Donald Trump And Taxes

Recently in the news I have been seeing a lot of coverage of Donald Trump not releasing his tax returns.  I’ve seen articles written about him, painting him as this evil tax evader who doesn’t want to pay his “fair share” of taxes.  Basically, being a shrewd business man, Trump has been trying to pay as little taxes as possible, and bragged about it during the presidential debate.

In response to this, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon saying, “What amazes me about Donald Trump is his lack of sensibilities.  I mean the way he talks about, ya know, rooting for the housing market to fail because that’s business.  That’s not business, that’s callous.  Or that ‘I paid no taxes and that makes me smart.’  What, does that make the rest of us, suckers?”, to which the crowd roared with applause.

Now I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, but people need to think more deeply about this issue.  It reminds me of a problem my cousin faced when he worked at Walmart’s Distribution Center.  At his job, he drove a forklift around, moving boxes around from point A to point B.  Management assigns them workloads, and they are rewarded if they can do the job quickly.  With this incentive, many of his coworkers began to lie that they were doing more work than they actually were, and so management pushed up the regular daily quota for boxes moved to some unobtainable amount.  This didn’t bother his coworkers, since they just continued to lie and look good, however, now my cousin was looking bad because he didn’t appear to be  moving as much produce around the warehouse as the others.  Now my cousin is a really honest guy.  He is a deeply religious Christian who doesn’t believe in lying.  So, he ended up getting fired, mainly because he wouldn’t lie about his productivity like the others.

So what does this have to do with Donald Trump and him trying to keep his business taxes down?  Imagine if you have a company in a particular industry, and all of your competitors are taking advantage of tax loopholes and other opportunities, but you do not.  You’re going to lose and be put out of business.  You can’t compete on an equal playing field as the others.  You can’t blame an individual businessman for doing what is in his personal best interest, because if he doesn’t, his competitors will and they will drive him out of business.  So, it’s like Mr. Trump said in the debate, him keeping his taxes low makes him a smart business man.  To me it’s a gray area.  That doesn’t make him good or bad, but he’s just doing what he needs to do to succeed.

Now of course its a huge problem if big corporations don’t pay taxes, but why is this the case?  We should instead be addressing the corrupt system of money in politics, where rich people donate money to politicians’ campaigns in order to get special favors.  That’s what’s wrong.  The laws themselves need to be rewritten so that both Donald Trump and all of his competitors have to pay the same taxes as the rest of us.  But painting him as an individual tax evader is just dishonest and lacks any sophistication and understanding of capitalism.

But this is what politicians do.  Just look at that sleazy salesmen smile Joe Biden has on his face.  That smug high ground he pretends to have.  Hillary Clinton received hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions for this election alone.  Why do you think all these corporations give her all that money?  Why do you think all of these people have given money to her foundation, especially when she was a senator and secretary of state?  They’re planning to further rig the system in their favor, getting the very tax breaks and special favors Biden is accusing Trump of using.  Who is worse, a person playing in an unfair system because he has to, and then succeeding, or the person rigging the system to begin with?

I don’t like either candidate.  Who knows if I’ll even vote.  I’ve never seen an election which is this nasty.  Lately it’s become like an episode of Jerry Springer.  Hillary chimes in, “Donald talks about how hot is daughter Ivanka is, and even says he would date her!  What kind of father is this?  And he calls women pigs!”  Donald responds, “Oh yeah, Hillary, look at how you treated the women your husband Bill had affairs with!  You wouldn’t even believe their harrowing accounts of sexual abuse, you monster!”  Then Donald Trump brings one of the women Bill Clinton had an affair with to sit on the front row during the presidential debate.  It’s like, wow.  This is really nasty.  Reality television has made it all the way to our presidential politics.

2 thoughts on “Donald Trump And Taxes”

  1. To me what Trump did as far as his taxes are concerned is not grey area at all. He owes as much as the tax code tells him he should be owing. He has an obligation to his shareholders or whomever has invested in the company to maximize profit, I think it would actually be illegal for him to do otherwise. If we have a problem with what he did, then we should change the tax code, not blame him for understanding it and taking advantage of it. If we want to blame him for not paying his fair share then we are probably all guilty of that. We all take steps to try to take all the deductions we possibly can to lower our tax debt.

    Hilary blames trump for taking advantage of the estate tax and runs ads on it saying so, but if you look through her returns, she took advantage of the exact same thing to the tune of 700k+ or something.

    Not trying to say vote for Trump or anything, but to get on his case for his tax thing is pretty ridiculous in my mind.

    1. Matt, I pretty much agree with you. What reservations I have stem from Immanuel Kant’s maxim that we all must act in a way in which we would wish our behavior become a universal law. If everyone found ways to get out of paying taxes, how would we fund our public schools, defense, and other necessary societal functions? But I don’t blame him personally. As you said, it’s a problem in the tax code. I think it’s wise for him to maximize his business profits, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

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