Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Why Trump taxes our forbearance

This thing about Donald Trump and taxes hits a nerve.

For one thing, estimated federal taxes for the quarter were just due, and that payment managed to drain a bank account used by It’s Personal.

Indeed, that payment drains that account every quarter.

As one of the kids in the family is fond of saying when she is frustrated with something, “Grrrrrr.”

Back in the last election, it seemed shocking to learn that rich-guy Mitt Romney paid a tax rate of 14 percent. It hurt him in the polls, which was well deserved.

Would that the quarterly taxes here were at that rate.

So skipping ahead to this election, rich-guy Donald Trump seems to be, could be, strongly hinting that he pays no federal taxes at all.

Tell us all about building a wall, Donald, and that might strike some of us as flawed, but don’t pay any taxes, and that hits a big fat nerve that goes from head to toe.

Our local newspaper carried a piece this morning that echoed that thought, “Tax returns appear to sink Trump on TV.”

Trump himself set off a new round of speculation on what taxes he may, or may not, be paying. 

Clinton raised the issue of his taxes at this week's debate, suggesting that he may not pay any.

“That makes me smart,” he responded.

It makes the rest of us smart too, in quite a different sense of that word. You know, the definition of “smart” that suggests a sharp, stinging pain.

Joe Biden, who in many quarters is now the candidate we wish had entered the race, echoed that sentiment yesterday.

“It angers me, it angers me,” he was quoted by the NY Times as saying yesterday.

What we know for a fact is that in 1978 and 1979 Trump paid no federal taxes at all, also a sharp, stinging pain.

We really don’t know for sure beyond that, because unlike presidential candidates for decades, he declines to release his tax returns.

Clinton took a few guesses at why that might be, but really, her guess is as good as yours.

The irony of all this is that a guy who is a self-proclaimed billionaire – and who knows the truth of that, absent tax returns? – has a large following of older voters who are less educated and who earn less than typical Republicans.

You’d have to guess that they pay their taxes and don’t have their names plastered over buildings everywhere, and on products like steak and fine wine.

And they most likely don’t have a big jet with their name on the side of it, nor do they have a model for a wife, albeit his third spouse.

But at root, the tax thing resonates more than any of those other things.

You pay yours.

Is it just too smug for him to suggest he doesn’t pay his?

Dave's News Insider

  • This is a different kind of story for us to lead the News Insider with. It comes from the White House, and it is gripping, and if it doesn’t strike an emotional with you then there’s something wrong. A 6-year-old boy from New York writes President Obama a letter offering to throw a big welcoming party for a child in Syria who was picked up by an ambulance. It’s as much humanity as you’ve seen for awhile.

  • Ever heard of the Jeff Davis 8? Me either, until this morning, when Rolling Stone carried a piece about eight women slain in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. There’s a new book – “Murder in the Bayou” -- about those unsolved murders of women who were, by all accounts, down on their luck before they were killed.  

Wednesday's Photo: the beauty Trump scorned

But for Donald Trump, you may never have heard of Alicia Machado, who was Miss Universe in 1996.

The Venezuelan beauty was then, and now, fat shamed by Trump, who, you may have noticed, is not exactly svelte himself.

Back when she was Miss Universe, Trump dragged her to a gym so reporters and photographers could record her working out.

Hillary Clinton called him out on his behavior during the debate on Tuesday.

But for Trump, there was no backing down. Here’s what he told Fox News after the debate:

“She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”

The photo above is after her weight gain.

Clinton ripped him for his conduct, telling the national television audience:

“And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina.”