Trump’s Taxes 


Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/TNS

An investigation by the New York Times published on Sep. 27, reported that President Trump paid just $750 in taxes the year he won the presidency.

Ezra Peters, Staff Writer

I live a pretty ordinary college student life. I have never been a billionaire; I have never had my own tv show; I have never run a business, and I have never been the president. Because of my ordinary life, I work a basic job at a movie theater, and I make a respectable amount of money for a full-time student.  

Earlier this year while I was doing my taxes and celebrating about my tax returns as many do, I noticed that I had paid over $1000 in income taxes. While that number initially irked me, I did some research and recognized that my tax contributions helped fund major healthcare and safety net programs. I was then satisfied with my understanding of income taxes, until a few days ago.  

Finally, after years of back and forth bickering, the president’s tax returns became public knowledge. According to CNN, our president Donald Trump in 2016 and 2017, paid about $750 in taxes. This information immediately sends a shock to the spine of anyone who knows the occupations Trump has held and anyone who understands how US federal income taxes work.  

In the US, we collect federal income taxes with a Progressive tax rate, where people who make less pay less, and people who make more pay more. We accomplish this by putting people into tax brackets based on yearly income and then taking a percent of their income based on which bracket they happen to fall into.  

For Trump, a known billionaire, to have somehow paid less in taxes than me, a humble college student, the world must have been flipped on its head. There may be some possible explanations for this, like a change in tax laws that lowered income tax rates for certain businesses or certain income sources becoming exempt from being taxed, but none of those excuses would cut it. None of them would be able to explain how such an egregious violation of the trust of the general American populous was executed and left unrevealed until now.  

What is the point of calling our tax system a progressive one, when there are exceptions that effectively reverse that description? Paying your due share of income taxes is a symbol of responsibility and reverence of civic duty. Given his handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic and many other issues, it is not at all surprising that Trump isn’t pulling his own weight in this department.