Why Trump’s “Just Following the Tax Code” Dodge on Not Paying Taxes Won’t Work

According to Trump’s enablers, it’s “genius” to not pay taxes.  It’s absolute his right to take advantage of the broken tax code, blah, blah, blah.  But the kind of tax avoidance schemes available to Trump are clearly not available to the average guy who has to pay their taxes in support of soldiers, air traffic controllers (even if we don’t own our own planes), roads, courts (another thing he gets a lot of use out of), etc. etc. etc.

The fact is the richest people in the country get the most use out of our infrastructure, our public amenities and all of the civilization that our taxes pay for, that’s why it’s always awful when individuals and corporations with the most capital refuse to pay their fair share.

It’s also not a great argument to say that you take every possible tax loop hole your high priced accountants and lawyers can possibly find to get your taxes as close to zero as possible.  Especially when you denounce said tax code as broken.  Nobody is forcing you to take all of those deductions, nobody forcing you to pay as little as possible, contrary to what many of his surrogates were saying on TV this weekend.  What was released was his personal tax return with then wife Marla Maples.  Donald Trump does not have a fiduciary duty to himself not to pay taxes.  Nobody is going to sue him for not utilizing those tax strategies.  There’s no credible “I was just following orders” here.

It’s especially bad when you have criticized others for not paying taxes, but do not pay your own.  Read William Saletan’s comprehensive take down in Slate.

In this Tweet he was like Romney pointing to the 47% of Americans at the bottom of the income scale who pay payroll taxes, but do not end up paying income taxes because they do not earn enough!  If they’re freeloaders, then who is Trump?  This is the massive malfunction of today’s Republicans who believe rich people should pay less in taxes and everyone else should pay more, but they should vote Republican because they’ll be great for their finances.  Sounds absurd when you say it out loud and even more so when you know the history that the economy always does better under Democrats, the stock market does better under Democrats, more jobs are created under Democrats, etc.

 

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