To Those Defending Trump’s Tax Evasion Because it ‘Was Legal’: You’re Missing the Damn Point

A saying I use fairly often is that just because someone has the right to do something doesn’t make what they’re doing right. A person doesn’t have to be a criminal to be an unethical, sleazy scumbag con artist who lacks any and all trace of morals and basic decency.

For example, in this country it’s perfectly legal to be an adulterous Grand Wizard of the KKK who hunts animals just for fun while believing that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen — but that doesn’t mean you’re not a bottom-feeding, deplorable pile of garbage.

If a person’s defense of something that seems shady or unscrupulous is, “Well, it’s legal” — sans any hint of an apology —  that’s usually a great sign that you know they’re a lowlife.

Well, that’s essentially Donald Trump’s defense of the New York Times report which exposed that, in all likelihood, he went nearly two decades without paying income tax. It’s the defense that he’s “smart” or a “genius” — because he lost nearly one billion dollars in one year, then proceeded to exploit our tax code for nearly two decades.

But, hey, “it’s legal” so it’s not an issue.

If that’s your defense of Trump’s tax evasion, then you’re missing the damn point.

The point isn’t whether or not what Trump did was legal (it almost certainly was), it’s the hypocrisy of someone who’s complained about our crumbling infrastructure, attacked President Obama for only paying 20 percent in 2012, and criticizes the legal and unethical corruption (yes, the vast majority of it is legal) in Washington, who apparently didn’t pay any income taxes for nearly 20 years — which would help repair our crumbling infrastructure, seemingly paid less in taxes than President Obama did in 2012, and is a boastful member of the legal and unethical corruption of the business elite who do whatever they can to avoid paying their fair share.

After all, when politicians favor big donors… that’s legal.

So, why are they unethical crooks but Trump’s a “genius” for exploiting the same system? A system that, by the way, he’s admitted to trying to corrupt so that our elected officials would support legislation that benefited him.

But this goes beyond just his taxes.

This isn’t a test to see if he’s good at legally finding ways to screw the middle class so that a self-described “smart” billionaire (allegedly) could avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades because his “genius” business decisions led to losing nearly one billion dollars in a single year. Clearly Trump is quite good at finding ways to exploit certain situations for his own personal benefit. Even if that means refusing to pay small businesses and contractors after the work and/or services were provided, claiming that they weren’t “satisfactory.” Something Trump has done throughout his business career.

We have a man who’s the presidential candidate for one of our nation’s two largest political parties who’s repeatedly proven that the only person he gives a damn about is himself and what’s best for his interests. We’re also looking at a man who has proven that as long as he feels he can get away with something — he will.

Donald Trump is someone who:

  • Is currently being investigated for setting up a “university” that seems to have been nothing but a scam aimed at defrauding people out of thousands of dollars.
  • Has a charity where he allegedly used money to pay off his legal expenses and has just been issued a cease and desist order by New York for operating illegally.
  • Has had several of his businesses go into bankruptcy, often at the detriment to small businesses to which he owed money.
  • Apparently lost nearly one billion dollars in a single year.
  • Sues people out of spite, often hoping to drain them of money just because he can.
  • Based upon the New York Times findings, probably didn’t pay taxes for nearly two decades — at least.
  • Claims he’s all about creating jobs in the United States, yet outsources most of his company’s products.
  • Was found guilty of creating a fake anti-gambling organization where he approved racist propaganda in a calculated effort to try to block a Native American tribe from building a competing casino.
  • Settled with the Department of Justice in a racial discrimination lawsuit after it was determined his company wasn’t renting to minorities.
  • Has essentially bragged about trying to bribe politicians to support legislation that would benefit him.
  • Seems to have actually bribed the Florida attorney general with campaign contributions so that the state wouldn’t join the fraud case against Trump University.
  • Continues to refuse to release his tax returns, saying he’s been advised not to do so because he’s being audited, even though the IRS has said that his audit doesn’t prevent him from releasing those documents.

The list goes on and on.

Donald Trump is right, he’s not a politician. If he were, then we’d have his political record to scrutinize. But he’s not running as a politician, he’s running on his business record — a business record that includes everything I just listed above and a whole lot more. A business record filled with shady, unethical and even in some instances flat-out illegal behavior. And these are just what we know of.

All of that goes along with a history that includes adultery, sexism, bigotry, racism and a presidential campaign that seems specifically geared to appeal to white nationalism.

So, was Trump possibly going nearly 20 years without paying taxes legal? It would seem so. But, again, that’s not the damn point.

The point here is that we have yet another example where Donald Trump is linked to behavior that, while legal, is still incredibly shady, unethical and shows us that his only concern in life is what benefits him.

