Taxes

Spare me the outrage about Donald Trump’s taxes.

Really. I know this might not be the most popular take, but who among us hasn’t deducted a few million dollars of questionable business expenses?

Like, am I really using my $400 Juicero juice-squeezing machine exclusively for work? I mean, I do like throwing fruit liquid at associates, but it’s probably a stretch to say this was a work-related purchase, even if I did participate in a class-action suit against the company that made the thing.

And, yes, of course I did work during my trip to Fiji last year, but did that give me the right to write the whole thing off, even if I did end up involved in some local litigation after running over a coconut vendor in my rental car?

And, gosh, if every consultant I paid hundreds of thousands of dollar in fees to was actually an independent contractor and not a member of my family I was trying to use as a tax shelter, well…. Come on, my 6-year-old has lots of great insights about forum shopping, why shouldn’t I pay him $62,000/hour for his time?

Bottom line, we all do it, and did we really expect any different from the President? The shocking news would have been if he was paying reasonable amounts in taxes on the straightforward profits of a well-functioning business. But to find out that he’s nearly bankrupt, cheats the government at every turn, and has a web of questionable write-offs and dodges? This is just par for the course. It’s no more surprising than when the head of our internal investigations unit was found with the severed heads of three of our paralegals in a desk drawer. This is just what you expect in the world these days. Like when one of our recruiters ran through a law school student center with a machete and started hacking away at the students looking for a summer job. Like when the chairman emeritus of the firm built an explosive device in his basement and set it off in the lobby of the firm that poached one of our top-earning partners. This is just how things work these days.

What was my point? Oh, yeah, taxes. What I’m waiting for is the public release of the names of Trump’s accountants. Because they’re the big winners here. They’re going to get a ton of new business.

Frankly, I’d let them do my taxes — even if they have to do them from prison.