Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Watch and learn

Well okay then. American democracy looks safe and sound after Tuesday’s presidential debate described accurately by Jake Tapper as “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.” What’s to worry about when the incumbent sounds like his only path to staying in office is not by winning the most votes of Americans but to send the racist Proud Boys to intimidate polling places and indicate to them it might soon be time to take to the streets with their guns and fascist attitudes. Watch and learn.

One thing I have noticed is that since the global pandemic started last ski season along with local Black Lives Matter controversies and Donald saying he probably won’t leave the office gracefully even if he loses, I have less hair and it is more gray. But through his secret tax returns, Donald has shown me that money matters in the follicle world. We all should be able to write-off hair styling so we can pay fewer tax dollars that pay for trivial things like that pesky American military. Watch and learn from the master.

Nancy Pelosi had her political hair salon moment last month. I remember when Democrat John Edwards was pummeled for spending $800 on two haircuts—but $70,000 for a TV comb-over? According to this week’s New York Times story on Trump’s tax returns, nine Trump entities have written off at least $95,464 paid to a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump. That signals true empathy for the struggling working class.

And can we all sign up for living the lifestyle of the rich and famous while paying $750 to the feds in personal income taxes. We all just need to watch and learn. Where did that tiny number come from, given what many Republicans say is a horribly oppressive American tax system for the rich? It isn’t. No one enjoys paying taxes but it is how the world’s powerhouse runs. Taxes are not inherently horrible things. They pay for things that keep us safe and make life easier for the broad community. My only question is why didn’t he open a savings account in the Cayman Islands and save the $750 that would have gone to something frivolous like National Parks? Donald paid more federal taxes in Panama, India and the Philippines than to the country he runs.

And why didn’t my tax accountant remind me before April to write a $700,000 check to my “consultant kids” to save big bucks from the government that would have frittered the money away on something inconsequential like making sure food in America is safe to consume? My kids can consult and advise what is best for an early Sunday morning after a late Saturday night: a Hurley or a McStop? Don’t we all want to pay the family rather than the government that might waste the money on scientific research that benefits everyone? Never mind. Science is overrated. Over the top fantastical thinking works. Like a miracle, it will disappear.

Watch and learn and then claim to be the best business guy on the planet while losing a boatload of bucks on hotels, golf courses and casinos. Casinos?! That takes talent.

But it all sort of makes sense if you have $400 million in debt coming due soon from mystery lenders and a potential $100 million IRS refund-penalty looming. It’s that sort of financial pressure that might be “distracting” to the leader of the free world. That won’t matter to the staunch 45 percent Trump base who see very fine people on both sides. Stand back and stand by…

Frankly, both Donald and Joe have had a hand in the extremely byzantine U.S. tax code that benefits those with assets corporations and to the detriment of the working poor and middle class. Donald is just pushing it to the wall and perhaps beyond. That is yet to be determined. A tax system that benefits already rich people unfortunately won’t likely change much any time soon, whether it is Joe or Donald sitting in the Oval Office.

Donald will not lose any votes from the tax return story. Perhaps his middle school debate performance and embracing of white supremacist groups will convince some he doesn’t have the right demeanor to lead a great country that is based on high ideals rather than selfish ego.

So, go out and vote—the $70,000 comb-over and $700,000 kid consultant fee write-off depends on it. Why would you or the leader of the globe’s dominant country want that money to go to something like international diplomacy or air safety regulations that can help keep the world a safer place?

Watch and learn…

Mark Reaman

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