The Thing in Trump's Taxes That Will End Him

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his off
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower, Tuesday, May 10, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The newest media parlor game is wondering what Donald Trump could possibly be hiding in his taxes. Could it be low charitable donations? Could it be financial support for causes conservatives hate? Could it be an evasion of taxes?

It's highly unlikely that Trump would try too hard to hide any of those things. Thus far, if there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, it is that on a lot of charges, he's really good at accepting the hit to defang it. In the first debate, he laughed off charges that he called women "pigs," and has readily admitted to infidelity.

Perhaps anticipating stories about him not paying his fair share of taxes, he's already told George Stephanopoulos, "I try very hard to pay as little tax as possible and have said that for the last two years. I fight very hard because this country wastes our money. They take our tax money and throw it down the drain.... So I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible."

But there's one area that Donald Trump will fight you tooth and nail - his worth.

It is a subject that he won't let go of. He leaves no opportunity behind to tell people how "really rich" he is.

There's a reason for that, besides his ego.

The image of Trump as the independent guy who isn't beholden to the establishment system is built on a foundation of him being so rich that he doesn't owe them anything, and can't be pulled by their strings.

If, somehow, it was proven that he's really not rich, the foundation cracks. If it was proven that he's actually deeply in hock to the moneyed elites, the Trump Tower comes crashing down.

The amazing thing is that the media doesn't see it, despite all the signs looking them right in the face:

• Donald Trump hasn't self-funded his campaign. He's loaned money to his campaign, and will only say it isn't "his intention" to pay himself back.

• His cash seems to be largely accrued off a series of loans from bank after bank after bank, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

• Trump clumsily admitted as much, when he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he's "the king of debt."

So, what would his taxes show, that he doesn't want shown?

That he's not "really rich." In fact, the vast majority of money he "has" isn't really his. It's all a bunch of revolving loans that he has to pay back.

And, in fact, it is extremely likely that the money he's loaned his campaign is cash obtained by leveraging assets in a loan from a bank.

In short, Donald Trump isn't funding his campaign. Whatever bank (or banks) loaned him money is funding his campaign, and he's going to have to pay himself back, to pay that bank back.

Trump is like a Presidential real life version of Wimpy from the old Popeye cartoons: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a Presidential campaign, today."

You can see where this all goes, if or when this is revealed in his taxes. The image of Donald Trump, independent, uncontrolled swashbuckler becomes #BrokeDonald, the cheap fraud who is so deep in debt that he's wholly owned by the banks, to the point that (for lack of a better term) he's their bitch.

That's likely what Trump's hiding.