I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

At long last, the Trump tax returns were made public. While a scramble of usual Democratic suspects focuses weakly on the latest going-nowhere “gotchas”, Republicans are crowing “see, nothing illegal, here” and wailing at the injustice of it all–vowing to make everyone down to dogcatcher turn over their 1040 short forms too (sorry, animal rescue professionals–it’s just an expression).

I said I wasn’t going to get all mucked up in the Repug/Libtard trenches, and I’m not. Like the War to End All Wars, it has made caualties of us all. Let there be no doubt, though, where I stand on the issue of disparity of wealth. I am convinced that a system that so thoroughly allows the wealthy to make their own laws in America is the biggest impediment to social progress we face.

You could ask why a rich citizen should be obligated to pay more dollars in taxes than an average one–they both take up the same amount of room, right? Seems logical, if you don’t go too far with it. But my response would be that wealth is only acheived where infrastructure provides a place for it to grow. Those who reap the greatest benefit from the orderliness of society should be charged the most to ensure it’s continuation. It’s good policy for them and for us all.

Unfortunately, greed more often than not blinds the rich and their upper middle class henchmen to this fact, making them the most disappointing people in America, in my opinion.

We already knew that Trump paid essentially no income taxes for five years. How is that possible? How do you run a gilded penthouse in Manhattan and a palatial refuge in Miami on no income? How do you staff and fuel your own helicopters to pick you up after you’ve arrived on your own 757? (The 757 ended up in disrepair for a while, but has lately been seen doing patterns again, as things must be looking up)

This is what I want to know. I wan’t to see a breakdown. Trump carried forward deductions for a billion dollars of business losses. When the law allowing this was passed, folks were allowed to carry them over for one year. Then it was five years. Now there is no year limit. Guess who signed that law? And what about those losses? How legitimate are they? The Trump Organization is private. You won’t be seeing those balance sheets.

I’m only using Trump as a highly public example, here. Tax avoidance goes on throughout all tiers of business in America–the richest just have an exponentially better time of it.

So, yea, the returns are disclosed, but in my dreams, this is what I want to see.

I want someone to explain in common terms, in a book or lecture series, maybe, how the rich avoid paying taxes. I want it put in the most uncomplicated way possible, but I don’t want to hear simply that there were expenses or losses. I want to know where they came from and how they were legitimate. I want examples based on real people. I want to know why it’s advisable for a bank to loan hundreds of millions of dollars at low interest to an organization hemorrhaging a billion dollars.

I want to know, but more, I want everyone to understand exactly how it is possible and who is responible for the laws that make it so.

Then, I want everyone to know what all of this costs them. I want charts and graphs. I want the cost to each of us for subsidizing the rich. The rich maintain that they make all of our prosperity possible. Fine, but I want everyone to understand just how much they’re charging us for the service.

And after that, I want everyone to know what can be done to fix it. What does a fair revenue system look like? How do you create an IRS-like beuracracy that has a decent chance of riding herd on tens of thousands of businesses with hundreds of thousands of subsidiaries?

That’s all I want.

Happy New Year.

One response to “I Read the News Today, Oh Boy”

  1. Just like the phase, “Oh what a tangled web we weave/when we practice to deceive”. -Sir Walter Scott, you pick at one loose end or another and the whole scheme falls apart. What we can do about punishing those that deceive the government on taxes and subsequent reforms has been the problem.
    Since Reagan, the US has been hamstrung and tangled from a lack of tax receipts that are supposed to buoy our standard of living. The 1%ers/would be oligarchs/ and the instant wealth tech/ finance rich whom became smart overnight with their booty control the levers of tax legislation that should be meted out fairly.
    Until the voting populace sees those disparities clearly perhaps with real time examples as you suggest, we all will struggle to “ do the right thing” when doing our taxes.


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