The Trump brand -- as it is -- will get some newfound transparency in the coming days on your favorite TV news network with the release of his tax returns.
While it is only customary to have a President release tax returns, it is mandatory that the IRS audit a President’s tax returns when it comes to the office. Mysteriously, the IRS did not do this after Trump installed his person to run the tax service. Hmm...
After some prodding by the House Ways & Means chairman, an audit was started. But it went nowhere due to the lack of specialists capable of handling that effort, according to the IRS.
That aside, how does this release affect the Trump "brand’"?
Well, for years he claimed "billionaire" status, always angling for ways to get on the Forbes richest people list long before his Presidential run. His tax returns are likely to reveal something much more modest -- including little, if any, indication of his "net worth."
Overall, Susanne Craig, investigative reporter for The New York Times, said on MSNBC on Tuesday, she senses Trump's "brand" will indeed take a hit, as his businesses are not so healthy now.
Also, consider the recent rush into selling seemingly huckster-like “digital trading cards” or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) -- mostly to his adoring followers. For many, that is a glaring reveal that his businesses aren’t thriving.
All 45,000 of the president’s NFTs — depicting him as a cartoon cowboy, a sheriff, race-car driver and others — sold quickly at $99 each, tallying a total of $4.3 million by Friday. Prices rose to near $700 on one digital exchange, falling to less than $250 earlier this week.
Soon after the 2020 election, Trump fund-raised $210 million from supporters for legal fees alleging false election results.
In October of this year, Trump raised $24 million -- but spent $22 million, according to reports. Bloomberg says Trump is capitalizing “on the legal battles with fundraising appeals.”
Couple this with a new poll for Quinnipiac showing his favorable rating is at an all-time low of 31%. Trump needs alternative ways to generate funds. How is that possible for a “billionaire”?
The Trump brand keeps morphing -- even now on formerly Trump-favorable conservative TV news networks.
In that regard, perhaps another digital trading card. this time showing a cartoon of a failed politician with his hands out asking for cash, in front of a tarnished gold-embossed home facade would be a good addition.
Hey, if it sells for millions, why not?