Sunday, August 14, 2016

Clinton Paid Over 43% In Taxes -- Did Trump Pay Anything ?

What tax rate does Donald Trump pay? Does he even pay any taxes at all? We don't know what he's paid recently, but we do know that he has paid nothing in the past (taking advantage of some lucrative real estate loopholes). And the reason we don't know is because he is absolutely refusing to release his tax returns.

It is not a legal requirement for him to release those tax returns, but it is something that all modern presidential candidates of both parties have done. They have done that to show the voters that they are not crooked -- that they pay their taxes (and that they have nothing to hide about how they made their income). That makes me wonder -- what is Donald Trump trying to hide?

Does he get by without paying any taxes at all? That's something no middle class or working class American could do, and no rich person should be able to do (although many of them do that by using special deductions and hiding money overseas). Is he hiding the amount of income he has (embarrassed that it's not nearly what he claims it is)? Is he trying to hide income from foreign sources (Russians, Muslims) -- income that would not make his supporters happy?

Compare Trump's refusal to release his tax returns to his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Clinton has released many years of tax returns, and just released last year's return. Note on the chart below that in 2015, Clinton paid 34.2% of her income in federal taxes, and another 9% in state/local taxes. That means she (and Bill) paid 43.2% of their income in taxes, and that is after they gave 9.8% of their adjusted gross income to charity.

Hillary and Bill Clinton pay their fair share of taxes, and donate substantially to charities. Does Donald Trump do either? It's time he showed the American people. If he doesn't then they will be justified in thinking the worst -- that he is miserly and a tax cheat.

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