Donald Trump’s Views of America Are Wrong

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Donald Trump’s greatest asset is that he single handedly holds the ability to provide fodder for commentators at a pace we can’t possibly match. His acceptance speech last week could keep me in fresh, new topics until 2032 when Pres. Elizabeth Warren will be leaving office after succeeding Hillary.

By the point in Mr. Trump’s rambling remarks last week, after grazing the surface of dozens of topics, when he turned to taxes, I was paying less attention than I should have been. So, I’m not positive exactly where he put the United States on his list of highly taxed countries, but if it wasn’t first, it was way up there.

In any case it isn’t true–not even close.

Ranking countries by taxation isn’t the easiest chore. There are a lot of variables, but there is no way to cook the books to say that the United Sates places, even a moderately high, tax burden on its citizens.

Let’s stick to federally collected taxes. States collect almost all property and goods taxes and they each set their own rates. That’s as it should be and we’ll leave those out of this discussion. As far as federal income tax is concerned, we place 55th on a list of 114 countries when it comes to collecting taxes on people making $100K a year and 53rd when switching the math to those in the top two percentiles.  The numbers show that we don’t take advantage of the top two-percenters. They don’t need a tax cut!

Take a look from another angle and we find the good ol’ U.S. of A. 30th out of 33 industrialized countries when the percent of Gross Domestic Product is the denominator. Denmark tops the list at 48% and Mexico is last with about 22%. The U.S.A. is shown between 24% and 27% depending upon the group doing the math–third from the bottom.

Most other countries supplement their coffers with a value added tax on goods. America is in the minority by not doing this. That puts us even lower on the totem pole.

On the surface it looks like we use our corporations as cash cows for gleaning government revenue. Our 39.1 top corporate tax rate is the third highest on any list. But, no company pays that. The average for corporate taxes actually paid after deductions and loopholes is 19.4%, and that puts us back in the ho-hum middle of the pack as tax collectors.

Corporate taxes today have dropped to a mere 10% of federal revenue from about one third in 1950. It is also well documented that there are 26 Fortune 500 companies who have not paid one cent in federal taxes in years. General Electric, Boeing, and Verizon are three of the culprits.

Our corporations have some $2.1 trillion in untaxed profits stored offshore in havens that are often just a postal box.

I checked a ton of data and it is clear that not only are we nowhere near the top of any taxation list, we likely don’t tax ourselves enough. When we get on our high horses and start politicking for our favorite causes, whether it be education, the military complex, taking care of farmers, the social safety net, or any other, we advocate for funding and carp about cuts. The answer isn’t simple. There is certainly government waste and administrative voodoo being played out, but if we had more tax money, we could improve the Veterans’ Administration, hire workers to improve our infrastructure, and on and on.

When universal, single payer healthcare finally comes to fruition, we will have to raise taxes to pay for the merciful expansion of Medicare and Medicaid to every citizen. However, at the bottom line there will be savings. The government cost of delivering universal healthcare will be less than we are paying now to private insurers–we will trade a $5000 bill each year for a $4000 tax–more tax, but less expenditure. That’s good stuff.

Finally, my biggest concern isn’t what Donald Trump said about our taxes, it’s about what he believes about our tax structure. If his completely false comments were heat of the moment politicking, an attempt to scare voters into thinking we are over taxed with few benefits–if he knows it’s a lie–I can understand his desire for a political edge. But, if Mr. Trump thinks that he was speaking the truth, and if elected would operate the government based on that ridiculous premise, we are in for a long, long four years.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure we can ever find out what he really thinks.

Comments

  1. Both parties spew blather during election time. His opponent does no better. The bottom line, to me, is which candidate is more honest and that easily comes down to Trump. I have yet to see a single accomplishment Hillary has made. She has led a life of lies and nonsense. From 1969 on she has be famously caught lying and “mis-speaking”. I have come to the conclusion that she can’t speak the truth. I would chance Trump before a known pathological liar. Interesting insight in this article, for sure.

