CNN’s Avlon slams Trump as a pseudo-populist ‘fraud’ for paying less in taxes than ‘the average school teacher'

CNN’s Avlon slams Trump as a pseudo-populist ‘fraud’ for paying less in taxes than ‘the average school teacher'
Image via Screengrab.

Next to President Donald Trump formally announcing that he had chosen Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, the biggest political bombshell of the weekend was the New York Times' damning report on Trump's tax returns. And CNN's John Avlon analyzed that bombshell during a Reality Check segment aired on the morning show, "New Day," on Monday, September 28 — stressing that Trump is hardly the populist he pretends to be.

"Question: who pays more in federal income taxes than President Trump?," Avlon told CNN viewers. "Basically, every American who works hard and plays by the rules."

Avlon noted that according to the Times, Trump "paid no federal income taxes ten out of 15 years starting in 2000" — adding, "And get this: during his campaign (and) in the first year of his presidency, the Times says Trump paid only $750."

The fact that Trump paid so little in federal income taxes considering how wealthy he is, Avlon argued, is "evidence of a broken system."

"Donald Trump, with a tower on 5th Avenue and an estate in Palm Beach, paid less in taxes than the average household in America — which makes just shy of $69,000 a year," Avlon noted. "In fact, Trump paid less in federal income taxes than the average single grade school teacher, nurse, cop, farmer, firefighter and truck driver."

Avlon added, "And that's not all. Trump's $750 in federal income taxes is less than the monthly average rent families pay in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan or Wisconsin, according to a 2017 survey. This is real man-of the-people stuff here….. And he and his companies paid more in taxes to Panama, India and the Philippines than to his own country."

Trump, Avlon noted, "kept living a lavish lifestyle while losing millions and parlayed it into becoming president, in part, by assuring Americans he was a successful businessman."

Avlon wrapped up his Reality Check segment by quoting "another infamous New York real estate magnate": the late Leona Helmsley, who went to prison for tax evasion. Helmsley, Avlon recalled, infamously said, "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes" — and Avlon added, "Only this time, the contempt for hard-working men and women who pay their taxes comes straight from the president of the United States."


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