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Trump’s income tax questioned

Maxine Luchterhand



Income taxes have been a point of controversy since the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913, giving Congress the authority to tax personal income. The number of tax brackets has declined from seven to four, while the number of forms has increased from one to over 800, with most of them permitting a credit or deduction allowing corporations, or people with large incomes, to pay less tax. The New York Times’ recent disclosure of President Trump’s taxes for the past 15 years illustrates the problem of too many legal tax dodges and the opportunity for illegal misrepresentation of income and expenses.

The majority of Americans working for a weekly paycheck would never consider misrepresenting their income and expenses. Employing a stable of corporate lawyers to game the tax system is also not practical for the average worker. Corporate America has refined the practice of deducting “business expenses” to a fine art, allowing them and their owners to pay little, and often no taxes on incomes measured in millions of dollars. Many would consider parts of the current tax code to be legalized fraud.

Even while we hope for the President’s speedy recovery we are forced to question his honesty. We know he has often lied to Americans about COVID-19, putting the well-being of many at great risk, but now his self-acclaimed assessment as a business guru and financial wizard is also discredited.

The questions are many, not the least of which is how a financial wizard could lose a billion dollars on a single business venture. The nuances of how a self-professed billionaire, that refused to divest his business dealings while serving as the President of the United States, can reasonably and/ or responsibly defend paying only $750 in taxes are highly questionable. It is time for the American people to demand wealthy Americans pay their fair share and their president to disclose his financial dealings.