Saturday, May 11, 2019

Blindsided By Hindsight

"HALF of Americans don't pay income tax despite crippling govt debt."*
Can you believe that? The U.S. deficit has been parked somewhere in the high billions to trillions for some time now, and as an American citizen I feel some responsibility to that. Which is why I pay my fair share. I also tend to put my money where my mouth is, since I want all those safety nets and programs that keep people like me from falling into the economic or infrastructure abyss.
If we want nice roads and schools and robotic drones to kill our enemies, we have to pay. Which is why so many people look at those big bank accounts and wonder what portion of that wad of cash ought to be paid in taxes but creative and expensive accountants won't allow it. According to some experts, almost half of Americans don't pay income tax at all. While so many of us are handing over a share of our annual income to pay for drones and the like, there are hundreds of millions of US who are taking the ride for free. Back then, The Heritage Foundation argued that the reduction in the number of taxpayers will create an electorate dominated by non-taxpayers, who will always support higher taxes and spending because their own money is not at stake.
Like our current "president." According to tax returns acquired by the New York Times, his highness not only avoided paying income tax from 1985 to 1994 by losing one billion dollars over that period, meaning he had no "income" to tax for eight of those ten years. What do you call a billionaire who loses a billion dollars? Some would say "clever." Some would say "cheat." 
Of course, there are plenty of reasons not to pay income tax. You could be retired. Or a child. Or on some form of government assistance. Which is kind of what the "president" seems to be able to do. Arousing the ire of those on the left and right of him, who wonder why he and other folks prone to putting their name in big gold letters on things don't have to pay their way. Maybe it was the philosopher Steve Martin who explained it best: "...what do I say to the tax man when he comes to my door and says, ‘You.. have never paid taxes’?” Two simple words. Two simple words in the English language: “I forgot!” 
Which would be infinitely preferable to expressing outrage as a private citizen, and then once you had ascended to the highest office in the land, simply ignoring the big fat goose egg in the room. Crippling government debt starts at the top, crippling our government still further. 
*Donald J. Trump, February 23, 2012

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