Why Trump’s Taxes Matter.

3 months ago Michael Dubinsky 0

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Trump apologists and advocates are saying that the damning New York Times report on his taxes (and the fact that he could very well not have paid federal income taxes for 18 years after 1995) don’t mean that he would be a bad president. Rather, proclaims the common argument—a version of which Mike Pence dutifully trotted out at the Vice Presidential debate—he was taking advantage of laws about tax write-offs.

Some Trump supporters, including his biggest fan (Trump himself), have tried to spin it as a move of “genius.” Here’s why that isn’t the case:

1.) Trump Doesn’t Know Anything About Tax Law

It can’t very well be a move of genius if he didn’t know what the hell was going on. As in so many other instances, he was blindly led along by experts whose hard work he took credit for. As recently as October 2, he was bragging about his unmatched tax code prowess, tweeting “I know our complex tax laws better than anyone who has ever run for president and am the only one who can fix them. @nytimes.”

Well, according to Jack Mitnick, Trump’s tax attorney in the mid-1990s, that isn’t the case at all. In a recent interview with NBC, Mitnick said, “As far as I know, and that only goes through late ’96, he didn’t understand the code. Nor would he have had the time and the patience to learn the provisions. That’s a lifetime of experience.”

Mitnick went on to say that “He was interested in the bottom line, not the detail. Staff under my supervision did his returns – he had no involvement in the preparation…He knew that we would produce the lowest possible tax for him within the law.”

This is just another example of Trump blatantly misrepresenting his expertise in a certain area. In this case—unless he’s done a hell of a lot of studying since ’95—he probably knows as little about tax laws as I do. And I don’t know jack shit. But I’ve never said otherwise, and I only run for President of the United States in my fever-induced nightmares.

2.) Trump Lied Repeatedly About Releasing His Tax Returns. 

As many media outlets and his opponent’s campaign have pointed out at every opportunity, Trump is the first presidential candidate in modern US history not to release his tax returns. The other financial documents that he has made public are insufficient and do not provide the same information that tax returns would.

His oft-repeated excuse was that the IRS is auditing him and that it was therefore illegal for him to make his tax information public. He insisted that he had every intention of sharing the information as soon as the audit was complete.

Bullshit. As IRS Chief John Koskinen explained, “The taxpayer controls his returns. There’s nothing in an IRS audit process generally that would keep you from sharing that information generally, any way you wanted to.” So maybe Trump really is being audited; it’s not too much of a stretch to think that there’s some sketchy stuff in his taxes. But that isn’t what’s preventing him from sharing his returns. And he never ended…thanks to the New York Times, we can see why.

3.) It Reveals A Cynicism Unbefitting Of A Serious Presidential Candidate

If Trump really hasn’t paid taxes for two decades, it shows above all that he is unconcerned with contributing to the country’s infrastructure, support systems for those in need, and public services. This isn’t out of character for many American businesspeople. They all too often leech off of tax loopholes, get rich by exploiting their employees and using elements of American society to which they have no intention of contributing later. They then predictably spout off their “up by the boostraps/if you work hard you’ll get rich” Horatio Alger fantasy narratives.

When a person with wealth of the magnitude that Trump claims to have finds ways not to pay taxes, it shows a disregard for doing one’s part to contribute to American society and ensure that all citizens can meet their basic needs and pursue their goals. It’s a “Fuck you, I got mine” mentality, and that’s not the leadership we need in a country already in danger of irrevocably becoming a plutocracy.

We are a new blog intelligently reporting and analyzing current events through a leftist lens. We are trying to combat the digital media trends of clickbait and reporting with no substance. If you like what you see here, please like us on Facebook.