23772700676_0e3bb981a5_kOver the weekend, it was revealed that Donald Trump claimed a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax return. Because he has refused to release his tax returns, we are left only to speculate, but the result may have been that he was able to pay zero Federal tax for the next 18 years. Zero. Let that sink in.

Trump describes himself as a billionaire. A billionaire. He has billions. He has a full-size airliner with his name on it. He has a full-size helicopter with his name on it. He lives in a world of opulence we can’t even begin to imagine.

Yet he paid no Federal taxes. He paid nothing toward the salaries paid to our troops. Nor did he pay anything toward veterans’ healthcare, something he claims to care about deeply. He paid nothing toward the weapons he says he would use to “bomb the hell” out of ISIS. He paid nothing whatsoever toward any aspect of the military he decries as having been decimated. He paid nothing toward repairing the infrastructure he says is crumbling.

Imagine if everyone found a way to pay zero taxes. We would have no military. Probably not good for national security. No food inspections. Probably not good for public health. No repairs to roads and bridges. You think the potholes are bad now?

27793453664_986602646e_bI’m a small businessperson. I struggle every year to pay the taxes on my very modest income. I drive a 15-year-old car. (And it doesn’t even have my name on it.) I clip coupons. I unplug appliances to save electricity. Mrs. Donald Trump spends more on one dress than I spend on my entire wardrobe in a year.

Donald Trump is a billionaire. Just ask him. He’ll tell you how rich he is. Yet he paid no taxes for at least 20 years. It’s likely he may have never paid Federal taxes in his life. That would certainly explain why he’s hiding his tax returns.

So, he’s absolutely, 100% correct: The system is rigged. When a struggling small businessperson like me has to pay 15%+ in Federal taxes and a billionaire gets a free pass, that’s a rigged system.