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Media misinformation is no surprise
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor,

I would like to respond to a recent article in the New York Times criticizing President Trump’s tax strategy on numerous tax returns. The article is not surprising as it is no secret that The Times is a left-wing media outlet that frequently discredits Trump.

Predictably, the paper has not revealed the source behind the tax info that it has published. In fact, the reporters who wrote the story have protected their source’s identity, including declining to publish the documents that the information is based on. Another undocumented, anonymous leak. 

The fact is that the revelation of Trump’s tax liability at the end of any given year tells us absolutely nothing without a complete examination of his tax situation. 

I believe this is disinformation and it is not a coincidence that it came out the day before the first presidential debate. If this information is even close to being true, nowhere have I read that what President Trump has done is illegal. 

Millions of Americans pay little or no taxes for various reasons. A recent article written by David Leonhardt of the same New York Times that blasted Trump stated that “almost a decade ago, Warren Buffett made a claim that would become famous. He said that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, thanks to loopholes and deductions that benefit the wealthy.” Although that was not considered the “norm” at the time, according to Mr. Leonhardt, it is today.

“The average tax rate on the richest 400 households last year was only 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980. In recent decades, the top income-tax rate and the estate tax have both fallen and corporate taxes have plummeted.” 

For example, sixty Fortune 500 companies didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 2018 despite having a collective $78 billion in net income. Some, even while paying no taxes, got large tax credits. How is that possible? I have no idea, but apparently it is legal.

The amount and way the government generates corporate taxes is a complex balance between the stock market, the amount of our national debt, incentives to encourage corporations to manufacture certain goods and services; incentives for corporations to do business within the boundaries of the United States; and an incentive for investors to invest in economic expansion.

With this said, it is true that both individual and corporate tax systems favor the wealthy. This should come as no surprise as Congress makes the tax laws and a great majority of our politicians are wealthy. We badly need tax reform that eliminates many of the questionable loopholes that the wealthy use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

I would imagine that President Trump has not done anything illegal or it would be all over the liberal media. He very probably is using the same legal loopholes that thousands of other wealthy individuals and corporations are using. If too many wealthy people jump on this political bandwagon, I would suggest that we demand to see their tax returns. If that were done, this would become yesterday’s news very quickly. 

I personally don’t care about anonymous, undocumented leaks about the President’s tax situation. I care much more about what he is trying to do for our country.

I would like to refer the readers to an article from the Associated Press that is much different from that of the Times. 

Don McCullough