Day 85: Taxes

Today is traditionally known as tax day, and it’s the first in what is by all accounts an unusual presidency.

It was marked by many people filing their taxes and many more protesting the fact that Donald Trump has yet to release his tax returns. Having demonstrated a penchant for extremely shady business deals and possessing massive debt obligations, it is important to know where Trump gets his income from, in case he is compromised by a foreign power.

But Trump has yet to release his tax returns. He refuses to release his tax returns. We’ve obtained two parts of Trump’s tax returns, one from 2005 and one from 1995. The return from 2005 shows that Trump paid $5.3 million dollars as a tax rate and approximately $31 million dollars using the alternative minimum tax. His income that year was about $150 million dollars, meaning he paid a regular tax rate of less than 5 percent. He proposed eliminating the alternative minimum tax, which would save him tens of millions of dollars.

His return from 1995 indicates that he wrote off $916 million dollars worth of deductions, meaning he could have avoided paying taxes for quite some time. It is consistent with the numerous bankruptcies Trump filed for with his businesses, including a $900 million personal liability on the Trump Taj Mahal bankruptcy.

And his tax proposals would benefit the wealthy, who are enjoying some of the lowest tax rates in decades. They are also able to write off expenses on million dollar yachts, their oil and gas businesses are able to write off billions more and when they want to get away, they can write off luxury jet travel on their taxes.

The criminal element in all of this is that many of these billionaires, like Betsy DeVos, want to raid public resources to put money into civic programs that only the wealthy can afford. “Incidentally,” this can also produce profit for the aforementioned rich people. This cycle of nepotism in our society must end. It is possible to have private companies benefit the public without leaching us of our resources. We need to make it a political priority.

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