The furor over The New York Times’ revelations about President Donald Trump’s income tax returns is sadly misplaced. Trump seems merely to have availed himself of the many provisions that have been added to the U.S. tax code since about 1980. Trump is joining a long list of well-known wealthy people and corporations that know how to take advantage of these beneficial provisions.
After decades of lobbying by the wealthy and corporations, our elected lawmakers of both parties have been so thoroughly corrupted by money that they are easily persuaded to load up “tax reform” bills with scores of obscure favors for their benefactors. The result: billions of uncollected dollars, leading to huge deficits and the defunding of essential services.
So, friends, blame Congress and the current system that allows money to influence our tax code to such an extent that we taxpayers end up footing much of the bill — but receive less than what we are promised.
Can this pernicious system be challenged? Most of us are so unaware of our own economic exploitation that only a major political upheaval (like the Green New Deal) will wake us up to demand radical change to an unequal tax code. We can only hope.
Charles B. Lane