The Biggest Lie of the Election

This election has no shortage of lies and it’s not my job to dispel them, but I want to address one I think cuts to the very center of the election and the entire political enterprise. Donald Trump was accused of gaming the system to avoid taxes, and he said “that makes me smart,” a position he has since elaborated on, declaring himself a downright genius for avoiding taxes. No doubt lots of people believe him, and regard him with even more hero worship. Surely a genius who gets out of paying taxes (legally) is so super-smart on economics he’ll fix everything with genius magic, right?

Owl (Public Domain)

Wrong. Donald Trump didn’t use highly complicated tax trickery to get out of paying taxes. He simply took advantage of the system that is already built to help the rich and powerful. He played by the rules, but the rules are unfair in his favor.

Declaring himself “smart” is meant to reassure his voters that the rich and powerful deserve to be rich and powerful, and that this is a meritocracy; that those opportunities exist for everyone and the deserving smart discover them and take advantage.

Sorry, no. The loopholes he exploited aren’t available to you, only to the very rich. He didn’t cheat the system; the system is working exactly as it is supposed to and serving the people it was designed to serve.


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