How Working Stiffs Might Think About Trump’s $750 Tax Bill
Reprinted with permission from DailyKos
The $750 in federal income taxes that Donald Trump paid in 2016 and 2017 is an attention-grabbing number—in large part because $750 is a number that a lot of people can wrap their heads around. It's not on the massive scale of federal budget numbers or even of only-for-billionaires expenditures. For people making minimum wage or just above, it may in fact be their annual tax bill. "We're talking about someone who works at a McDonald's, and not someone who is managing it," Joseph Bankman, a tax law expert at Stanford Law School, told The Washington Post. "This is an hourly worker at a fast-food restaurant."
But lots of people have something to compare that number to: monthly insulin costs for some diabetics. A DACA renewal. Rent, rent, rent. An emergency room visit. A family's monthly grocery budget. And, of course, while the Trumps are only paying $750 in income tax, you can look at their lifestyle and make plenty of comparisons of a different kind.
It's about half of 1 percent of the Secret Service's golf cart rental contract at Trump's New Jersey golf club … for summer 2020.
$750 was a little less than two nights at Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel in August—except for the nights right around the Republican National Convention, when $750 was only slightly more than one night there. It's also a little less than getting the "restore and revive ritual" and "contour and lift" facial at that hotel's day spa.
A table of four could very easily spend $750 at one meal at the steak restaurant in that hotel.
It's less than one percent of the $77,000 in taxpayer money for Don Jr. to get Secret Service protection on a hunting trip to Mongolia to kill a threatened argali sheep. We don't have enough information to speculate about the relationship of $750 to Junior's bleary-eyed, sweaty appearances of late.
That $750 is also a little less than the daily cost of detaining an immigrant child in some facilities. It's an infinitesimal fraction of a percentage of the cost of a quarter inch of Trump's border wall. It's about seven percent of what some people have been charged for COVID-19 tests.
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