From The Hill
In an attempt to start October off with a bombshell surprise, the New York Times led with a story of how Republican nominee Donald Trump may have avoided paying taxes for two decades. The story was meant to enrage every American who genuflects to Uncle Sam every April 15th.
“Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years,” the Times reported.
The Times report comes on the heels of Trump bragging at the first presidential debate that not paying taxes makes people like him “smart.” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, still pondering why she is not 50 points ahead of Trump, is pouncing.
Hillary’s campaign manager Robby Mook used the story as evidence Trump has inflated his business prowess and that “the gig was up.” Mook, of course, called for Trump to release his tax returns.
But if Trump did not pay taxes, does that make him a bad American or a role model? Should it be the goal of every American to buck Uncle Sam and tell him that the yearly protection payment will not be forthcoming?
Since Woodrow Wilson and the Democrats ushered in income tax, the idea of the U.S. government taking the income of Americans became the new norm. Most Americans cannot phantom a revenue system other than the one in which a huge percentage of their earnings goes Washington bureaucrats. The time is now for Trump to tell them another system exists.
Trump made it clear — he thinks Washington does not deserve his money — and yours. Why send the money we earn to a bloated, corrupt, and inept government?
By raising this question Trump has a golden opportunity to reclaim the debate on how to fund the government. He can make the case that the income tax is not the only way in which American can build roads, bridges, and schools. He can make the case that the tariff is a better alternative.
“It is not accident that other great States … prefer to try and cover their expenditures by the proceeds of duties and indirect taxes,” German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck wrote to the Reichstag in 1878. Speaking of the tariff, Bismarck concluded, “the more money that is raised from tariffs the greater can — and must — be the relief in direct taxes.”
Over a century ago Bismarck knew what our leaders in Washington have forgotten — an income tax is a direct tax on the American citizen while a tariff is a direct tax on a foreign company and/or nation. If we can cut the direct tax on American people and companies by implanting a tariff, Bismarck is telling us that we’d be fools not to.
Bismarck, though is not alone.
“I don’t know much about the tariff,” stated Abraham Lincoln. “But I know this much. When we buy manufactured goods abroad, we get the goods and the foreigner gets the money. When we buy manufactured goods at home, we get both the goods and the money.”
Trump has an opportunity to revive the GOP doctrine of Lincoln, TR, and yes, Reagan. He has an opportunity to turn Hillary’s negative attack — that he does not pay taxes — against her. Tell the American people that he wants to make sure that all Americans are “smart” like him; that all Americans can get relief from the income tax.
For too long the United States — the greatest commercial marketplace in the world — has refused to implement a cover charge. Trump has an opportunity to tell Americans why such a charge should issue and that such a charge will reduce, if not eliminate, their direct tax burden.
But the retort is that we are a free trade nation and a tariff will hurt the consumer and start trade wars. For these reasons, a tariff must fail. Pure nonsense.
If manufacturers in China are realizing high profits on their goods entering the United States — some at 95% — do we really think they will raise the price of their goods in lieu of using the profit margin to absorb the tariff? And, if they do, who cares?
Every tax — whether it be a tariff or an income tax — hits the consumer. Under the income tax the hit is direct, under the tariff it is indirect. A tariff discriminates against foreign labor, the income tax discriminates against American labor.
We need to ask ourselves if access to cheap goods is reason enough to mortgage our future. When it comes to “cheap”, William McKinley, one of the nation’s most neglected presidents, summed up what an addiction to cheapness means.
“Cheap is not a word of hope,” McKinley said. “It is the badge of poverty; it is the signal of distress.”
Read Full Story At The Hill