It’s probably a sign of the times which defines this span of every quadrennial cycle as the silly season, but the media can manage to take any comment from the candidates – be it ever so trivial – and figure out a way to turn it into a controversy. With that in mind it probably won’t come as any surprise that when Donald Trump was tagged for the Sunday shows, a question which seems like one of the most obvious things in the world immediately turned into a punditry dust-up. What did the interviewer want to know? How much does the Donald pay in taxes on all those billions? (CBS News)
Presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he pays as little in taxes as possible just like every other taxpayer in America.
“I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons. Number one, I’m a businessman. And that’s the way you’re supposed to do it,” Trump said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “The other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse. And I hate it.”
This is now, apparently, “a bad thing.” But to listen to the more liberal minds commenting on it you’d think that the man just admitted to drowning kittens in a gunny sack. Trump hasn’t even released his tax returns yet – assuming he even plans to – but this will obviously be a key subject of discussion. What was missing from the initial debate, however, was an analysis of why some people find this admission to be shocking or even a negative in any fashion. Had it taken place, I imagine it going something like this:
Pundit 1: That Donald Trump makes a lot of money but avoids paying much in taxes.
Pundit 2: Wait… so you’re saying he broke the law by evading taxes?
P1: Well, no… not “broke the law” as such, but he certainly could have paid more.
P2: So you’re saying that he paid the least he legally could under current tax codes?
P1: Basically, yes.
P2: So why is that a bad thing again?
P1: Well, you know… he could have chipped in more, right?
While this tells us relatively little of value about The Donald (beyond the fact that he’s not the sort of fool who is easily parted from his money) it does speak to what seems to have become a fundamental bit of doctrine among Democrats and, sadly, more than a few Republicans. There seems to be a race among liberals seeking office to show that they paid plenty of taxes. It’s a badge of honor among Democrats, proving how in touch they are with the core party belief that rich people are evil and they need to apologize for their wealth, while shoveling as much of it back into the Greater Good Fund as possible in a show of penance. When Republicans engage in the same parlor games I become a bit dismayed because one would imagine that a cornerstone of being a conservative would be to obey the laws but not be foolish with their wealth. And that includes not shipping off any of it to the black hole of Washington, DC beyond the amount which is absolutely necessary.
Do we really want to elect somebody who is that dim witted and foolish with their own bank account? It seems to me that such a move wouldn’t bode well for us when they are charged with riding shotgun over the public purse. But then again, perhaps that’s why the national debt has gone up roughly 10 trillion dollars in recent years.