What you could’ve bought for Trump’s $750 tax payment

What you could’ve bought for Trump’s $750 tax payment

Welcome to Minority Report, a weekly newsletter from the LEVEL team that packs an entire week into a single email. From the president’s…

Okay, either that or he’s evading his taxes. Or both are true. Whatever; we’re not accountants. The New York Times got a hold of Donald Trump’s tax returns and they reveal some pretty shocking (read: not at all shocking) details about the former WrestleMania 24 co-host’s finances. Here are the big-ticket items:

  • In 10 of the last 15 years, Donald Trump has paid exactly zero dollars in taxes.
  • Donald Trump is hundreds of millions of dollars in personal debt and could face a very hefty judgement from the IRS regarding a $73 million refund when his job as president is over (if it ever ends).
  • In 2016 and 2017, Donald Trump paid $750 in taxes.

Seven. Hundred. And. Fifty. Dollars. In other words, 15 Virgils.

(Forwarded this email? Sign up here.)

This has raised all sorts of questions about the legal implications of these revelations, which remain unanswered. Here’s what we do know: $750 is very easy to spend. Here are a few things we have, want, or covet that cost at least as much as Trump paid in an entire whole-ass calendar year.

  1. The PS5 Bundle That Bae Got You

They did get you a PS5 bundle, right? Gamestop was selling one for exactly $749.99; it had games and everything. If they love you, they already made the purchase. If not, throw the whole relationship away.

2. A Month’s Worth of Dates

According to Twitter, every date should cost at least $200. The Red Lobster Industrial Complex never sleeps. By our calculations, that means you only have to go on a month of dates to pay more than the actor from Home Alone 2 paid in taxes three years ago.

3. A Continental Breakfast for Room Service

You’ve been hung over. You’ve been unable to get up out of your hotel room bed. So you order room service. A cup of fruit, an egg, a croissant, a strip of bacon, and a 90-minute wait. The bill? Fourteen bucks for the breakfast and roughly $736 in delivery and service fees.

4. A Follicle of Trump’s Hair, Apparently

Another line item in Trump’s taxes: $70,000 in hair care. Which means one strand of his very real, very authentic hair runs you about $750.

5. The Audible Account You Keep Forgetting to Cancel

We’ve all been there, wanting to test drive a free trial — and we’ve all forgotten to cancel the subscription. Next thing you know, 43 months pass and you haven’t used a single second of the thing.

6. A Student Loan Bill

Let’s just move on.

7. Those Jordans You Couldn’t Get on SNKRS

Nothing like trying to cop a pair of kicks on a Saturday morning only for it to sell out on the SNKRS app two milliseconds after becoming available for purchase. Now you’re on StockX justifying spending a stack on a pair of Jordans.

8. The $777 Burger

This burger in Mandalay Bay in Vegas features Kobe beef and main lobster and is drizzled with 100-year-old aged balsamic vinegar. You can just taste the Jim Crow.

9. A Yeezy Fit

Want to support the *next* president? Cop some Yeezys, sweatpants, and a shirt with holes in it, and you can look like the next hypebeast on the block.

10. VIP Beyoncé Tickets

Just save up now because you never know when the next Beyoncé tour will pop up, pandemic be damned. A cool $750 should get you what you need. Unless you want to bring someone.

11. A First Class Flyout

So, you’ve been online dating throughout months of quarantine and are finally ready to pull the trigger on an IRL meeting? Get virtual bae a flight on Virgin Airlines and know you’re paying more than the host of The Apprentice did in taxes.

12. The New iPhone

It’s finally got USB-C, folks!

13. A Handle of Louis XIII

Want to live out your rap fantasy of imitating Nas in the “Hate Me Now” video? For a few racks you can po’ up some Louie.

14. Red Bottoms


15. Like 2,000 Masks

Because clearly none of us have e-goddamn-nuff of them on a daily cotdamn basis.

— David Dennis Jr., senior staff writer

This Week in Racism

🗑 White Woman Loves Racist-Ass Decorations — and We’ll Give You One Guess What Her Name Is

Neighbors feud. It happens. You know, one has loud parties, or the other never shovels their sidewalk after snow, or [checks notes] one puts out WHITE LIVES MATTER yard signs and hangs a window sign that says WHITE PRIDE WORLDWIDE above a statuette of a Black man eating watermelon. Sorry, come again? A man in St. Louis’ predominantly Black Vandeventer neighborhood invited a news crew to see how his neighbor Karen Hudson (yes, Karen) has been decorating her house with veiled threats. It’s not just the yard signs and caricatures; there’s also a shooting-range target hanging in a window that faces his house. The city claims it can’t do anything because both parties live on private property, which may be legally true, but we’d be surprised — and frankly, a little disappointed — if Halloween came and went without the Hudson house getting a little extra love from the “trick” side of the spectrum. (KMOV4)

