Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to visualize a Trumpload of loss from The Donald’s 1995 income tax returns

On October 1st the New York Times published first pages from three of Donald Trump’s 1995 state income tax returns showing that The Donald had reported an enormous loss - $915,729,293. How could we visualize this outrageously large amount of money?

Wikipedia says that a dollar bill has a thickness of 0.0043 inch. Put all that money in a stack, and it would be 3,937,636 inches tall. Divide that by 12 to convert to feet, and then by 5280 to convert to miles. That’s a 62 mile-high (or 100 kilometer) pile of dollar bills. 

62 miles has a special significance. It is the height for the Kármán line - the boundary between the earth’s atmosphere and outer space. So, a Trumpload would reach up to the very edge of space. Wow!

On October 2nd at LawNewz Robert Barnes wrote about how The New York Times likely broke law by publishing Trump’s taxes. Free speech is no excuse. He talked about Federal law, which clearly is NOT applicable to those state returns. Others foolishly referred to his article. On October 2nd Jane Genova blogged about Trump - Can He Bring Down NYT, Way Hogan Brought Down Gawker? On October 3rd at The Hill Joe Concha blogged about how New York Times forfeits ethics in publishing Trump taxes. Others thought and wrote more carefully. At the Tax Foundation on October 2nd, Joseph Henchman and Alan Cole described Five facts about the Trump tax return disclosure. At the Washington Post on October 3rd Callum Borchers wrote about how The New York Times risked legal trouble to publish Donald Trump’s Tax return.

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