Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

If you had to reduce the roiling Donald Trump tax soap opera to two numbers, it would be these: $2.1bn and $750.

The first is the president’s post-coronavirus net worth, as calculated by Forbes. The second is the annual tax that Trump paid in 2016 and 2017, according to a devastating investigation published in The New York Times.

Just to put that number in perspective, US workers paid an average of $12,200 income tax in 2017, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

How the Trump Organisation’s loyal tax masseuses manipulate the conglomerate’s apparently considerable losses in the noble art of getting away with paying as little as possible is irrelevant. Americans will remember those two numbers.

Some will be generous in their praise because beating the house is, after all, ingrained in the American Way. But many will not.

Still, $1,500 is better than a kick in the jacksie. This is what the federal government could have spent Trump’s $1,500 on: 72 seconds flight time on Air Force One (cost: $200,000 an hour). Or three Sig-Sauer P320-M18 9mm pistols (the US military’s new standard sidearm, roughly $500 each to citizens, but probably a lot more for the Feds). Or 14.8 Pulaskis, simple but highly prized firefighters’ axes, currently being used to good effect in blazing California ($101.16 on Amazon). Or 181.7km of travel in one of the "Beast" limousines used in the presidential motorcade (roughly 8km per 3.8l at an average price of $2.64 per gallon). Or 5.2 days’ employment for a California firefighter (average annual salary $79,318). Or a day-and-a-half’s service from the president of the US (annual salary $400,000, excluding benefits).

The faces of the country’s greatest presidents adorn its paper money, starting with the first, George Washington, on the $1 bill and topping out with Benjamin Franklin on the $100 note.

There are notes that are no longer in circulation, such as the $5,000 bill, which bore the portrait of James Madison, and the $10,000 bill with Salmon P Chase.

To mark the passing (in God we trust, the money says, but, still, don’t forget to vote) of the Ponzi scheme of the current US administration, there could be no more fitting tribute than a banknote carrying the portrait of Donald Trump. Denomination: $750.

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