    • Katherine says:

      From Ryan Denson column. “though her major initiative, the Clinton healthcare plan, failed (due to Republican obstruction), you cannot deny that it laid ground for what we have today, the Affordable Healthcare Act, something Clinton supports and would continue.
      She played a leading role in the development of State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides the much-needed state support for children whose parents cannot afford nor provide them with adequate healthcare coverage.
      She was also instrumental in the creation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act.
      Successfully fought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and asthma at the National Institute of Health (NIH).
      She spearheaded investigations into mental illness plaguing veterans of the Gulf War; we now have a term for it – Gulf War Syndrome.
      At the Department of Justice, she helped create the office on Violence Against Women.
      She was instrumental in securing over $21 billion in funding for the World Trade Center redevelopment.
      Took a leading role in the investigation of health consequences of first responders and drafted the first bill to compensate and offer the health services our first responders deserve (Clinton’s successor in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, passed the bill).
      Was instrumental in working out a bi-partisan compromise to address civil liberty abuses for the renewal of the U.S. Patriot Act.
      Proposed a revival of the New Deal-era Home Owners’ Loan Corporation to help homeowners refinance their mortgages in the wake of the 2008 financial disaster.
      Was a major proponent of sensible diplomacy which brought about a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, and brokered human rights with Burma.
      Oversaw free trade agreements with our allies such as Panama, Colombia, and South Korea.
      Was the most traveled Secretary of State to date.
      The Clinton Foundation, founded by her and her husband, has improved the living conditions for nearly 400 million people in over 180 countries through its Initiative program.
      These are not all of her accomplishments. Her activism on behalf of women a children across the world is renowned. Her activism for raising the minimum wage and combating climate change is stellar. You do not have to support what she does or stands for. But do not say she doesn’t have any accomplishments. “

  2. Frank Shannon says:

    I disagree with much of what you wrote. I can’t wait to read your article after the November election. You will be able to read mine @ “Jobs and the Economy” in the MLN.

    • Terry Donnelly says:

      Frank, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll have an article for you to read in November.

  3. Taxation is extortion and theft. Not to mention WASTEFUL. The government cannot and never will be able to spend our money better than we can ourselves. How much of our hard earned money goes up in smoke? Might as well throw it in the fire myself. That said, taxes are necessary. How about we shift to a consumption tax instead of discouraging productivity by taxing income? Check out http://www.fairtax.org for the best tax plan available to us. Even better than the flat tax. Democrats should really like this as the wealthy will pay more of their fair share, because they buy more stuff. Expensive stuff. Those who are on a budget or poor will minimize or eliminate their tax. Brilliant! By the way, not fond of either presidential candidate for various reasons but I will say this. Trump = lower taxes while Hillary = higher taxes. The choice is easy. Oh, and Hillary CANNOT be trusted with our national security. Isn’t it time for the two party system to be dismantled and for corrupt, self-serving politicians to stop getting our votes?? As if we always have to choose the lesser of two evils…

  4. Mike Young says:

    Terry – You need to get a new Corporate tax table, only Greece is higher then U.S. and that’s only in the first year then it’s below U.S..The United States places 32nd out of the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). U.S.has the highest corporate income tax rate in the OECD at 39 percent (combined marginal federal and state rates). Also a relatively high, progressive individual income tax (combined top rate of 48.6 percent). No wonder countries are leaving. Does anyone serious believe giving more money to government improves anything!

    • Terry Donnelly says:

      Mike, You need to get a few more tax tables. As I wrote rating tax burdens is a tough job and looking at only one table does not do any researcher justice. Look at a few more charts and make a little more informed decision. You read most of the OECD charts, but you stopped too soon. As I wrote, and you seem to concur, we look like we’re pretty high on the list, but if you read to the end, you’ll see we fall to near the middle when loopholes and deductions are included. Those are what is actually paid. Your post seems to be against taxes in general. I don’t mind paying my share. If you think any individual pays 48.6% tax, you are as delusional as Mr. Trump.

