September 29, 2020
Democratic Candidate Paid 30% Tax Rate Over Years Trump Was Mostly Tax Free
Many recent years when America’s billionaire president was paying zero (or close to it) in federal income taxes, his Democratic opponent was paying tens of thousands of dollars. In 2017, when Donald Trump paid a grand total of $750, Joe Biden paid $3.7 million.
This analysis is based on the recent New York Times investigative story on Trump’s rampant tax dodging between 2000 and 2017, and an analysis of Biden’s taxpaying history over the same period compiled by Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund.
Biden, who was raised in a working-class family in Scranton, PA, paid taxes every year of that 18-year span, a total of nearly $5 million on $16.4 million of income—a cumulative tax rate of 30%. [See table below]
Trump, who was given millions of dollars by his father to begin his real estate empire, paid zero federal income taxes in 11 of those years 18 years, and in two—2016 and 2017—paid just $750 each year, according to the New York Times.
Trump’s singular legislative accomplishment in his first term was an overhaul of the tax code that gave the bulk of the benefits to wealthy families like his and to the corporations they mostly own. Biden wants to raise taxes on corporations and those who make over $400,000—which in recent years would include him—to invest more in America’s working families and communities.
Trump could not completely avoid paying taxes during the height of his success with “The Apprentice” in the first decade of the century. Those years of tax payments and a few others over the two decades average out to $1.4 million annually. The Times reported that typical taxpayers in Trump’s elite income bracket paid on average $25 million a year over that 18-year span.
“Joe Biden abides by his patriotic duty to pay his taxes, while Donald Trump does everything in his power to wriggle out of his responsibilities,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund. “We can’t reform our tax system so that the wealthy pay a fair share and we raise the revenues we need to rebuild our economy if rich tax cheats like Donald Trump are serving their own ends instead of their country’s.”
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