Because it was legal when he:

  • Degraded women while he ran the Miss Universe pageant.
  • Cheated on his first wife.
  • Called Alicia Machado “disgusting” and said her weight was a “real problem.”
  • Wrongfully said most Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals.
  • Re-tweeted an image made by a white supremacist’s social media account.
  • Played dumb about knowing who David Duke was.
  • Has repeatedly lied about always opposing the war in Iraq despite a 2002 recording from the Howard Stern show where he clearly said he was for it.
  • Called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig.”
  • Said flat-chested women can never be a “10.”
  • Mocked POWs by saying he likes people who weren’t captured.
  • Belittled Gold Star parents of an American hero who died fighting in Iraq.
  • Used, as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, the “textbook definition of racism” by declaring that an American-born federal judge couldn’t do his job fairly because of his Mexican heritage.
  • Insinuated, without facts, that Hillary Clinton has been unfaithful to her husband.

All of that (and much more) has been completely legal — but simply being legal doesn’t make what he says and does the right thing to do.

We’re looking at a man who clearly puts himself ahead of everything else. Someone who’s shown throughout his career that there aren’t levels to which he won’t stoop just as long as he thinks he can get away with it and it benefits his interests. And while it might have been legal to do what Trump did — that doesn’t make it right.

In fact, it makes him a giant hypocrite as a candidate who’s built a campaign on this ridiculous notion that he cares about the middle class and the “elite class” is the one benefiting from the corruption in Washington — when he’s the definition of everything poor and middle class Americans on both sides have been complaining about: A wealthy, greedy, unethical member of the 1 percent who’s done everything he can to exploit the system so he doesn’t have to pay his fair share in taxes, screwing over average Americans in the process, as he got richer while everyone else got poorer.

Donald Trump is a prime example of the greed, corruption and unethical business practices that are at the heart of what’s wrong with this country. People who outsource jobs, stash money offshore to avoid paying taxes, and pull every dirty trick they can to avoid paying what they rightfully owe — while the rest of us pick up the tab.

He’s not the man to fix these problems — he is part of the damn problem.

I don’t give a damn if “it’s legal” for him to do so. The odds are, the only reason it is legal, is because people like him bribed enough politicians to make it that way. And the dumbest thing we can do in this country to “fix” a corrupt system is to hand it over to the very type of people responsible for corrupting it in the first place.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • bfg

    The thing that people don’t understand is that he didn’t just lose money on a bad deal. He saddled his casinos with debt, skimmed of everything he could, stiffed employees and contractors and walked away with a bundle and a long term tax write-off. A con artist can be brilliant but he’s still a con artist.

    • John G Tyree

      Question if you hired someone to do a job and they did it half assed would you pay them for the job? Hmm if the answer is yes then you are an idiot. Second, the casinos went bankrupt because the gambling regulatory board refused to allow him to run them like he wanted so he refused to remain a part of there board and was sued for it which he won but still was left with massive bills defending his right to run them like he wanted even though he owned more then 51%. He still has interest in the casino industry but not controlling intrest because they wouldn’t allow him to run his own business his way. Go do your research before your head explodes from ignorance.

      • bfg

        I’ve heard your story.

      • felix72

        Then you’re an idiot like was pointed out

      • bfg

        You have a very effective of influencing people. Did you learn from Donald?

      • Richard Bruns

        Ineresting thread. Have you ever noticed that all Trump followers sooner or later get down to name-calling when they can’t find an answer that actually PROVES Trump has some idea of what he’s talking about?

      • Donna Hayles Price

        Back away from faux news and up your meds. It’ll be okay.

    • felix72

      Can you provide verified proof of your statements or did you get this off the internet?

  • It’s NOT tax EVASION.

    • Max Ghenis

      This is correct – tax evasion is a crime, and so far Trump’s tax document only suggests tax avoidance. It remains problematic for many reasons (hypocrisy in his criticizing others for the same, lobbying for tax breaks, etc.), but misusing these important terms helps nobody

  • Carey

    Donald Trump deducted loses that, in part, claimed OPM (other people’s money) as his loss — he reported more than a 913 million loss in 1995. This provided him with the means to pay no federal income taxes for up to 18 years. During that time, he was a billionaire, and he declared bankruptcy six times over the years to escape paying creditors, contractors, etc.

    His 1995 tax returns show, for example, while Trump reported $7.4 million in interest income in 1995, he reported only $6,108 in wages. His total net worth at the time, was probably around two billion dollars.

    Another irony is Trump has publicly criticized others for not paying taxes.

    It all makes Leona Helmsley look like very small potatoes.