By Nancy Churchill
Granted, Donald Trump’s predatory attitude toward women disqualifies him for any office, much less president of the United States. But there is one equally “yuge” policy reason not to vote for him: He thinks it’s good business not to pay taxes.
I consider it cheating our country out of desperately-needed revenue.
The Constitution agrees. Section 8 of Article 1 gives Congress the “Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare” uniformly “throughout the United States.”
Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan also embrace non-payment of taxes, under the guise of “traditional values,” in the form of tax cuts for the wealthy. Of course these “traditional values” are really only designed “to pay the Debts and provide for the … general Welfare” of the wealthy, not the welfare of middle class people like you and me.
Because when moguls like Trump don’t pay their fair share, budgets are starved, and these shortfalls – those “debts” that taxes are designed to discharge – are then consigned to be paid by the vulnerable people the Constitution specifically mandates for protection.
This “trickle-down” mentality is behind 30 years of assault against the social programs which provide for “the general Welfare”: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the unemployment safety-net, among others.
Would you have dreamed it was possible for a hedge fund manager in Chicago to “earn” $4 million per day? And on top of that pay a lower tax rate than a family in the middle class? Those are “traditional values”?
The poor are ripped off in many ways to make up for this con. Case in point: “In 2013, Ferguson collected $2.6 million in court fines and fees, mainly on traffic violations and other low-level municipal offenses. This sum was 21 percent of the city’s total budget, and its second largest source of income.
‘These fines and fees took a terrible toll on residents of Ferguson, 22 percent of whom had incomes under the federal poverty level,’ Voss says. In 2013, he notes, nearly 25,000 warrants were issued, ‘which was amazing considering the population of Ferguson was only 21,000.'”
In a glaring display of conflict of interest, furthermore, “The report also showed that police in some communities were under intense pressure to write tickets, to benefit the municipality that paid their salary.” [progressive.org/news/2016/10/188987/magazine-cities-revoke-licenses-shake-down-poor]
This is blatantly contrary to providing for “the general welfare.” Rather it’s cheating the public and the most vulnerable, so the wealthy can avoid paying taxes.
Clearly these are not “traditional values.” Clearly it is “corruption.” And clearly, the tax code must be rewritten.
We could get this done by replacing our representation in Congress with a Brand New Congress, starting in 2018. Learn how you can help at brandnewcongress.org/faq. And vote this November 8 for Democrats who pledge to get the wealthy to pay their fair share!