Thank good­ness for all the pa­tri­ots who pay their taxes

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Opinion - BY ANN MCFEATTERS Ann McFeatters is an op-ed colum­nist for Tri­bune News Ser­vice. Email: am­cfeat­[email protected] na­tion­al­

Fin­ished your taxes yet? If you’re rich, you prob­a­bly did noth­ing but sign what some­body else pre­pared, smil­ing with sat­is­fac­tion as you looked at how lit­tle you owe or the size of your re­fund.

If you’re mid­dle class, you are still in shock.

If you are a po­lice of­fi­cer, you couldn’t deduct the cost of clean­ing your uni­forms. If you run a

small busi­ness, you are won­der­ing what hap­pened to all those mis­cel­la­neous de­duc­tions that made life a lit­tle bit more bear­able in tax sea­son.

And 8 mil­lion of you are writ­ing checks to the IRS this year in­stead of wait­ing for a re­fund. Right now, you don’t even know the mean­ing of the word “re­fund.” Mil­lions more are get­ting a much smaller re­fund than they have come to ex­pect.

There goes that va­ca­tion. There goes the new re­frig­er­a­tor. There goes the sat­is­fac­tion of pay­ing off or pay­ing down that loath­some credit card bill.

The cost of the “tax cut” that Don­ald Trump boasted about, which took ef­fect last year so that tax­pay­ers are just now feel­ing its ef­fects, has turned out to be about $1.7 tril­lion. Which means that the na­tional debt is now well over $22 tril­lion. Hope you en­joyed that Happy Meal your “tax cut” bought you.

Mean­while, the man at 1600 says he will not re­lease his tax re­turns so we could see how much the “tax cut” ben­e­fit­ted him and his busi­nesses. He said peo­ple “don’t care.” He said he got elected with­out re­veal­ing them, so what’s the point? He said he “can’t” re­lease his tax re­turns be­cause he is un­der au­dit and has been for 11 years. (The IRS com­mis­sioner said, well, yes he could re­lease his re­turns, as ev­ery pres­i­dent since Richard Nixon has done to as­sure tax­pay­ers of no con­flicts of in­ter­est.)

There is great spec­u­la­tion, among those who know about these things, that Trump is em­bar­rassed that over the years he has con­trib­uted next to noth­ing to char­ity, is not worth the $10 bil­lion he says he is and took ad­van­tage of so many loop­holes he didn’t pay as much as many mid­dle­class Amer­i­cans.

Ev­ery year we all pay taxes (and the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of us are hon­est about what we owe) be­cause we love this coun­try. Peo­ple go into debt to pay their taxes. Peo­ple take sec­ond jobs to pay their taxes. Peo­ple forgo va­ca­tions and meals out and the best cuts of meat to pay their taxes.

No­body thanks us, but we get sat­is­fac­tion know­ing we did our duty. (Which is why pay­ing $20 bil­lion or $30 bil­lion on a wall at the south­ern bor­der that the ex­perts say won’t work is so prob­lem­atic.) Ev­ery­body knows Trump wants the wall (and will fire any­one he can who tells him no) be­cause he wants it to be called Trump Wall.

Politico re­cently re­vealed that dur­ing a tour of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton’s Mount Ver­non in Vir­ginia, Trump was puz­zled that the na­tion’s first pres­i­dent didn’t name Mount Ver­non af­ter him­self. “You’ve got to put your name on it or no­body re­mem­bers you,” he said. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Trump also said he never read a pres­i­den­tial bi­og­ra­phy and has no plans to do so.

Not to worry, Mr. Trump. There will be plenty of bi­ogra­phies about you. And we will re­mem­ber you, Mr. Trump, if for noth­ing else than that fa­mous quote of yours: “Only stupid peo­ple pay taxes.”

Thank good­ness for “stupid” (pa­tri­otic) peo­ple.

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