I want to play with other people’s money, lose nearly a billion dollars in one year on one of my business deals, dodge paying my share of taxes for a decade or more and get all the services and benefits for free, and be called a brilliant genius for doing it.
Oh, hell yeah, I want to be like Donald Trump.
He is someone I can look up to, aspire to be like, hold up as an example of a great American. We should all inherit a “small amount” of money from our father ($14 million) so we can invest and build empires that receive millions of dollars in tax benefits. Yeah, baby, Trump forever!
Except for one small problem; I have an annoying moral compass, irritating integrity, an abundance of compassion, a good strong character, a healthy dose of common sense, and an exasperating commitment for the greater good. Damn it to hell!
Why do I have to be such a goody-two-shoes?
Maybe with a little work I can bring myself to not pay people for work well done, collect charitable funds and spend them on myself, or cheat on my spouse, divorce and remarry only to do it again. With practice I could learn to lie like a rug, make up statistics that make me look better than I could ever hope to be.
Nah. All that is chicken feed.
What I should do is hire a fancy-schmancy accountant and devise a way to not contribute to my country and countrymen. I could make everyone else pay my share of education, our military, provide for our veterans, teachers, policeman, firemen, our roads and infrastructure, healthcare, our food and agriculture.
They could pay my share of social security, Medicare, Medicaid, the defense and security of our nation, safety net programs (who needs to feed those pesky low income kids who have no food anyway?!), and they sure as hell can pick up my slack on paying on our national debt. That’s the ticket!
I’m thinking those are some mighty hefty goals. I should start out small.
I can begin by learning how to name call, demean people, insult the handicapped, women, Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics. I could praise foreign dictators, make promises I know I’ll never keep, and be super misogynistic and anti-Semitic. That should at least begin to put me in his league.
But first I will need to learn how to deny everything that is factual, take no responsibility for my words or actions, behave like a 12-year-old on Twitter, act like a perverted adolescent, embrace fictional conspiracy theories and just make rubbish up as I go along.
It’s clear I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Unfortunately, the cruel truth is that I’m no moocher. I work for what I have and pay my way. Whatever contribution I make to society by employing people (you’re welcome) has nothing to do with paying my way by contributing to the federal government, my military and my community.
It makes me sick to know that a “genius” business man who lost almost a billion dollars in one year considers himself to be “brilliant” because he dodged his civic responsibility to his country and its citizens by laying his financial burden on my shoulders … and YOURS, thereby screwing us all.
As a life-long republican I cannot say that I am a Hillary Clinton fan. But the fact that she is not bat-shit crazy seems to count for a lot this time around. That, and she does her homework, knows her way around Washington and actually understands the world map (what a concept). It also helps that she is not a global laughing stock. I’m much more comfortable knowing that she has the nuclear code instead of her crazy counterpart and it is a strange comfort to me knowing that she won’t be planning any sleepovers with Vladimir Putin. The fact is, HC is far more seasoned and experienced to be commander in chief. No one, to my recollection, has been vetted more than this woman.
Trust me when I tell you, it’s painful being a republican this time around. Shameful, actually. All that has been offered from our candidate are lies, innuendos, insults, idiot notions, misconceptions, hate mongering, and fear fanning. NO plans, policies or strategies.
I guess if I want to understand DT more I might have to invest in some orange tanner, buy a subscription to The KKK’s Greatest Adventures and invest in a red ball cap with the words Making America Hate Again on it.
At this point I’m imagining that an invite to the Trump Penthouse for a dinner with the fam is out of the question. Too bad. I’d love to get to know what drives his sons to spend thousands of dollars to trophy “hunt” (and by hunt I mean aiming a high power rifle to fire on a mother giraffe while she is nursing her baby) African endangered animals on sanctioned preserves for fun and recreation. Maybe it’s a rich boy thing, but I’m thinking it would have made for some lively conversation.
Oh, well, life is full of disappointments. Unless, of course, you’re a Trump.
IF you’ve ever wondered what our federal taxes pay, here are the facts courtesy of cbpp.org (Center of Budget and Policy Priorities).
Image courtesy of money.cnn.com
In fiscal year 2015, the federal government spent $3.7 trillion, amounting to 21 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Of that $3.7 trillion, over $3.2 trillion was financed by federal revenues. The remaining amount ($438 billion) was financed by borrowing.
- Social Security: Last year, 24 percent of the budget, or $888 billion, paid for Social Security, which provided monthly retirement benefits averaging $1,342 to 40 million retired workers in December 2015. Social Security also provided benefits to 2.3 million spouses and children of retired workers, 6.1 million surviving children and spouses of deceased workers, and 10.8 million disabled workers and their eligible dependents in December 2015.
- Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace subsidies: Four health insurance programs — Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace subsidies — together accounted for 25 percent of the budget in 2015, or $938 billion. Nearly two-thirds of this amount, or $546 billion, went to Medicare, which provides health coverage to around 55 million people who are over age 65 or have disabilities. The rest of this category funds Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA subsidy and exchange costs.
- Defense and international security assistance: Another 16 percent of the budget, or $602 billion, paid for defense and security-related international activities. The bulk of the spending in this category reflects the underlying costs of the Defense Department. The total also includes the cost of supporting operations in Afghanistan and other related activities, described as Overseas Contingency Operations in the budget, funding for which totaled $74 billion in 2015.
- Safety net programs: About 10 percent of the federal budget in 2015, or $362 billion, supported programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship. Spending on safety net programs declined in both nominal and real terms between 2014 and 2015 as the economy continued to improve.Such programs keep millions of people out of poverty each year. A CBPP analysis using Census’ Supplemental Poverty Measure shows that government safety net programs kept some 38 million people out of poverty in calendar year 2014. Without any government income assistance, either from safety net programs or other income supports like Social Security, the poverty rate would have been 27.3 percent in 2014, nearly double the actual 15.3 percent. And these programs reduced the depth of poverty for millions more, even when not bringing them above the poverty line. These programs include: the refundable portions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist low- and moderate-income working families; programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households, including Supplemental Security Income for the elderly or disabled poor and unemployment insurance; various forms of in-kind assistance for low-income people, including SNAP (food stamps), school meals, low-income housing assistance, child care assistance, and help meeting home energy bills; and various other programs such as those that aid abused and neglected children.
- Interest on the national debt: The federal government must make regular interest payments on the money it borrowed to finance past deficits — that is, on the national debt held by the public, which reached $13 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2015. In 2015, these interest payments claimed $223 billion, or about 6 percent of the budget.
THERE YOU HAVE IT. To see the full report, click on this link. You and I, my friends, have been paying Mr. Trump’s share of his federal tax debt for at least a decade. Our leaders should lead by example. Not by greed. Something to think about.