Chris Christie Eated All Donald Trump's $25 Million In Tax Debt

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Chris Christie not only licks Trump's boots, he eated all his debts too!


Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most unique of all the founding fathers. Back in the olden timey dark ages before the United States came along and made freedoms, Franklin was busy having sexytimes with rich ladies all over the world while he stole electricity from Jesus with his analog emails and newspapers. Then, after America saved everyone from the toothless, tea-sipping infidels from Britain, he realized, "Nothing is certain except for death and taxes." Clearly, Ben Franklin never met Donald J. Trump.

You see, Donald Trump doesn't have to do things he doesn't want to do like eat his vegetables or pay his taxes because he's not some peasant living off a government teat. When Uncle Same asks Donald Trump to do his civic duty, he just blurts out an adjective, fires off a tweet, and makes a deal to absolve himself of any fiduciary responsibility, just like that time Trump made $30 million in delinquent tax debt just disappear with the help of Chris Christie.

Back when Donald Trump had three failing casinos with his name garishly stapled to the facade, he figured he would just stop paying his taxes. From 2002 until 2006, the same years that Trump was actually in charge of his own casino business, he pulled in millions of dollars in fees and bonuses for himself while the casinos sank deeper into the red and became infested with vermin and pests other than Trump himself.

Trump's problem, aside from not paying his taxes, is the alternative minimum tax, a scheme designed to close loopholes used by the wealthy to avoid paying their taxes. It creates a bottom-dollar amount that has to be paid, no matter what you write off, be it business expenses, profit loss, or donations to a charity. When it came time for Trump to pay his fair share, he decided not to.

When the first of the Trump casinos began filing for bankruptcy in 2004 (again), New Jersey officials noticed Trump hadn't been filling out the necessary boring paperwork required when you own a business or make money in the United States. Trump's seaside vice palaces had been reporting losses, and their total tax payments were $600,000 in 2002, and only $1,500 in 2003. A state audit found that Trump was legally obligated to pay $8.8 million in AMT taxes for those two years. Trump fought the rulings in court, arguing that the taxes were unconstitutional because his casinos were partnerships, but state attorneys politely requested that Trump, at his earliest convenience, go fuck himself and pay up.

Before we go further down this rabbit hole, you're probably wondering why we're kind of pissed off right now. That's because because the poorest person making less than $10,000 will have paid slightly less than $1,000 in federal taxes in 2015. The federal tax rate wasn't much different in 2003. Now you know why Trump once said, "Only stupid people pay a lot of money in taxes," but I digress.

Fast forward to 2007, when Deputy Attorney General Heather Lynn Anderson filed paperwork that stated Trump's business had reported lower earnings on its tax returns than on its filings with the State Casino Control Commission As you can read from this usa casino website for more about this. Anderson found that despite reporting to the casino commission the Trump Taj Mahal, for example, had said it paid $2.2 million in alternative minimum assessment taxes in 2003 when in reality it had only paid $500 in income taxes. Imagine that!

By 2009, Trump's mountain of unpaid tax debt had grown to $29.4 million, including interest, but then something big happened in New Jersey. If you guessed it was Chris Christie rolling into the statehouse, you've won all the Oreo cookies Chris Christie is not allowed to eat because Donald Trump said so!

Trump and Christie have been friends, by most accounts, since 2002. They double-date with each other's wives. Hell, Christie went to Trump's marriage to Melania in 2005, and Trump attended Christie's inauguration in 2010. As the two are such good friends, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that almost two years after Christie was in office a settlement was reached that required Trump pay only $5 million dollars in back taxes, a gift of almost $25 million.

We can't outright say "Chris Christie helped Donald Trump cheat his delinquent taxes," an inaction that has sent more talented celebrities like Pete Rose, Chuck Berry, Lauryn Hill, Richard Pryor, and Heidi Fleiss to jail, because we only know for sure that it sure seems like it. We CAN say that Christie appointed his former minion at the U.S. attorney's office, Paula T. Dow, as the attorney general, and then assigned Paula T. Dow to the counsel's office at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. We CAN say that Paula T. Dow struck a deal with Donald Trump to absolve him of a lot of tax debt that could have helped fund community operations in cities like Camden, or keep a simple bridge open. But that's politics, right?

[NY Times]

Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.

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