Why “Trump’s taxes show he can fix the system” is One Of the Most Remarkable Fallacies

Trump's taxes

Do as I say, not as I do, so goes the hypocrite. Put me in charge of the hen house and I promise I’ll protect the chickens, goes the fox. Trump’s taxes paint him as a healthy heaping of both.

Recently it has come to light that Trump likely hasn’t paid taxes since the first Clinton was president. Ever since he entered the ring, Trump has been claiming that he’s best set up to fix the system because he’s taken such advantage of it. He previously said that in reference to all the money he paid to politicians for favor, a standard greasing of the wheel necessary for people in the upper echelons of the real estate development game.

His point was that he took advantage of the basic system of pay for play, whereby rich people pay money for political and legal favor. He said he paid the Clintons though he never got any favors other than them showing up at his wedding.

Most recently, Trump has come under fire for the taxes thing. During the first HRC/Trumpo head to head, he said he minimized the taxes he paid because he was “smart.” This, combined with the WaPo’s non-taxpaying-conjecture, paint him as the type of man who would take a job supported by people who aren’t “smart” enough to not pay him (never mind the fact that Trump’s intelligence only went as far as hiring the smart guy to do his taxes)(I’ll admit, then, that perhaps Trump didn’t abuse the system if you admit he has no fucking idea how to fix it). That is, he will be doing a job he formerly deemed unworthy of his financial support.

Backtrack, Drumpf. He’s now trying to claim that he merely took advantage of a tax system that’s broken. And that his experience taking advantage of it qualifies him to fix it, like some backwoods “400-pound” hacker who takes a job finding weaknesses in the CIA’s mainframe to make amends for years of stealing credit cards and sending out spyware attached to the pictures of Ellen Page’s left nipple.

The thing is, it doesn’t work like that in politics. And certainly not when a person still has a foot, two hands and half a hair piece still stuck in that very sector he claims he’s going to reform. No, don’t be fooled, Trump isn’t here to fix the broken system. He’s here to fulfill its destiny.

The Patriot

In the newest round of “how do we spin Donald Trump’s recent career-ending scandal into something noble,” the last rats in the right-bound Titanic are pulling out every stop to convince you that Trump getting out of paying taxes is a good thing. They way they put it, you’d think Trump was an American hero for employing every trick in the book to ensure that none of the hundreds of millions he claims to earn make their way towards paying for the roads he uses, for the soldiers who protect him, for the Congressmen whose obstructionist vitriol paved the way for his candidacy, for the department that sends military-grade weapons to the peace-keeping servants he drops to his knees for on the stump.

But the truth is, Trump is the realization of an even bigger suspicion that many of the working class people (who are supporting him because their racism trumps their hope for a strong future) have assumed to be the case with the elite people at the top they rant and rave against. Some have called it “affluenza,” others have called it robber baronry but the most basic way of describing it is entitlement. This is an entitlement similar to the false one the right likes to claim has plagued lower income Americans. But unlike that strawman, this is a very real demon. This rich man’s entitlement is simple: Trump and his ilk feel everything is owed them and they OWE nothing to anybody. Maybe they can give of their own free will, perhaps they have to do right enough by their employees or investors to make sure nobody deserts. But let’s be clear about something: They’re on this planet to receive, not to give.

Patriotism is something we Americans hold very dear. I’ve always understood it as the idea that we sacrifice something of our individual selves to be part of this collective national experiment we call American democracy. Our most patriotic generation was the one that went to war and then returned to a top tax rate of 90% to fund the recovery effort and thereby led to the fruition of the American dream. Essentially, patriotism can be best quantified by how much pride one takes in contributing to their nation and the greater the contribution to their nation, the bigger a patriot they are.

The most patriotic thing a person can give to their nation is their life, of course — that is, a soldier, one who dedicates his or her life to military service. This voluntary sacrifice (for even if they live, a military man or woman lives according to the whims of the military industrial complex).

One who dedicates his or her life to serving their community, their state, their nation, they could arguably be named the next line of patriots. Yes, some abuse their station for personal gain, just like some soldiers in Vietnam smuggled heroin back in coffins. But this second grouping includes people who eschew lucrative careers to be teachers because they want to educate the future; social workers who get an advanced degree to work for 30 grand a year for a nonprofit. And of course when we discuss public servants we refer to politicians, from community organizers to council members to mayors to governors to senators, most of them having invested a good portion of their lives to serving and improving the society in which they live. Everybody claims politicians are corrupt but only because we view them as public servants, which by and large they are. We don’t consider businessmen corrupt for playing fast and loose with the laws because we don’t really see them as part of this supposedly holy fabric of our republic.

