Reports that President Donald Trump has paid little or no income tax in recent years has sparked broad outrage of some rich Democrats and other people who have taken to social media to claim they paid more taxes than the president.
Many took to social and created the #IPaidMoreTaxesThanDonaldTrump hashtag that began trending on Monday. Meanwhile, Democratic rival Joe Biden’s election campaign, seizing on the backlash, launched a pin with the words: ‘I Paid More In Taxes Than Donald Trump.’
Trump defended his record on Monday after the New York Times reported he had paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017, after years of reporting heavy losses from his business enterprises.
Trump, in a series of Twitter posts, said he had paid “many millions of dollars in taxes” and that he had many more assets than debt. He did not provide evidence or promise to release any financial statements before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
George Callas, managing director at law firm Steptoe LLP and former Republican tax counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, criticized the leaking of confidential tax information, while acknowledging some wealthy people do exploit loopholes. “As a group, the richest pay a much higher share of their income in federal taxes than others. But there is a subset who avoid paying much if any,” Callas wrote on Twitter.
The president has been criticized by his Democratic opponents, but I haven’t heard any of them mentioning the fact that this president works 15-20 hours per day, 7 days a week. He also donates all of his annual $400,000 salary to charities around the country, which I believe is also a tax-deductible contribution.
And it appears that his supporters are sticking with the president. Here is one example from supporter, Polly Hartsook, 68, who runs a farm with her husband in Ringgold County, Iowa. She said the tax system was written to help “job creators.” “My guess is Donald Trump didn’t prepare his tax returns, his tax preparers did it,” said Hartsook, who said she voted for Trump in 2016 and will do so again. “Rather than give his money to the Treasury, Trump reinvests his money in things that provide jobs to other people.”
It is unclear whether the events will affect how Americans vote. Trump’s Twitter posts received tens of thousands of ‘likes’, as his supporters spoke out in his defense.
It is just good money management for Americans to do all they can to reduce their tax bill. Most taxpayers feel that it is just sound business principles to pay the least amount legally possible. And why shouldn’t the president?
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