$750. That's all Donald Trump paid in taxes in 2016 and in 2017. Even in the United States, where we've grown numb to superrich people paying very little, that's low. Seven hundred and fifty dollars.
By now it's fallen out of the news, but we can't forget just how heinously small that number is. Trump's paying nothing because he thinks he can get away with paying nothing - that he'll have to face little to no repercussions.
Unfortunately, he might be right: The IRS has been systematically gutted, defunded, and is a shell of what it once was. Now, instead of doing the hard work of going after wealthy fraudsters who are ducking millions in taxes, the IRS targets working people, because they can't afford to allocate resources toward going after the superrich. What's more, the vast majority of everyday people getting audited are paying more in taxes than our own chief executive.
The truth is Trump and his ilk's tax avoidance is a HUGE loss for the rest of us. All that money he's refusing to pay - hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars - could be going toward schools, solving homelessness, infrastructure investments, jobs, and helping everyday people.
Instead, we got hosed. We got $750. That's so insultingly low it's almost worse than if he paid nothing.
However, Congress can do something about this. A new report found that a $40 billion investment in the IRS could lead to $103 billion more in revenue over 10 years because it would enable the IRS to actually do its job - namely, catching tax evaders like Trump. The problem is that trickledowners, and the politicians they control, will fight tooth and nail to prevent the IRS from being adequately funded.
When we talk about income inequality - the $42,000 every year that has been stolen away from the average working person in this country - this is part of the economics we're talking about: The superrich breaking the system to benefit from it.
But don't take our word for it - we want to know what you think. Will you let us know whether or not the IRS should be funded to make sure the superrich aren't taking advantage of our tax system? Tell us now:
Should we adequately fund the IRS?
We can beat trickle-downers like Donald Trump - but it's going to take each and every one of us holding elected officials accountable to make sure that we do the economically right thing to benefit our communities.