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Photo by kenteegardin/ CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

There's Ivanka's $750 shoes. Melania's $795 shoes—or her $51,500 coat or estimated $114,000 in Hermès Birkin bags.

$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.

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.