When the coronavirus put even the president in a hospital bed, every other story disappeared. Including his questionable history of taxes. But in this Boomer Opinion piece, communications specialist Larry Checco of Silver Spring, Maryland, returns to the tax topic, mindful that one change we’ve seen in society since we baby boomers were kids is the growing disparity between the super-rich, and the rest of us.
The sin isn’t that Donald Trump evidently has paid less in federal income taxes than my son and his wife, both elementary school teachers. The sin is that he’s been living like a pasha at taxpayers’ expense.
Trump’s golf trips alone could cost taxpayers over $340 million, according to Forbes. Not to mention the untold sum spent on his primo health care, complete with helicopter transfers, after he contracted the coronavirus.
Add in over the past 3-½ years all the other travel, meal, and security expenses we’ve been footing for him and his entire family— as well as the scores of White House domestic staff who serve them hand and foot— and we’re talking about hundreds of millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s a lifestyle most of us can’t even imagine.
And at last count, he’d thrown a mere $750 into the kitty? C’mon, man.
I don’t care how many loopholes one’s high-priced accountants and tax attorneys can worm their way through for their uber-wealthy clients. Fair is fair.
Besides, he’s the president of the United States. What message is he sending us about paying our fair share?
But Mr. Trump isn’t alone. The richest among us see things through a different economic prism. For the most part, they live off the public grid. So why invest in public services?
Public education? For heavens sake, why? The rich usually send their kids to elite private schools. Public transportation? The super-wealthy have chauffeurs and private planes. Public parks? They swim, play tennis, and picnic at their private clubs and multi-acre estates. Local police? They have private security details and live within formidable gates.
And all those pesky social programs— like food stamps, health care clinics, Head Start, child care, legal aid— are you kidding me? The rich never need to touch them.
Let me suggest a solution that I believe will satisfy many of us.
If you’re one of those who dislikes paying your fair share in taxes, please don’t drive on the roads and bridges that my tax dollars— and the taxes of millions of other hard working Americans— build and repair. Don’t breathe in our clean air, don’t drink our clean water, don’t take advantage of medical breakthroughs our tax dollars support, or depend on subsidized government insurance when your beach house gets blown away by a hurricane.
In fact, if you don’t want to pay taxes, I suggest you leave the country— and don’t let the door on your private jet hit you in the butt on the way out.
Just a grumpy ole boomer tired of being taken advantage of.
Larry Checco (c) 2020