No taxation without representation!” was once the rallying cry for American freedom against British colonialism. It is indeed an irony of time that America now finds itself debating representation versus taxation — with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump declaring he’s smart, reportedly for having escaped tax over years. Amidst one of America’s most charged presidential contests, US media has carried reports on how Trump declared a loss of nearly one billion dollars in 1995, enabling him to legally evade taxes. But instead of getting angry or abashed, Trump has greeted the allegations with glee. Trump has sky-scraper levels of support from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani too, who feels Trump has only fulfilled his capitalistic obligations to maximise profits by minimising paying taxes.
Not everyone is applauding though. Iconic Democrat — and once, a possible challenger to Trump, until he ceded the role to Hillary Clinton — Bernie Sanders commented that if everyone in his country was a similar genuis, Americans would not have a country. But Bernie’s burning words haven’t stumped Trump, who instead bragged online that he was the only person who could fix US tax laws.
But Trump could take a leaf out of Surat entrepreneurs’ balance books. Certain Surat firms joined the government’s drive to sweep undeclared money into its Income Tax Declaration Scheme. Not only did these men and women cooperate, they celebrated their contributions in style, proclaiming them on banners around town. The love letters to the taxman were removed once the authorities gently suggested so. But the hint still blows in the wind for Trump — by paying his taxes and saying it with pride, he won’t tax others and might even max support.
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