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Friday, June 14, 2024

Dems Exasperated as Working-Class Voters Unmoved by NYTimes Hit Piece on Trump Taxes

"He's not the miser and cheat the media make him out to be..."

(Headline USA) Danielle Fairbank closed the tailgate of her fire-engine red pickup truck in a Target parking lot in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and offered a hearty “Fake news!” to dismiss reports that President Donald Trump paid only $750 in income taxes in 2017.

The assembly worker at a nearby military vehicle plant just as swiftly brushed aside the media-backed insistence that Trump’s tiny tax bill put him out of touch with blue-collar workers like herself.

Her job—which she’s held throughout the recession and pandemic—is proof to her that the billionaire president is on the side of the working-class.

“I know in my heart he’s doing more for this economy, for people like me and for me personally, than anyone is giving him credit,” Fairbank said. “That stuff is made up, and it would have come out by now if it were true.”

Trump’s standing with white, working-class voters has proven resilient through federal investigations, impeachment and countless accusations of chaotic governing all orchestrated by his vindictive left-wing adversaries.

Nonetheless, Democrats working within the New York Times and the campaign of presidential rival Joe Biden—which appeared to have coordinated on the leak—hoped that reports about Trump’s tax avoidance might have had the potential to hit closer to home during a time of economic upheaval.

Yet, interviews with voters in swing-voting Wisconsin show scant evidence of damaging impact from reporting in the years-long crusade to uncover Trump’s alleged financial secrets.

The article—estimated to be around some 10,000 words, included plenty of weedy jargon and deep-dives into complex tax code, but ultimately failed to rise to the level long promised of a smoking gun that would be prohibitively damning.

In fact, many—while doubting the accuracy of the number-crunching, which Trump denied—applauded the former business mogul for maximizing his deductions.

In the hub of swing-voting Winnebago County and Milwaukee’s dynamic suburbs, the reactions fit into categories of flat-out disbelief, like Fairbanks, defense of a tax strategy as smart business and an overall fatigue many voters feel with every revelation.

If there is was one common reaction, it’s laughter, though not joyful, at seeing yet another cynical smear attempt fall flat from a mainstream media that has continued to brazenly gaslight the public and hold its own favored candidates to a double standard.

Seth Willer snickered from the front porch of his home in the upscale neighborhood of Bellhaven Estates near the shores of Lake Winnebago on Oshkosh’s east side when asked what he thought about Trump’s income taxes.

“Nah, that’s the game, right?” said the 40-year-old industrial laundry equipment distributor who supports Trump. “We all try to lower our tax burden. You can’t blame him.”

Likewise, Cathy Gerring, a 60-year-old part-time employee from the north Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood echoed, “I just feel he’s a smart business owner.”

Mary Herrick, down the street from Willer in Oshkosh’s upscale subdivision notes Trump’s donation of the president’s salary as a counter to criticism of his tax burden. “That’s giving back to the country,” said Herrick, who works from home.

In fact, Trump donates his salary to charities, and continues to earn income from his real estate interests.

In 2018, he reported making more than $434 million in a federal disclosure. That same year he reported losses to the IRS of $47 million, according to the New York Times report.

Much of that relates to the nature of his property holdings, for which tax loopholes provide a generous depreciation deduction.

National polls have shown the president’s support to be relatively stable at roughly 42 to 45 percent of voters nationally throughout the tumultuous summer and into the fall.

And following the failure of polling during the previous 2016 election to accurately gauge public sentiment in battleground states like Wisconsin, that has many of his Democrat rivals on edge with only a month remaining.

Even those on the Left who wish to see the president fail seemed to shrug off the underwhelming revelation.

Amy Helmers, 49-year-old mental health counselor, laughed out of exasperation about Trump’s tax records while unloading her groceries outside Pick ‘n Save on Oshkosh’s middle-income south side.

“None of it surprises me,” Helmers said. “He’s got supporters thinking he’s a patriot. But it’s another example of the fraud he is.”

Trump campaigned in Oshkosh in mid-August and is expected in Green Bay, the northern end of the valley, on Saturday.

Wendy Taylor says no one she knows in her tiny hometown of Clintonville, east of Oshkosh, trust reports Trump has avoided paying taxes.

“It’s not true,” the 57-year-old retired information technology manager said. “He’s not the miser and cheat the media make him out to be.”

She noted the $72,000 in coronavirus relief her town of about 4,300 received was proof Trump was concerned about the well-being of low and middle-income Americans.

“That was a lot of frickin’ money for our little city,” she said.

Retiree Lee Houk of Pewaukee, a booming exurb west of Milwaukee, was just as dismissive of the tax claims. “I think it’s just games being played by the Democrats,” Houk, 69, said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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