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Blogger’s Family Paid More Taxes Than Trump in Three Years

For our holiday reading enjoyment, the House Ways and Means Committee has released a portion of Donald Trump’s tax returns from 2015 through 2020.

The key takeaway is that, in three of those years, one of the richest men in America paid less in federal income tax than you and I did:

A preliminary analysis of Trump’s taxes by Congress’ brain trust on tax issues, the Joint Committee on Taxation, found that the former president paid little to no taxes for several years by claiming mammoth business losses. Trump paid $750 in 2016 and 2017 and paid nothing in 2020, JCT said [Benjamin Guggenheim, “Trump’s Tax Returns Released, Launching Fresh Scrutiny of His Finances,” Politico, 2022.12.30].

For the record, in 2016, my household paid $8,787. In 2017, we paid $9,121. In 2020, we paid $13,550. Our household income has never reached six figures, yet every year we have proudly paid the basic price of liberty for ourselves and our fellow Americans.

Now sure, in those years, we didn’t claim “negative income” the way the Trump household did. But if we had “negative income”, we’d be broke, homeless, and hungry. The Trumps had “negative income” yet were able to maintain multiple properties and an extravagantly luxurious lifestyle.

It’s not elections that are rigged; it’s the tax system that is rigged in favor of billionaires.

21 Comments

  1. 96Tears 2022-12-30

    Amen!

  2. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    Trump isn’t the only rich guy doing this. What he is doing is taking advantage
    of the tax code. If he were doing something terribly wrong taxwise the IRS
    could have been after him long ago.
    Cory, you are probably right about the tax system being rigged in favor
    of billionaires. I doubt that Trump has run afoul of the tax code. And neither
    has T. Boone Pickens and a bunch of other rich guys that we’ve never heard of.
    I’m surmising that the reason Trump didn’t want his tax returns made public is that he isn’t
    making as much money as he wants people to think he is.

  3. flopster 2022-12-30

    Yep, and will it change, that & term limits ? Not on your bippy.
    Self serving scoundrels all of ’em.

  4. e platypus onion 2022-12-30

    Seems to me drumpf allowed his cabinet to intervene on auditing his taxes his first 2 years in office. magats have defunded the IRS, they have accused Dems if weaponizing IRS against questionable magat non-profit enterprises. Then there is the wealthy buying votes the majority of Americans can’t afford to buy,. drumpf is only continuing his normal tax scamming policies he has done his entire adult life, seems to me.

  5. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    I wouldn’t be surprised if George Soros does the same.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-12-30

    Donald Trump is to George Soros as Al Capone is to Robert Oppenheimer.

  7. leslie 2022-12-30

    “the rich do not have to pay taxes. They can play a game I call “Tax Planning 101,” following the simple advice to “Buy, Borrow, Die.” This strategy involves buying assets that typically go up in value over time, like real estate or stock, holding these assets until they die, and then allowing the taxable gain to magically disappear under the stepped-up basis on death rule.”

    one of our commenters mentioned this the other day.

    to those who say of Trump — “perfectly legal”—another form of “both sides do it”.

    No.

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/22/opinions/donald-trump-tax-returns-mccaffery/index.html

    “ How can Republicans in Congress continually oppose greater IRS funding, especially and specifically for auditing wealthy individuals, when the IRS presently seems unable to follow its own guidelines in auditing one particular individual, the President of the United States?”

    Maybe Arndt will get his wish and prove liberal billionaire George Soros is a criminal. As of March 2021, he had a net worth of US$8.6 billion,[10][11] having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations,[12] of which $15 billion has already been distributed, representing 64% of his original fortune. Forbes called him the “most generous giver” (in terms of percentage of net worth).[13]

    Born in Budapest to a non-observant Jewish family, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947. He studied at the London School of Economics and was awarded a BSc in philosophy in 1951, and then a Master of Science degree, also in philosophy, in 1954.[4][14][15]wiki

  8. O 2022-12-30

    I would think Trump would be THANKFUL that Democrats fulfilled a promise he made over and over to release his tax returns.

    Remember, these are the exploitations that Senator Thune was against ending when he voted against shoring up the IRS’s ability to conduct better audits with better funding. Maybe the most glaring thing to come from the Trump tax misdeeds is (as Lesli also points out) that as president, his required audit did not take place because the single auditor assigned was too overwhelmed to do that task, making Trump the first sitting President not to be audited while in office.

