16A035 Taxes, Trumped by Jim Davies, 10/4/2016    


Desperate to find some new way to arrest the momentum of the Trump train to the White House, the monotonously pro-Clinton media have now fixated on the claim that he pays no tax. Oh, horrors! How will government parasites survive, if he's elected and shows everyone else how to do the same? - except that they don't call them "parasites."

One theory, explained by none other than the unregenerate statist Paul Solman, with help from the two-faced Irwin Schiff betrayer David Cay Johnston, is that Trump just applies the accounting principle of depreciating capital assets so as to offset any income his company earned, and so ends up with nothing to be taxed. Quite a tidy piece of work, and he has allowed as how he "hates the way government spends" his money. There's a great deal to be forgiven in Trump's platform, but that one statement earns him a lot of mercy.

Another is that he makes big losses in some years, and manages to offset the profitable years with those losses, and so pays no tax. Nothing wrong (or illegal) about that; yet still, the pro-Clinton media is so desperate to find fault that it screams bloody murder when it thinks it sees it.

Yet none of them have accused him of breaking the law; so we have one front-runner who has kept the law and the other who has broken it, and those claiming to provide the public with "all the news that's fit to print" oppose the former and support the latter. This is, for sure, the most interesting and bizarre election season that I can remember.

The degree of ignorance surrounding Trump's taxes in staggering. One knee-jerk statist after another rushes to his or her keyboard to announce that tax is the price we pay for a civilized society, or accuses him of freeloading, or imagines that Federal taxes finance schools (which are uniformly admired.) Even allegedly responsible journalists suppose that legally avoiding payment of income tax means he pays none at all; none of them that I've noticed has even commented on the obvious fact that large holdings of real estate must attract truck loads of property tax everywhere.

This massive misinformation is the product of twelve years of government indoctrination, and underscores the absolute requirement of re-education, of de-programming devotees of the Cult of the Omnipotent State - before a free society can become a reality. That task is undertaken by TOLFA, and if any reasonably think it needs augmentation, go ahead and augment it! - because thorough re-education is, to repeat, a sine qua non.

Re-education is essential because only when people understand that government consists of a putrid garbage heap will they decide not to work for it; and only when nobody will work for it will it cease to exist. If you want freedom (in reality and practice, as well as in theory) there is no alternative possible.

What part in that prerequisite activity has the Libertarian Party played? - not a minor one, I'd say. A great deal of what I've learned about freedom came from writers and speakers whom I encountered thanks to participating in LP activities over 20 years. As an educational entity, it's done a very fair job; as a political entity, which is what it is supposed to be (a "party") it's been a disaster. It has attracted less than 1% of the vote in every national race so far; and while it may handsomely exceed that limit this year, the reasons are that (a) the voting public intensely dislikes the two front-runners and (b) the nominated team of Johnson/Weld is only just inside the "libertarian quadrant;" as Justin Moldrow suggests, "Johnson is a confused moderate at best, but Bill Weld is an establishment hack at worst." This is a tragedy; at the very time when attention is on "third parties" the LP offering is barely coherent as a libertarian platform. Its (essential) educational impact will, hence, be marginal or even negative.

Trump's political platform on taxation is of minor import; a nice tweak here to abolish death tax, another there to simplify the progression of the alleged income tax, and so on; but no sign at all of an overall slashing of tax in total, or of the Federal spend. His contribution to the subject is not what he says he'll do if elected, it's what he's already done as a smart businessman, to set an example of avoiding confiscation. That's what has set the Establishment in a tizzy, lest others burdened by tax should follow it and begin to starve the feeding bureaucrats.





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