  5. Here are some “Facts” that non-partisan agencies have said about Obama’s 8 years, and what to expect from Hillary which is more of the same:

    !. Our GDP has never been over 2% in nearly 8 years.
    2. Families yearly income has dropped.
    3. More people are now out of the work force, the worst in nearly 40 years.
    4. More people are on food stamps and welfare, and Obamacare is rising each year
    5. Race relations are worse than ever, and radical Islamic Terrorism is out of control.
    6. Our foreign relations have gone from being a world leader, to a laughing stock.
    So my hope is that the American people have a choice.Try a change of tactics, or put in a person who has been an habitual liar, with decades of corruption, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

  6. Terry Donnelly says:

    Dave, Some of your independent agencies need an update. The GDP has been on a steady rise over the last eight years. It went from $14.2T in 2009 to $16.8T in 2013. It is still going up at a rate of about 3.7%, which is 4% more than at the end of the Bush term (Do the math, that means the GDP showed negative growth in 2008). You are right about food stamps. Unemployment is down, but food stamp use is up. Your contention of people being out of the work force seems to also be the reason. However, assuming that everyone out of the workforce is unemployed because they can’t find a job is just that, an assumption and not backed by complete data. Race relations are not worse, the public is just becoming aware of how difficult the situation is. Hopefully, now we have hit a nadir and, with the problem out in the open for more to understand, can start to work on solutions. The words from world leaders seem to show that America’s stock in the world view is still one of leadership and respect, especially for this president. Add to that the beginnings of raising minimum wages, the Lilly Leadbetter act that begins to address the pay gap between men and women, the fact that teen pregnancy is down 13.7 per one thousand teen women over the last eight years, mostly due to Obamacare and the right to get health checkups and lifestyle guidance. Iran’s centrifuges are at about 6,000, down over 13,000 over the last eight years. The deal that is so roundly criticized by Republicans seems to be working. Iran is not cheating and is going forward with the agreement. We are down to importing only 4.5 million barrels of oil a year, down 6.5 million from eight years ago. This is due to the administration’s multitasking of more renewable energy and more American oil production (part of the reason for the rise in the GDP). I could go on, but this is good for now. Except that those independent fact checkers show Mr. Trump lying at a much higher rate than Sec. Clinton. You are right Sen. Clinton is relentless and won’t stop working for what she wants; a better deal for women, children, families, and American workers.

  7. Mr. Reality says:

    Terry-
    You must have watched the demoncratic convention.
    You and the convention’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND atmosphere are a joke.
    The demoncratic circus did not mention isis, address the deplorable shootings in chicago,mostly blacks,mand no mention the more blacks than ever are on food stamps during the obama years.
    According to yo and the demoncratic convention, the usa has no problems,
    Bengazi never happened , and isis is nowhere.
    Not to mention the illegal immigrant problem which worse and getting worse by the day.
    The usa cannot withstand another demoncratic 4 or 8 yrs-
    The usa as we no it will cease to exist if that happens.
    Obama earns one award though- jimmy carter is no longer the worst demoncratic president in history- obama has taken that crown.
    Terry- i suggest you see a Dr. And possibly taper off on your meds, or adjust.
    Your opinions and outlooks are precisely why the usa is in big trouble and we need a guy like trump.

  8. To Mr. Reality,

    You don’t think much of the USA since you never capitalized the letters USA. That is disrespectful to America. Clinton is the best choice for our President. Nobody can let Trump have his finger on the button. You can’t trust the egotistical person that he is. He will be another Hitler and if you like that type of person than by all means vote for him. You sound like you are ready to put all blacks in the camps like Hitler did. You must still be living in the 1940’s. We must all work together. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Disabled, (who Trump made fun of), LGBTQ, Seniors, Women, Men, and Children. Sounds like you would like to eliminate all of the above except the White Men and Women.

  9. To Mr Reality,

    I forgot the MUSLIMS. They are an important race also that live in the USA.

    • Terry Donnelly says:

      Louise,

      Mr. Reality and Mr. Trump want to eliminate all you say except the white men and white, supermodel type white women. Neither cares about the average women of the U.S.A.

