Thank You, Donald, For Sharing That With Us
A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted September 27th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
In the weeks leading up to last year’s federal election in Canada, a few candidates and even fewer media outlets attempted to make an issue of the fact that members of super-rich in this country are flying billions of dollars to off-shore tax havens so they don’t have to do what most mortal Canadians have to do to avoid criminal charges – pay taxes.
A public broadcaster, to its credit – TV Ontario – aired a documentary a number of times before the election called “The Great Canadian Tax Dodge” – detailing how government-sponsored loopholes in the tax laws care allowing an estimated $200 billion a year to fly off to tax havens, leaving the rest of us holding the bag for covering the costs of health care and other necessary public services.
I’m watching and reading reports about all of this high-flying tax dodging, and I’m thinking – naively or stupidly perhaps – where is the outrage? Why aren’t Canadians standing up, en masse, and demanding that this be an issue in the election, and that candidates and the parties they were running for either draw up a plan to address it or get creamed at the polls.
But there was no real outrage. Could it be a majority of people, as much as they may find themselves, in their own lives, struggling to pay taxes and put food on the table at the same time, secretly wish that they were rich enough to hire a team of lawyers and accountants to fix it so they don’t have to pay taxes too?
How else do you explain so many people voting in candidates and parties that continue allowing the super rich a path to tax loopholes large enough for a fleet of brinks trucks to drive through enroute to the nearest international airport?
In the federal election raging on in the United States, the only major candidate in the presidential race who railed against billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes was Bernie Sanders, and we can see how far that got him.
So now the race is down to Hillary Clinton, who has made more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars a pop delivering speeches to hedge fund traders on Wall Street, confronting Donald Trump during their globally watched September 26th debate with the fact that the only tax returns he has ever been forced to release over the past couple of decades show that he never paid a penny in federal taxes.
“That makes me smart,” responded Trump, who can’t seem to say anything outrageous enough to turn off the thousands of mostly white, working class folks who cram arenas and cheer him on at his rallies.
It’s a love-in at those rallies. The Donald tried to tell the rest of us that earlier on in his run for the world’s most powerful office- “I love the under-educated,” he said, and oh how they love a celebrity billionaire who brags about not paying taxes.
That makes him smart, and it puts a slightly different spin on the line “only the little people pay taxes,” once so infamously uttered by his late comrade in gold bullion, New York holelier Leona Hemsley.
In Trump’s twilight zone, “only stupid people pay taxes,” and how stupid of me not to get the lack of outrage over rich people not paying taxes until, in one of his scrambled-egg rants, the creature with the orange comb over, clued me in.
To watch a trailer for the TVO-aired documentary, ‘The Great Canadian Tax Dodge’, click on –
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders