Colson: So what if Trump cheats on his taxes — right?
Hit and Run
Is Donald Trump a tax cheat?
I guess it depends on how you define the word “cheat,” since a recent New York Times blockbuster reported that while he claimed to have lost nearly $1 billion in 1995, and that he might well have used that loss to write off all his taxes for the next two decades or so, it was all legal under the tax code.
So, in terms of strict legalities, The Donald apparently is not a cheater on his taxes, though we won’t know that unless we see his complete tax records.
But he is a cheater in any morality-based, realistic analysis of the way our country works, how we pay for critical governmental services and how Trump seemingly has managed to avoid kicking in his fair share.
Of course, a lot of rich people do it, so it’s OK, right?
I mean, The Donald himself alluded to that concept during the first formal debate with Hillary Clinton, when she accused him of not paying his fair share of taxes and of stiffing the contractors who have worked on his various real estate schemes.
He said that by stiffing his contractors (by not paying bills for work completed), he was just doing good “business.”
And scheming to stiff the Internal Revenue Service, he said quite clearly, “makes me smart.”
So, he essentially admitted that he has not been paying taxes or his contractors, despite the fact that he claims to have raked in millions and even billions from various projects over the years.
He’s wealthy, he figures, and even though he made his pile on the backs of big loans and other contributions from his rich daddy, not to mention the unpaid labor of people in his employ, it’s all because he’s such a smart guy and he deserves everything he gets.
Because that’s the foundation of the American Dream, isn’t it? Anybody in America can get rich if he or she works hard enough or cheats in a clever enough way, right?
And that’s why all our ancestors came here, really, right?
Oh, sure, they claimed to be seeking religious freedom and other, similar nonsense, but what they actually were after was a way to get rich enough to be able to afford a starter castle, servants and at least two trips abroad every year.
Am I right, or am I right?
That leads us back to Trump, a legend in his own mind, anyway, a man to be emulated, elevated and elected, because he’s just better than the rest of us and he doesn’t mind saying so.
I’ve recently read and watched video of him saying, in published accounts, that people like him are born with special abilities, special gifts that rank them above the rest of us in the daily get-rich sweepstakes.
That’s right; he’s a propounder of that discredited justification of privilege and wealth known as “eugenics,” which holds that “some people are just better than others because their genes make them so,” or some such tripe.
Eugenics, by the way, is a variant of the same philosophy that formed the basis of Adolf Hitler’s campaign to rid Germany, and the known world, of its Jewish population back in World War II.
Hitler characterized it as creating a “master race” of blond, blue-eyed super warriors while ridding the planet of genetically inferior types, including gypsies and people of color in general.
Trump, of course, has simplified the concept, stating that he, and people like him, are just plain smarter and better at being good business tycoons and that sort of thing.
As is his typical strategy when denigrating entire classes of people, he keeps his statements generally insulting toward everybody who is not like him, without going into specifics.
He also credits his father, who got rich on real estate scams long before Trump was wearing shorts, for instilling this set of beliefs in the young Trumpster.
Interestingly, he likened his lucky genetics to the breeding of dumb animals, having once told an interviewer that it works with people just like it does with racehorses — you breed “superior” men and women and the outcome is “superior” offspring.
He did not address one of his bigger failings, however, at least not that I noticed — he did not explain how it is that he completely loses his cool every time someone accuses him of being a racist, or a xenophobic sociopath, or of possessing some trait or another that he feels is a taint on his genetically endowed abilities.
I mean, you’d think he’d be used to it by now.
Like a racehorse that is wound a little too tight and ends up in a kicking and biting frenzy aimed at another horse in the starting gate, Trump appears constitutionally incapable of sustaining a rational, calm demeanor when his abilities are cast into doubt.
Let me put this very clearly, then: This is not the kind of guy we want to have his finger on the nuclear button, metaphorically speaking (since there really is no actual, single button that can launch us into nuclear war).
Can you imagine how Trump would react if, say, a Chinese diplomat (the Chinese are at the top of his hit list for insults these days) were to make an off-hand comment about his tiny hands, or his orange hair, or his lousy marital record?
I know, it’s hard to predict something like that, but chances are the reaction would not be measured or reasonable.
In fact, if his behavior on the campaign trail has taught us anything, the greatest likelihood is that we’d find ourselves embroiled in a trade war, at best, or a proxy fight in the territory of some remote client nation, at worst.
Which means his tax status is the least of our worries.