  10. Mr. Reality says:

    Mr. Trumpmhas hired and promoted more women than the demoncrats will ever do.
    Billary looked the other way when her husband commited a sex act in the white house.
    And that muslim next to you- might either blow you up or shoot you .
    You do not know – they are not vetted properly.
    There is a big differance between LEAGAL IMMAGRATION AND ILLEAGAL IMMAGRATION.
    And vetting those immagrants properly,which is not being done.
    The last time i checked ,all the shootings and killings are being done by RADICAL MUSLIMS, NOT IRISH,ITALIAN OR MEXICAN.
    OF COURSE NO ONE IN YOUR PARTY THINKS THAT ANYTHING BAD IS GOING ON.
    You old hippies kill me- lol

    • Charlie Parker says:

      Yes, Mr. Trump told us all how he has hired lots of people – as he attacked a Gold Star mother who had lost her American Muslim son who fought for America, and explained why hiring these people was a “sacrifice”.

      Mr. Trump … wasn’t worth your time or your vote, the second he did that.

  11. Mr. Reality,

    Well for your information I am not a hippie. I am a CHRISTIAN with CHRISTIAN values and believe in humanity regardless of race, color, creed, sexual preference. I believe that when I get to the pearly gates I will be let in because I believe in all HUMANITY not just the rich white men and women. Can you say that? By the way you should learn to spell before you start typing and putting everyone down that are not like you.

  12. Terry Donnelly says:

    Louise,
    I am an old, grey-haired, bleeding heart liberal hippie, and I agree with you 100%. I’ve had this affliction for 50 years. I appreciate your point of view about the people of this world, but I particularly appreciate your passion for the use of our language.

  13. Thanks Terry. I am one of those old bleeding heart liberal types too but not grey haired and also agree with you 100%. We come from the same state and we know liberals will succeed.

  14. Sick of mesa view says:

    Louise- if you were a christian you would not be voting for crooked hillary,
    Whom lied about emails, and lives in a non- christian marriage with her cheating lyin husband.
    And to you and terry- that is why this country has so many problems- the bleeding heart liberals have ruined this country with all there entitlements and creating generations of people on welfare.
    You people are nuts and if you believe crooked hillary on the email and bengazi issues , you two clowns are truly delusional and suggest as the other person has-
    ADJUST YOUR MEDS OR GET OFF THE PIPE

  15. Terry Donnelly says:

    Louise, I know you didn’t ask for this. I”m sorry. I deserve it because I’m the one who stirred the pot and got the dregs stirred up.

  16. Oh don’t worry Terry. I’m a big girl. I can handle this. You ain’t seen nothing yet. I grew up in Detroit and know how to handle winies like this.
    Hey sick of mesa view remember THOSE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE AND JUDGE NOT AND YEA SHALL NOT BE JUDGED. Hillary never scammed anybody out of thousand dollars. Hillary is trying to make things right for all of us. Hillary never ridiculed a GOLD STAR MOTHER and never criticized a veterans family. She has shown nothing but compassion not like Trump. Also why is this country so bad. I don’t understand. Seems the stock market is the best it’s ever been and I’m sure the rich white repubs are sowing the rewards from that. Oh and by the way the reason the debt is so high is that Bush sent us to war (we had to pay for that debacle) just so he could get Hussein for daddy. Remember Pres Bush admitted that.
    So we had to pay for a war that wasn’t necessary. Oh and remember Obamacare. Seems to be working quite well for those poor families that needed health insurance but couldn’t get it. Need I say more. Hey mesa view hope you can sleep with a clear conscience tonight. God forgives and so should we.

  17. Sick of mesa view says:

    Terry and louise – the new sonny and cher- lol
    You people are delusional- the clinton foundation has scammed millions.
    Obama care is a fiasco – leaving uninsured and higher than ever premiums
    Why is the country so bad ? – are you nuts!
    Crime at a all time high- isis which hillary created as sec of state- black shootings at a all time high- race relations at a all time low fueled by obammy and hillary.
    You people are nuts- remember to take your meds before you go to bed sonny and cher

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