    Lesli, this is not a “sides” issue as not partisan — it is a class issue: yet another battle that the investor class won a long time ago. Let’s make America Great Again beginning by going back to the top marginal tax rate of 94% from that greatest era! Let’s also end the US treasury (my tax dollars) paying the “charity” of those who itemize their deductions (often to their own foundations); tax everyone, then let democracy vote on how to spend those dollars.

    It’s time to undo the roadmap of the Lewis Powell memo.

  9. e platypus onion 2022-12-30

    Just remember, drumpf and tax/no tax is the subject here.

    Plus, magats have not used Soros as their catch all boogey man for quite awhile. Must not be getting the drumpf zombies riled up anymore.

  10. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    I doubt that any of these guys is a criminal from a tax standpoint.
    The can all afford good tax lawyers.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-12-30

    In America. we have a righteous respect for big money and those who have it. We support a large and prosperous tax avoidance industry. We are far from a classless society.

  12. Mark Anderson 2022-12-30

    You’ll have to excuse Edwin, George Soros has been made evil by right wing scam artists. Why, because they can. In Hungary it helped elect their own autocratic little dick tator Victor Orban. The right wingers in America fawn over Orban and have brought him to events in America. He made Hungary less free, curtailed the press, the judicial system less independent and is a fan of the great replacement theory. Right wingers in America love him. Particularly the Noems of the world at the CPAC in Dallas where Orban was the opening speaker. They mostly have played down their love of Putin, but they love him too. Tucker Carlson hosted his proper gander program from Hungary for a week in love of Orban. That wonderful little truth teller Alex Jones claims the Soros set up the Charlottesville right wing mess. The worst antisemitic shooting in America was carried out by a man obsessed with Soros, so it goes. Their lying words do have effects. You have to wonder, since Soros is 92, if Hunter Biden can be made into the next big evil?

  13. grudznick 2022-12-30

    grudznick believes churches are exempt from taxes. Half of Mr. H’s income was tax free.

  14. leslie 2022-12-31

    O, there are two issues:

    1. Global Warming

    2. Economic Inequality

    The latter encompasses all the rest, one-sided or “both-sides do it” as an excuse for constant right-wing bad behavior, or as a class issue. In every area of life in America—cows (ranchers get a pittance that the four manipulating packers do), french fries and fast food, high education out-prices students’ ability to pay/repay, bankruptcy for some, bail for some, cars for some though necessary for most, essential workers die under the thumb of South Dakota’s governor, health care equity fought against by SD senators (Rounds made his reputation in DC fighting against CEO pay disclosure), secret trusts in Sioux Falls annually manipulated by the legislature, and on and on.

    Ridden coach in an airplane lately? Shrunken seats are dangerous.

  15. e platypus onion 2022-12-31

    drumpf has already proven he is a tax criminal by inflating values of properties when selling and completely under valuing same properties for taxes. drumpf sure as hell is a tax criminal. Now we just have to wait and see if the gubmint has the balls to charge him.

  16. Nick Nemec 2022-12-31

    Mr. grudznick, Mr. H is not a church. Mrs. H is not a church, although she works for one. Employees of churches are issued W-2s and pay income taxes on that income at the rate dictated by the tax bracket they fall in.

    But then you knew that.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-12-31

    “A minister’s housing allowance (sometimes called a parsonage allowance or a rental allowance) is excludable from gross income for income tax purposes but not for self-employment tax purposes.…If your congregation furnishes housing in kind as pay for your services as a minister instead of a housing allowance, you may exclude the fair market rental value of the housing from income, but you must include the fair market rental value of the housing in net earnings from self-employment for self-employment tax purposes.”

    Pastors pay federal income tax. Donald Trump often does not.

  18. Richard Schriever 2022-12-31

    Not true Edwin – as to the “if/then” part of your logic. One thing you’ve evidently missed in all of this is that the IRS has said Trump’s tax machinations are “too complicated” for them to figure out. as they involve around 500 shell companies. In addition, his taxes from (IIRC) 2013 are STILL under audit, and if the process doesn’t change much from where it’s currently at – he will be liable for around $120M in back taxes and fines. FINES Edwin. FINES. And that is just for the ONE of the last 9 years beginning then – NONE of which have been audited to date. In addition to these Federal tax issues, he is under investigation for similar tax avoidance in the state of NY – where he and his children have already been found guilty of tax fraud around the operation of their phony “charity”. Pay attention.

  19. Richard Schriever 2022-12-31

    Cory, i believe your calculations leave out the year in which he got a $2.54 M “refund” as to how much he has paid in taxes. Net net = less to zero.

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