Finally, there are the people who contribute large chunks of their resources: money, time and energy towards the upkeep, running and growth of this nation. People who pay their fare share based on the gains they’ve made thanks to this system and infrastructure that has allowed them the opportunities found only in America.

Donald Trump has literally done none of these things. No military service; no public service; and his charity is a fucking joke.

This is when the Trumpkins will try and say “He’s served America by creating jobs.” Maybe, yeah, sure, maybe. He’s benefitted Americans by providing jobs. For mostly college-educated businesspeople and top-level builders. But he’s benefitted himself considerably more. You see, there’s a basic tenet of business — you don’t get rich through your own labor and toil. You get rich by leveraging the work of others and paying the least amount for their labor. That is, a person running a company does best financially by skimming as much off the top of every employee as possible. Not to deny the fact that there are many people employed for companies who make a great living and it is great to have a job. But there is nothing altruistic in being extremely successful. The best businessman is the one who ensures that he or she benefits more than everybody else. The best dealmaker. They are smart, possibly. They’re ruthless, absolutely. They know how to leverage other people’s work to create something, which is admirable. But their success and acumen doesn’t speak to patriotism. And in Trump’s case, it’s just fueled his affluenza, best shown by a seeming pride Trump’s taxes bring out in the man.

But now, let’s look at the other side. The idea that a person who took advantage of the system will be the one to fix it. The newest load of bullshit Trump.Inc is trying to shovel down your throat.

The Fox

The fox knows how to break down the walls; is adept at finding the cracks and chewing through the wire to get in and eat some fat, unknowing hens. Then he slurps down the eggs and beats his way out. But you know what the fox’s dream would be? For the hen house to be his.

Trump is a fox. Cunning, absolutely. Great at improvising, sure. And when he wants to crush some hen, he’s gonna get inside that fucking coop.

Trump has admitted as much, that he’s feasted thanks to his fundraising contributions to decision-making politicians and by manipulating the tax code. He’s a master of playing the system to his advantage. If you go in for a job interview, the top question you’re asked is what is your experience? What did you do in the past?

Well this is what he did. He gamed the system. He ate the hens. Why would he stop once he has the top seat, when he has a role where he can do about anything he wants? Why would the fox stop eating hens when he holds the latch to open the door to the coop? Especially when his family still operates in the private sector? When they can benefit from the same shit he did? Will he make Ivanka pay taxes? Will Eric have to drop 200M$ a year to the government? Will Donald Jr. be saddled with regulations geared towards ensuring he doesn’t take advantage of the little guy, or upholds building codes? Fuck no.

The fox will never fix the hole in the chicken coop. He only knows how to make it bigger.

Trump’s Taxes Show There Will Be No Fixing the System

Our current system of corpo-government has evolved over hundreds of years, the result of a constant push and pull between regulations and those who don’t want to be regulated, between average citizens and their powerful representatives. There has also been an evolution of business practices alongside the rules. Trump has benefited from that evolution. Many Americans, especially the working class folks left bankrupted during the housing crisis and left behind by the Internet age, were crushed by it. There will be no drastic changes overnight to the system that put Trump where he is now and certainly none that would punish his children and his many (former)(?) employees and colleagues.

The greatest dream of any businessman is to be all-rich AND all-powerful.In both arenas, honesty isn’t necessarily rewarded; playing the rubes is. If you reward a man for manipulating people and laws to his advantage by giving him the highest office in the world, he isn’t going to change the loopholes — he’s going to double down on them. And by the time you’ve figured out what’s happened, all you’ll find is an abandoned White House empty except for a couple nails in the walls and a single hanger with a hideous Macy’s suit hanging in the executive washroom.

And when you go out to the coop in your backyard, all you’ll find will be a few feathers and a trampled “Make America Great” hat.

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Ryan Ariano

Born and raised in Baltimore, Ryan has been kicking around the west since the first Clinton White House. Having worked all over SoCal in the surf industry, Hollywood, marketing, journalism and finance, he now hangs his hat just outside Jackson Hole where he can fulfill an addiction to ascending and descending mountains.

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