Western Courier

Trump’s taxes aren’t a big deal

Joshua Defibaugh

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In 2012, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, claimed to a group of supporters behind closed doors that, “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax.” While his statement may have had some level of validity, his delivery played into a Republican stereotype depicting old, rich white men not caring about the lower socioeconomic American classes.

In 2004, after finishing third place in the Iowa Caucus, Howard Dean made a rousing call to his supporters that he was going to take back the White House. At the end of his speech, he yelled, “Yeah!” He was ridiculed for being an aggressive and angry candidate. That yell cost him the Democratic nomination.

In 2000, during a presidential debate between Republican nominee George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, Gore sighed multiple times while Bush was speaking. Gore was endlessly mocked by late night talk show hosts and political pundits for being out of touch and conceited.

In 1992, George H. W. Bush, the Republican incumbent, debated Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Feeling as though his time was too valuable to be spent debating, Bush was continually checking his watch, waiting for the debate to end. Clinton went on to win the 1992 election. And while he didn’t win any electoral votes, Perot outperformed every third-party nominee in American history since 1912, while he secured nearly 19 percent of the popular vote.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford stated, “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” during a presidential debate against the Democratic nominee Georgia governor Jimmy Carter. Political scientists agree that his insistence that Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland were free from Soviet influence cost him the election. The 1976 presidential debates were also notable for being the first televised debates since 1960, when a tan and handsome John F. Kennedy faced off against a sweaty and underweight Richard Nixon.

It was a simpler time when saying the wrong thing behind closed doors, yelling and cheering with supporters at a rally, sighing and checking a watch and waiting for the other candidate to finish during a debate and stating one misinformed lie during a debate could cost someone a nomination or the presidency.

The New York Times earlier this month obtained a few pages of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax information. Though the pages do not contain vast amounts of malicious information, there is one number that’s been making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows and news hours. In 1995, Trump and his wife at the time declared a federal income of nearly negative $1 billion. Tax experts, including Jack Mitnick, Trump’s tax preparer, agree that the number is legitimate.

Tax experts also agree that the staggering income declaration points to a theory pushed by Hillary Clinton and other Democrats this election season that Trump has not paid any federal income tax many times in the last few decades.

However damning this information is, the bulk of Trump’s supporters will stick with their preferred candidate not out of a liking of Trump, but out of an unfiltered and unreasonable hatred of Hillary Clinton.

From the very beginning of his campaign season, and through-out his entire business career, Trump has lied. Seventy-one percent of Trump’s fact-checked statements on Politifact, a non-partisan organization, have been labeled false. In contrast, only 27 percent Clinton’s statements on Politifact are rated false.

Trump’s troubles go beyond his propensity to lie, though. His campaign is littered with racist, Islamophobic and misogynistic ideas that, in any other election year, would cost him supporters and disqualify him from the presidency.

He questioned the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship. He refused, many times, to condemn David Duke and other prominent white supremacists who campaign for him. He has twice been sued by the Justice Department for not renting apartments to African-Americans in New York City. He claimed that judges with Mexican heritage or Muslim faith would not be fit to rule on cases involving him or his companies.

Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, even when evidence overwhelmingly suggests that white men are more likely to commit acts of terror. He also, out either spite or the sophomoric need to be right, attacked a Gold Star Muslim family.

Trump’s history of misogyny dates back to his pre-political career. He’s called women “disgusting,” “dogs,” “fat,” “pig,” “slob” and “disgusting animals.” He criticized Megyn Kelly’s Republican primary debate moderation and suggested that she was menstruating.

Even though he’s a race-baiting, Islamophobic and misogynistic presidential candidate who stays up until three in the morning trying to demean anyone who attacks him, Trump never loses his core group of supporters.

These supporters watch and read Fox News and Alex Jones’ InfoWars, consuming and regurgitating the false idea that Clinton is the worse candidate between her and Trump.

If calling women pigs, spewing lies seemingly every minute, proposing bans on whole groups of people, demeaning whole nations and continually pushing a demagogic and inaccurate reality isn’t enough to drive supporters away, the fact that Trump didn’t pay any income taxes for numerous years probably won’t do anything either.

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Trump’s taxes aren’t a big deal