🗑 Black Attorney Gets Mistaken For a Defendant Three Times In a Single Day, UK Shrugs Wanly in Response

Becoming a lawyer in the UK — sorry, a barrister — comes with all kinds of rituals US attorneys don’t engage in, like wearing robes and throwback wigs that make you look like you have wooden teeth and believe that humans can own other humans. Thankfully, some British courtrooms don’t require such fusty-ass fineries, which is why Alexandra Wilson didn’t wear hers when showing up to work last week. For some reason, though, people kept assuming she wasn’t a defense barrister at all, but a defendant. Now, why do you suppose that is? Why might a court clerk tell a woman to leave the courtroom until her case was called, or a security guard try to look her up on a list of defendants, or another lawyer tell her to sign in with the usher? We look at a photo of the young Black barrister, and we’re just stumped. (BBC)

🗑 Chicago Sanitation Supervisor Proves to Be an Actual Garbage Person

Heidi McGee, a sanitation worker in Chicago, checks in with her supervisor via text message throughout the day. Last week, when she told him she was taking a break, his response was both puzzling and oddly fitting for someone whose life’s work involves trash: “GTFO U don’t like it here!!! HEHEHEHEHEHE! IRON MIKE aint afraid to standup to these LOWLIFE N*****S!” When McGee got back to work, her supervisor apologized and said he had accidentally forwarded it to her after someone sent it to him; the conversation was about Mike Ditka, who had recently said that athletes protesting the anthem should leave the country. So…we’ve got questions. The first one is how the hell do you accidentally forward a text message? And the second one is what the hell is up with dude if this is the group chat? But both point to the same conclusion: if you’re still watching the NFL, how do you live with yourself? (CBS 2 Chicago)

The LEVEL Up: Culture Picks From the Editors

📺 Sneakerheads

In a new comedy series, a reformed sneakerhead turned family man (Allen Maldonado of The Last O.G. fame) relapses thanks to a chance encounter with an irresponsible old friend (Andrew Bachelor a.k.a. social media star King Bach). The prize? A rare pair of deadstock Jordans, with more flip potential than Dominique Dawes. Money is blown, shenanigans ensue, and Paul Pierce makes a cameo. Hypebeasts will appreciate the attention to detail (despite some, ahem, curious creative choices); for the rest of us, the Complex-produced series serves as a reminder that bots and wonky apps still reign supreme in the sneaker game. (Netflix)

🎶 Spillage Village, Spilligion

Dreamville’s 2019 rap camp pushed the creative limits of modern musical collaboration, with the sterling Revenge of the Dreamers III to show for its synergy. One year later, the J. Cole-led label’s affiliate collective Spillage Village revisited the communal approach, hunkering down in a rented house in Atlanta for a couple of months to live and experience the endless fuckery of 2020 together. The result of this live-in recording setup finds J.I.D, 6lack, Earthgang, Mereba, Jurdan Bryant, and producers Hollywood JB and Benji channelling this year’s collective confusion and angst into a sonically experimental batch of songs that oscillate between hopeful (“PsalmSing”) and hopeless (“End of Daze”). The lean cuisine of a dozen dope tracks almost makes you forget about your own quarantine 15. (Spotify)

📺 48 Hours Suspicion: “Ambush of Kevin Harris”

Back in 2009, a rising Los Angeles producer named Kevin “Track Bully” Harris II was on the brink of takeoff: He’d recently sold a beat to Ice Cube and reportedly had interest from Rihanna and Britney Spears for more of his instrumentals. And then, suddenly, the well-liked 21-year-old musician and college student was mysteriously gunned down while sitting in his car outside of an Inglewood recording studio. His parents claim he was a good kid with his nose clean, but his ominous statements and behavior shortly before Harris’ death suggest he may have known his days were numbered. Witnesses went silent. The FBI got involved. Yet the case remains unsolved, with few leads on a possible motive. This investigative report explores the life, death, and premonitions of a promising beatmaker. (9/30 at 10 p.m. EDT, CBS)

LEVEL Read of the Week

T.I. at 40: Candor, Slander, and Hunting for a Battle With 50 Cent

T.I. doesn’t just reign as king of the South — he built the damn throne. Recently blowing out 40 birthday candles, the slick-tongued former D-boy has extended his influence into Hollywood, podcasting, and social justice. In a comprehensive interview, the ATL rapper looks back on his storied career, presents a plan for reparations, and takes aim at two bullies from Queens: Fiddy and Trump. Read the story.

You are signed up to receive emails from Level. You can adjust your settings at the link in the footer of this email.