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Rebutting Accusations, Biden Asks Why Trump Is ‘Hiding’ Tax Returns

In Thursday night's debate, Donald Trump repeatedly leveled accusations of financial corruption at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, among them unverified claims of Biden's son Hunter receiving $3.5 million from the Russian government.

Biden categorically denied Trump's vague and unspecific claims that he has taken money from foreign entities.

"I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life," he said.

Biden immediately pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump's attacks, given Trump's ever-growing laundry list of financial scandals.

He noted the recent revelation that Trump paid more taxes to China than to the U.S. government in recent years — $188,561 between 2013 and 2015 in total.

Biden also noted that he himself has released 22 years of his tax returns and slammed Trump for his refusal to release his.

"What's going on here?" Biden demanded. "Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?"


JOE BIDEN: I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life. We learned this president paid 50 times the tax in China as a secret bank account with China, does business in China, and in fact is talking about me taking money. I've not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever, ever, number one.
Number two, this is a president, I have released all of my tax returns, 22 years, go look at them, 22 years of my tax returns. You have not released a single, solitary year of your tax returns. What are you hiding? Why are you unwilling?
The foreign countries are paying you a lot. Russia's paying you a lot. China's paying you a lot. And your hotels and all your businesses al around the country, all around the world, and China's building a new road ... to a golf course you have overseas. So what's going on here? Why not release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption?

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Journalists Will Decide Whether Trump Tax Revelations Matter

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The New York Times report on President Donald Trump's taxes dropped on Sunday night like an atomic bomb.

The investigation, based on tax documents the paper obtained that Trump has hidden from the public, revealed that the president has paid no federal income tax for much of the past two decades, including a bill of only $750 in the first year of his presidency; that he achieved such low payments by reporting massive losses at his signature businesses and through potentially fraudulent methods; that he's kept those businesses afloat in part with money obtained from foreign and domestic sources hoping to receive preferential treatment from the government; and that he has personally guaranteed hundreds of billions of dollars in loans that will come due over the next few years.

The report, commentators have noted, shows that Trump's image is a sham and that his perilous financial status has made him a national security threat.

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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."

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Trump Paid Less Taxes Than The Undocumented Immigrants He Attacks

Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he was elected president, according to a blockbuster report published by the New York Times on Sunday.

The Times report also found that Trump is millions of dollars in debt, incurred through a series of failed business ventures — a fact that runs counter to Trump's self-made image as a successful businessman. Trump has also used his financial failings to avoid paying taxes, the report found.

The president has resisted revealing his financial information since the start of his first presidential campaign, despite promising otherwise. "I would certainly show tax returns if it was necessary," Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in 2015. Yet for five years, the president has failed to produce the documents.The president paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, and paid another $750 in 2017, according to the report. And in 2014, Trump paid zero dollars in taxes.

Conservatives including Trump often suggest that undocumented immigrants take advantages of government services without contributing their fair share. Throughout his first term, Trump has repeatedly cast blame on immigrants and suggested they post an economic burden to U.S. taxpayers.

"Our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year," Trump claimed in 2017 during his first presidential address to Congress.

That claim does not hold up to scrutiny. In reality, undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes every year. In 1996, the Internal Revenue Service created a program for non-citizens who work in the U.S. to report their income. Non-citizens who do not have a Social Security Number — including undocumented immigrants — are able to file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN. According to the IRS, 4.4 million people paid taxes using an ITIN in 2015, totaling $23.6 billion in tax revenue.

This raises the question: why would undocumented immigrants pay U.S. taxes if they are unauthorized to live in the country? Immigrants often choose to pay taxes in order to demonstrate "good moral character" when applying for legal residence or citizenship, according to the National Immigration Law Center. Undocumented immigrants who fail to pay their taxes risk deportation.

"Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, paid an estimated $328 billion in state, federal, and local taxes in 2014 alone," Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School, told the American Independent Foundation. "It is outrageous that the average undocumented immigrant in the United States pays more in federal income taxes than the President did in 2016."

This contrast is especially ironic given Trump's tendency to deride unauthorized immigrants as irresponsible lawbreakers. Trump has a tendency to respond to criticism with projection — when accused, he accuses others of the same thing.

"Yes, undocumented immigrants are helping fund the very system that detain and deport us," journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is undocumented, tweeted in 2019.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.