Pence thinks it's OK to skip income taxes if you pay others.
Mike Pence suggested at Wednesday's vice presidential debate that Donald Trump's $750 income tax payments are no big deal because he likely paid a lot in other taxes.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris contrasted Joe Biden's transparency in releasing years of tax returns with Trump, who has refused to release any of his own. She noted that thanks to "great investigative journalism," we now know that Trump paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
"When I first heard about it, I literally said, 'You mean $750,000?' and it was like, no, $750," she quipped.
Pence responded by noting that Trump is a "businessman" and a "job creator who's paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes."
"Payroll taxes! Property taxes!" Pence suggested, adding that "the president said those public reports are not accurate and the president has also released literally stacks of financial disclosures that the American people can review, just as the law allows."
But the financial disclosure statements indicate nothing about Trump's tax payments. Property taxes on Trump's many homes would be paid to localities, not the federal government.
Trump has dismissed the New York Times reporting on Trump's income taxes as "totally fake news," without providing any proof to counter their claims.
But he has also seemingly to confirm the report's findings, both suggesting that his deductions were above-board, and baselessly claiming that the paper violated the law.
"The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent. I paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled, like everyone else, to depreciation & tax credits," Trump tweeted.
During the 2016 presidential debate, Trump bragged that avoiding federal income taxes for several years "makes me smart."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.