending the poor against the rich and powerful, although that's what she claims to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are on to something. Maddow does not "claim" to defend the poor against the rich and powerful. Her BOGUS concern for black kids in Flint, MI fool you into thinking that her coverage of lead in water in Flint, MI is about "defending the poor against the rich and powerful" and you go on to say 'that's what she claims to do". I don't watch so I could be wrong but compared to me, SHE IS RICH.

      Delete
  6. "We're so old that we can remember when Maddow spent a week and a half dropping nightly dick jokes on those strugging peoples' heads. Everyone knows that we're secretly like that.

    It's one of the ways we lose elections. Everyone knows except Us."

    No Bob. Everyone doesn't know. Because to the best of my knowledge, nobody has eve raised an issue of the behavior of Rachel Maddow in an election.

    And, FTR, Maddow did not aim her tea bagger jokes ast the strugglin people who appeared with Bernie Sanders and Chris Hayes. She aimed it at the silly people wearing hats with tea bags on the who were calling themselves "tea baggers".

    ReplyDelete
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    to me. I haven’t had the chance to have a proper relationship with my ex
    because we work together. This will be the final week or work and then I
    wont be around him constantly. Unfortunately, I broke one of the rules in
    the article and have been sleeping with him. Something I’m not proud of,
    especially since he has a girlfriend. Not to mention that she’s a girl he
    dated off and on for 3 years before he dated me.
    When I asked him why he kept sleeping with me even though he was in a
    relationship, his response was because I wanted it, and he wants me to be
    happy. But obviously what would make me happy would be to have him all to
    myself. That was when i read about Dr alexzander on how he help people in
    saving their relationship and i was really desperate for his help. There
    were things in our relationship that were tough. We traveled for 4 months
    right in the beginning, and it was hard due to different expectations. When
    we returned our living situation was unstable which caused a lot of stress
    on my end. And when I ask why he didn’t give me a chance to make things
    better he said he gave me tons of chances. Oh, and he compared our
    relationship with his past. He says that things were great, and then they
    went bad really fast, and that why his back with is Ex. Because it at least
    took them years for things to get that bad. So i was very sad and
    disappointing and decided to contact this spell caster for help with tears
    running out of my eyes and Dr alexzander promised to make things right in
    my relationship and also assured me that my boyfriend is going to come back
    to me within 78hrs. At first i was shock and didn't believe him because i
    thought it was impossible to do. But i gave it a try and trusted him. Dr
    alexzander asked for my details and his, then guarantee me of his return.
    Truly my ex lover started calling me and also begging me to forgive him and
    that's his willing to give us a second chance, then promised me never to
    love any other woman apart from me. it all seem like a miracle to me till
    now. Dr alexzander. Words can't express how i feel right now. it been 2
    month now since you caste that love spell for me and nothing have gone bad
    between us. his now caring more than ever and also the loving kind of Man i
    have ever wanted for myself in life. I thank you Dr alexzander for saving
    my relationship. Indeed you are the best. I want to use this media to share
    my testimony for the whole world to see and know that there is still hope
    in your broken relationship, No matter how bad it seems don't give up hope
    and also contact this man who saved my own. you can reach him through his
    website address http://alexzanderhightemple-com.webs.com or contact him
    direct with his email address alexzanderhightemple@gmail.com. I thank you
    Dr alexzander for helping me and i will always share my testimony in every
    social media or place i may go to.
    (From United State Of America).
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    http://tracygrilli.blogspot.com.tr
    https://tracygrilli59.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete